July 29, 2011

no tips today, but can you give me one....

okay women
{especially those of you who are my age or older}
what do you use to help you sleep at night 
when menopause raises it's ugly head and steals your slumber
i just read that sleeplessness from menopause could be a major symptom for years
if that's the case
i am so pissed
{as if all the other symptoms weren't enough}
i'm ready to put on my boxing gloves and fight
as long as you can tell what i should be fighting with
thanking you ahead of time for anything you can share with me


  1. Oh, Beth, I'm not sure there is any good news I can give you. I'm on the other side (well almost after 12 years) of the Great M ... and sleep still eludes me 2-3 times a week. Sometimes, just can't fall asleep and up until 4am ... ugh ... and there are weird ads running on TV at that hour.
    Some recommend Vitamin B ... haven't tried it ... maybe should but already take so many damn vitamins it's ridiculous!
    Hope someone here has an answer ... I'll be watching!

  2. Well, I feel that I haven't had a good night's sleep since I was pregnant with my son, 27 years ago. Have you tried Melatonin or Valerian? Valerian never helped me, but Melatonin did for a while. I've also taken Benadryl, which is the "PM" part of Excedrin PM -- instead of taking pain medication when you don't need it, just take an equivalent amount of Benadryl and it helps you fall asleep. Not habit forming, no aftereffects. Now I am finally on medication -- not Ambien or anything that's habit forming, but on a very small dose of Trazodone, which is helping tremendously. It's non-addictive, not habit-forming, and the first night I took it, I slept like a log. The only drawback is that it makes you feel a little groggy in the morning, but I'm going to try taking only half a dose to see if I can improve that. Good luck! I greatly sympathize.

  3. I drink. Lots.

    No seriously...it does go on for awhile (sorry to burst that bubble!) and I sometimes have to try a number of things to get proper sleep. Sometimes it's a bath with lavender scented epsom salts. Or lavender oil rubbed on my temples.

    I hate taking pills -- they make me feel like I'm in a stupour when I get up so I avoid that like the plague. On nights when my skin itches (another lovely gift from menopause) I'll resort to benadryl for the itch and THAT knocks me out but see above -- stupour.

    When all else fails...hot toddy...with PLENTY of alcohol.

    Sleep tight!!

  4. I suffer with insommnia so know all too well the effects of having little to no sleep. I recently found a sleep aid at target (diphenhydramine HCl, it's like tylenol pm but without the painkiller part. It's non habit forming too. Hoping you find something that works for you. Hugs x

  5. that tazo tea we had in florida - with valerian root and rose petals. not 100% dependable, but pretty magic.


    good luck!

  6. soy isoflavins...period

    now I see women's vitamins are including them

    because of surgery almost 15 years ago, I had instant menopause. Did HRT for 18 months- hated it.
    tried soy isoflavins from Costco. Instant relief of all symptoms. Used for about 4 years. Haven't used anything since.

    Also do not sleep in anything but sleeveless and v necked- no round collars (as in t- shirts) and only 100% cotton sheets- no percale at all!

    Also unfortunately sleeplessness is also condition of age. ARGH!!!!

  7. Hi Beth,

    I take black cohosh (all natural) and I swear by it! In the States you can find it in the form of Remifemin

    in most stores, they even have a P.M. one but I find the regular works great and also helps with all the other symptoms.
    I have heard great things about Valerian tea but think it tastes ghastly!
    Good luck!

  8. Sleep???? What's that??? ...

  9. AnonymousJuly 29, 2011

    Sigh. Mine is just body aches that keep me awake. Takes forever to fall asleep and then get woke up because I'm HOT. I need a nap during the daytime. I'm thinking I should just stay up all night and sleep during the DAYTIME!! I try to limit my carbs and any and all sugar after 6pm. Sorry I don't have the answer for you, what works for some of us does not work for all of us unfortunately. Good luck!

  10. oh no, i'll have to bookmark this post as i can't be very far away from needing all this advice...

    i know wine puts me to sleep, so i should probably start stocking up. hee hee!

  11. Taking calcium at night sometimes helps me. Lately I've used Target brand acetaminophen PM. I take one around 9PM and by 11 I'm a sleepy girl, and stay that way until around 6:30 or so. I feel your pain sistah. Hang in there!

    Edit: my word verification was MENPRIC. Wow. I'm lol-ing.

  12. Melatonin worked wonders for me.

    And now, because sleep is so essential I have lorazepam... totally habit forming though, but my doc says, go ahead, be addicted, its the least of your worries for now :)

    I even give the melatonin to my kids, within half an hour of taking it they are yawning and then ready for bed. You can get it in 3mg, 5mg and all the way up to 10. I only need 3 and can get a good nights sleep. Hope you find something that works for you!

  13. perimenopause is rearing its ugly head with me so i don't think i've reached that stage yet. I hear meditation and yoga suggested alot. Right now i'm dealing with breast tenderness if anyone has any tips to help that i'd love to hear........uuughh....

  14. eliminate sugar as much as possible...and all sodas. no, i'm not kidding. and it's not that hard. just that alone has made a world of difference for me.

  15. AnonymousJuly 29, 2011

    This shot is gorgeous!

  16. Same issues. When it's been too many nights of not enough sleep, I take two Benadryl and I sleep through the night. I know that's not the best solution, but it works. I also always have a book to read by the side of the bed. That usually makes me drowsy enough in the first half hour to fall asleep.

  17. Wow. There's a lot of advice in here. Sorry I can't help. My sleep is only affected every now and then, which I know is a blessing so far.

  18. AnonymousJuly 29, 2011

    the ones that have helped me are melatonin, benadryl, hot baths with lavender, and deep breathing & restorative yoga poses... none of these work all the time so i've learned to change up what i do, and feel into what i might need to help me sleep, if i don't have anxiety issues, i usually don't need any of the above.

    if i take melatonin, the key is to take it 2 hours before i want to sleep and i also make sure i do not watch tv or get on the computer or eat those 2 hours before i sleep.

    so nice to hear everyones ideas ~ thanks for the question :)

  19. Hi Beth,
    Are we having fun yet?? HA!
    I have fibromyalgia and with it, pain, so I wake up several times a night, and then decide as long as I'm awake, I'll run to the bathroom. When I get back in bed, for some reason, I always get a hot flash. I've been taking 5-htp every morning, and it really seems to make the sleep I do get, much better. I've tried taking it before bed and find I'm very groggy the next day. Oh, one more thing, I find alcohol makes the hot flashes much worse. Good luck to you, unfortunately, menopause symptoms last for quite a few years.

  20. No caffeine...period! Alcohol doesn't help either, LOL! What's left huh? Just the facts chickie.

  21. I found out quite by accident that Bendryl does a wonderful job of giving me a full night's sleep. I have a horrible time of it fairly often and I only indulge now and then.. when I know I need to have a good night.

  22. AnonymousJuly 29, 2011

    Exercise did if for me. The days I walked with weights, I slept soundly, except for the full moon nights.

  23. I'm there. I take Benadryl (actually I take 1.5 tablets) every night for allergies. It helps a lot. One thing I did notice is, certain things I eat or drink affect how many and how bad my hot flashes are. You need to keep track.
    And you'll have to take all the suggestions here, and figure out what works for you.
    There are things on the market like Estroven and others that you can try also. Not everything works for everyone.......
    Hang in there. I couldn't wait to get to menopause as the alternative was awful for me....

  24. I fight it constantly & has been going on quite a few years. Benedryl when desperate. I can't remember the name but there is a product like Tylenol pm without the Tylenol. It is very frustrating.

  25. Awesome question, Beth!

    Melatonin has been helping fall and stay asleep for a very long time now.
    I also find that walking in the evening helps.
    Reading also relaxes me right before sleeping.
    Good luck ;-)

  26. I've had trouble sleeping before and I went through a number of things to try to resolve it. I've tried Melatonin, allergy meds, etc. The thing I find that works the best is no caffeine after a certain hour (typically 7/8 sometimes earlier), sleep mask and ear plugs. Beautiful dreamy shot.

  27. I see you've gotten the bad news. Soon after I started peri-menopause and hormones, the hormone scare took off. Life on hormones was great, but I opted for night sweats and hot flashes - for years. I'm through the peri and post meno - 63 years old - and finally, I am sleeping pretty well most nights. I still get occasional hot flashes, when something really upsets me and during the night, just whenever. Never figured it out. Just kept on keeping on. Good luck.

  28. Looks like you've gotten lots of good advice. So, I will just add that your blog banner is super cute! Love the balloons! I hope you find something that works for you, sweetie!

  29. I can't help you, but I can sympathize. I've had horrible PMS for most of my life, before and after kids (even though they all told me it would go away after.) Is this really it? Adolescence, PMS and then I'm heading right into menopause? I have to laugh about it because it really does seem like a sick cosmic joke.
    Found you via Wonderwanderdiscover...
    warmly and best of luck--looks like you're in good hands with your comments...

  30. Beats me, Beth. I haven't had more than ONE good night of sleep this whole summer....and have been lacking good sleep for two years now. But, on a good note, I was getting 12-25 hot flashes per day, and this summer, I haven't had even one...sh.

  31. I am an OLD hand at this: buy cotton muscle shirts (lightweight), give up coffee (hard but better for your bones and the caffeine doesn't help sleep), drink Camomile Tea a couple hours before bed, make the room as dark and cool as possible, and if all else fails, take Benedryl which my (Integrative) MD says isn't habit forming and has no side effects except drowsiness. Also - best to have a sense of humor.

  32. I am on the other side of it too, but still occasionally have a sleepless night. Sometimes I get up and go online or read for an hour or so, then try again. If I start having more than one or two nights I take Melatonin before I go to bed. It is a natural product and usually knocks the edge off. There is also Calms another natural product. Tazo tea, Calm, sometimes helps. Good luck, it isn't fun.

  33. AMBIEN! We call it Prince Ambien to be sure. It is non-addictive in the sense, you can quit taking it and your body won't "crave" it. Xanax on the other hand is addictive. If it is the only thing that works so be it but I don't like to have my body "crave" something.
    Yes, it can effect how your body "learns" to go to sleep but I think most of these things can: even melatonin.
    I took Ambien for YEARS before I got pregnant. Quit taking it; had no side effects other than not getting the deep sleep I was used to. But after the baby, I was able to go to sleep without anything.... until my life fell apart.... long live Prince Ambien :)

  34. I take Nutrasleep from Source Naturals about an hour before I'm ready to go to sleep. Works like a charm.

  35. I don't have any advice to give you but I hope you sleep well tonight.
    Sending you sleepy happy thoughts :)

  36. Menopause is many years in my past now thank goodness. The night sweats were horrible. I would use Tylenol some nights. And I needed to go to bed tired, physically tired. So I would clean house or take a long walk in the evening. I needed to be dressed in comfy night clothes, I like soft cotton, light weight long tee shirts. I was shocked to find out how many years it was going to be before I would be over menopause. I wish you well.

  37. I am so glad I read your blog today. I am just beginning this wonderful M thing. I didn't sleep at all last night...hot flashes have taken over. I was so happy to read all of the comments above. Many things to try.

  38. Hey Beth, I'm finally past the dozen years of this, some of them spent in Florida!! not much fun at all. I got hooked on having a small fan right at my bedside and it helped so much.
    Best of luck, sweetie.

  39. I love the suggestion "Richard" gave about reading his post about the Amish! Did you try that one?? ;-)

  40. Check out a product at your drug store (it's over the counter, non-prescription). It's called "Estroven". It's all natural. Contains red-clover, and a few other herbs. You take it at bedtime and it helps you to relax, fights night sweats, and hot-flashes... It's what I use...and it WORKS!___=^..^=___Kittie

  41. I don't want to even think about it. Let's see, a husband who already gets up 2-3 x night, what's the point of ever sleeping. I have a list of night time projects or a magazine to read. Debi

  42. The only thing that has ever helped me is to get in a walk most every single day. Sometimes 1 mile sometimes 3, but I sure can tell a difference when I don't. My hot flashes have virtually disappeared. Good luck to you, I do remember it being a rough patch! ~Lili

  43. After reading these 41 comments, I now have hot flashes! My good thoughts to all you women, first child birth, then this.

  44. OK Mark before me..now that is funny!
    Coming from a lifetime insomniac who has tried it all from drugs to massage, tea to sex, exercise to aromatherapy, done it all, this is my best advice...
    ~ELIMINATE and LET GO of all stress~. STOP IT. You can't fix it, teach it, make it right, alter it, control it...etc....just POOF...let it go. I know I know Beth...you want to save the World, edit the perfect photo, smile the prettiest smile, and blog on time (that's what we all love about you) but we also love all the rest of you too! So get out of your own way...make YOUrself happy. ~LET GO~ Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Taken xoxoxo

  45. When I had that full hysterectomy at 37 I fell flat-faced into menopause. The doc put me on a hormone patch which took all the symptoms away. For now.....

  46. i didn't read all the comments Beth.... but i have you tried melatonin.

    i've been taking it every night for YEARS. it shuts my brain off so I can sleep. :) all natural... good stuff.

    my SIL swears by tylenol pm though. :)

    be well....

  47. Beth, with me having Severe Cataplexy AND a variant of Narcolepsy, I take tryptophan at night, it is the same stuff that is in poultry that they say causes drowsiness, it helps me most of the time. ....I had tried Melatonin too but that just made me wired for sound...maybe a reaction to other meds....good luck, I know how hard it can be to not get your rest. hope all gets better soon.

  48. Wow Beth- Thanks for this post- LOTS of good ideas! That and the hot flashes are the worst! Have you had those yet? They are fun especially coupled with the no sleeping...Anyway- I try not to drink pop or caffeine in the evenning at all, and to stay away from the computer after about 8. Sometimes this helps- sometimes not. My friends and I formed the 3:00 Club for all us Girls who tend to wake up then or be awake- we are always looking for new members... :)

  49. You have many suggestions and I missed this post...still here goes.

    I had more issues with sleep before menopause. I did Valerian Root which helped greatly. On nights I had to get my rest I did take 1 pill of Simply Sleep (makers of Tylonel PM) and then I at least felt caught up. To deal with night sweats I had a small glass of Soy Milk before bed. I do think that helped. I started using Progestrone cream (Emerita brand twice a day)...added St. John's Wort for moods and that was really a big help!

    Now I am two years into menopause (yeah no more tampons!) and somehow my normal sleep cycle came back. I rarely every have insomnia at all now. No more tossing and turning...blessed sleep returned. I still use the Emerita Cream and take St. John's Wort...

    hope you have some success with all the ideas that came your way....

  50. I have to say that lack of sleep has never been a problem I have had with menopause....If I bring a book to bed I am sure to fall aseep quicker than I want to....a glass of wine in the evening never hurt though!

  51. oh my, this is a tough one.

    i drink chamomile tea every night before bed, (and always in my head pronounce it sham-o-me-lee like Ray in Everybody Loves Raymond).

    and when i am running regularly, i sleep much better at night.

    a glass of wine might help, but one sip too many and then it has the opposite effect and disrupts your sleep.

    when none of those work, i pretend that being up in the middle of the night is what all crazy artist writers do.

  52. I think women are amazing. Look at all of this wisdom, sharing, understanding, compassion and strength.
    It does suck that we have to experience all of these sucky side effects of our awesomeness. But at least we are in this all together.
    I hope you find the relief that works for you soon, beautiful, powerful one !
    Love ya !

  53. Your head is probably swimming with advice now, but I'll add my two cents. I've just crossed over to the big M and rarely had problems sleeping through the 4 years or so of PeriM. I think it's because I make sure I exercise every day - cardio and weights and stretching, most days, but at least a good walk. Exercise heads off a lot of the M issues, including stress! I also have a glass of red wine almost every night - not sure if that helps, but it doesn't seem to hurt! I also cut out added sugar and salt and white flour and generally started eating nutritionally for a change! Good luck!!

  54. Well, I'm still quite a ways off from menopause, but I've always been a terrible sleeper. I use 5-HTP, Passionflower, and chamomile, and sometimes if the insomnia is really bad, I take 2 Extra Strength Tylenol PM. I hope somewhere in all these comments, you find something that will work for you.


**I love reading the comments you leave, as they make me feel like we're sitting in my kitchen, having a cup of tea, discussing life and wondering where all the time has gone ...beth