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Do you have trouble falling asleep, interrupted sleep, and/or wake in the morning feeling tired instead of refueled?  These issues can go hand-in-hand with the menopausal years and beyond.  Lack of enough REM sleep, which restores and rejuvenates us, can reduce testosterone and other hormone levels.

New research published in The European Heart Journal in 2013 also links insomnia with increased risk of heart disease.  The study of 54,279 Norwegian adults found subjects with one symptom of insomnia had a 17% increased risk of heart disease.  Two symptoms correlated with a 92% increase.  Subjects with three symptoms of insomnia had a 353% increased risk of heart disease.  The results are particularly significant for women because sleep problems put us at higher risk for cardiovascular issues than men.

How much you sleep and when you sleep affects the adrenals and the rest and repair action of your body.    Melatonin, “the sleep hormone,” is just one non-prescription option, and works best when sleeping in a pitch-black room.

Here are some other tips for getting a sound night’s sleep:

Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time each morning. Keep in mind, sticking to the same bedtime both weekdays and weekends is important when choosing a sleep and wake time.

Avoid taking late afternoon or evening naps. Napping can actually worsen insomnia, if taking a nap is a must – limit it to 30 minutes in the early afternoon.

Don’t go to bed hungry or overfull. The discomfort caused by either one may leave you with trouble falling asleep.

Create a bedtime routine. Just like babies start to yawn as their bedtime routine progresses so too does our adult brains recognize time to sleep.