11 Tips for Sleeping in the Heat

Getting a good night’s sleep in the summer can be tricky – even more so as you get older and throw hormones into the mix. If you’re looking for simple ways to get some high-quality shut-eye, five experts share their secrets with us…

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Eat Protein For Dinner

“Insulin resistance is one of the biggest contributors to nearly all menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes and night sweats. Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas that stimulates the cells in the body to take up glucose. In the menopausal years, we start to lose insulin-protective hormones like oestrogen and progesterone, so our cells stop responding as well to insulin, which can lead to blood sugar peaks and troughs, which is linked to poor sleep, mood changes and hot flushes. To improve insulin resistance and keep night sweats to a minimum, include a source of protein at dinner and don’t overdo the carbohydrates. Keep snacking after dinner to a minimum, too. Also think about your blood sugar throughout the day – porridge for breakfast will do your hormones no favours, choose a protein-rich option like chia pudding or eggs instead.” – Francesca Lyon, director of nutrition at Future Woman

Learn How To Manage Stress

“All stress – whether it’s related to work, family or finances – contributes to the worsening of hot flushes and night sweats. Stress destabilises the hypothalamus (the control centre in the brain), which in turn results in increased sensitivity to temperature changes. Menopause also upsets the hypothalamus due to decreasing progesterone levels, so it can be a double-edged sword.” – Francesca

Supplement With Sage

“Sage is a fantastic remedy for hot flushes and excessive sweating associated with menopause. We get hot flushes in menopause as hormonal changes can affect our internal thermostat, and sage helps reset that inner thermometer. Valerian and hops can also aid a restful night’s sleep and have some benefit in easing night sweats, so are worth a try, too. If you tend to wake in the middle of the night and struggle to get back to sleep, keep an extra dose by your bed to have ready to take when you wake.” – Alison Cullen, nutritional practitioner and education manager at A Vogel 

Ditch The Nightcap

“A plethora of studies show alcohol is one of the main triggers of hot flushes and night sweats. Alcohol impacts perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms in many ways – it impacts oestrogen detoxification, impairs sleep quality and quantity, impacts blood sugar levels, depresses mood and induces vasodilation of the blood vessels which can worsen night sweats. Cutting out alcohol in the evening is imperative if you struggle with hot flushes at night. – Francesca 

All STRESS – whether it’s related to WORK, FAMILY or FINANCES – contributes to the worsening of HOT FLUSHES and NIGHT SWEATS.

Try Meditation

“Research has shown that meditation has a profound effect on the endocrine (hormonal) system and that meditation can reduce poor sleep and hot flushes. You don’t have to meditate in the traditional sense to see results – even ten minutes of deep belly breathing can help and will reduce the intensity of hot flushes and aid sleep.” – Francesca 

Get Instant Relief

“The best relief for hot flushes in the night comes from prevention through making dietary and lifestyle changes and optimising your hormonal pathways. But if you need quick relief, try cooling your room temperature by replacing heavy bedding with light sheets, wearing light fabric pyjamas and keeping the window open. A cool shower, cooling pads and cooling pillows can also help. For further support, speak to your GP about body-identical progesterone, which can be very beneficial in stabilising the hypothalamus and in turn reducing hot flushes.” – Francesca 

Take Magnesium

“Taking 250-400mg of magnesium glycinate daily will tick various boxes when it comes to hormonal health. It will help regulate the communication pathways of the hypothalamus, support healthy oestrogen detoxification, balance blood sugar, support insulin resistance and aid sleep, mood and energy.” – Francesca 

Adding two tablespoons of GROUND FLAXSEED to your breakfast EVERY MORNING can help reduce the FREQUENCY of hot flushes by 50% and their INTENSITY by 57%.

Eat More Flaxseeds

“Adding two tablespoons of ground flaxseed to your breakfast every morning can help reduce the frequency of hot flushes by 50% and their intensity by 57%. Flaxseed contains a nutrient called lignans, plant-based compounds that have a gentle oestrogen-like effect. Similarly, having a handful of nuts or a small spoon of raw, organic honey prior to going to sleep can be helpful in ensuring adequate glycogen stores, which can release glucose slowly overnight and stop hot flushes related to blood sugar drops. This can be useful if there appears to be a pattern of waking at the same point each night in the early hours.” – Dr Haleema Sheikh, specialist in women’s health at the Marion Gluck Clinic

Download An App

“Evia is an evidence-based digital therapeutic app, which combines cooling mental imagery with relaxation and hypnotherapy techniques to help manage hot flushes and night sweats naturally. It essentially trains your brain to regulate temperature changes over five weeks.” – Haleema 

Invest In A Dohar Blanket

“Dohars were used for centuries during the hottest nights of the year before the arrival of air conditioning systems in India. Soft and luxurious, dohar blankets ward off the unpleasant feeling of waking sweaty and help you to feel cosy and comfortable without the heat of a duvet. Dohars are traditionally made with three breathable layers of cotton and become softer with each wash. At Shades of Cool London, our dohars are also hypoallergenic and hand block-printed with toxin-free dyes, making them chemical free and eco-friendly.” – Angel Skillman, founder of Shades of Cool London 

Upgrade Your Mattress

“The science is clear – we sleep deeper at a cooler body temperature. Our core body temperature should naturally drop every night, but for lots of people, especially women of a certain age, it doesn’t. Chilisleep is a fantastic brand to keep on your radar – it offers cooling mattress pads that affect up to eight degrees of physical change from ambient temperature. They’re adjustable for any bed size and have a climate control function for both sides of the bed, which is useful if you have different needs to your partner.” – Kathryn Danzey, founder of Rejuvenated 

For more information visit Future-Woman.com, AVogel.co.uk, MarionGluckClinic.com, ShadesOfCoolLondon.com and Rejuvenated.com


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