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Menopause is a common culprit when it comes to disturbed sleep, often leaving women wide awake in the early hours and completely unable to drift off again. We've put together our top tips for improving your quality of sleep - and reducing the time spent staring at the ceiling in the dead of night...
Easier said than done, we know. If you suffer from night sweats, something to consider is a cooling gel pad for your bed. They work by directing heat away from the body and, as a bonus, soothe aches and pains too. Try this one from StressNoMore.com at £9.99 or a Gel'O Cool Pillow Mat, £24 from Amazon.
It also goes without saying that turning the heating down as low as you can stand it during the night, assuming you don't already, should help.
Do you use your phone just before bed? Watch TV? Browse
Gransnet the web on your laptop? Using electrical devices within an hour of going to bed means that you're absorbing extra blue light - which disturbs your circadian rhythm, in turn disturbing your sleep. If you don't want to forgo your favourite programme before bed (and don't mind looking like a bit of a chump for an hour) invest in a pair of blue light-blocking goggles, like these Skyper Safety Glasses, £10.11, Amazon.
Whether your thing is walking, swimming or a maybe a gentle exercise DVD, in order to get a good night's sleep, it's important to stay active during the day. Getting half an hour's exercise four times a week should help you settle in for a better night's rest - provided you finish exercising 2-3 hours before you actually hit the hay.
Tracking your sleep means that you can monitor how many hours of deep sleep you get per night, then when you've figured out how much deep sleep you need to feel refreshed, you can find out how many hours of sleep in total you need in order to hit that optimum number. The Sleep Cycle app not only monitors your sleep, but wakes you up gently during a period of shallow sleep. Set your alarm time and you'll be woken up to half an hour before it.
Paul McKenna's apps are both popular and are reported to be very good. Claiming to reprogramme your brain for sleep, at only a fiver it's certainly a cheaper option than hypnotherapy that doesn't compromise on efficacy.
Natural sleep remedies are important for those who prefer not to use medication as a sleep aid. Amid rave reviews, it appears that this product, as the name suggests, does actually work. Spritz all over your pillow before bed and let it soothe you to sleep. If you wake up during the night and find the scent has worn off, give it another spray.
The Body Shop's range includes a pillow spray, bath float, shower cream, moisturiser and essential oil. It has a lovely woody smell and, again, is reported to help to relax enough to send you off into a deep sleep.
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