Hormone HealthSigns & Symptoms

9 Science Backed Natural Remedies For "Full Nights Sleep" Through Menopause

Bags under our eyes, irritation, low-grade headaches, and a groggy feeling that won’t leave us no matter how many cups of coffee you drain.

Sound familiar?

These are the effects of poor sleep. It occurs because we're missing out on the rest we need. This can have significant consequences on the body.

According to the NIH, sleep helps with the healing and repair of our cells and heart and blood vessel health.

It also boosts neurological functions like memory recall, cognition, and focus. Finally, it can have an effect on weight regulation.

So it's not surprising that sleep deprivation leads to many chronic health issues like weight gain, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and an increased risk for strokes.

Sure, we could plan to hit the sack early and ‘catch up.’ But what if we're experiencing a natural phenomenon that we have no control over?

Enter: Menopause.

This inevitable phase in a woman’s life is about more than just a change in her menstrual cycle.

For many women, it’s the beginning of a nightmare trying to just get a good night’s sleep.

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do — starting with 9 all-natural remedies you can incorporate today.

The best part? 

They are all scientifically proven and work FAST...

Let’s dive right in.

The Scientific Connection Between
Sleep and Menopause

It’s incredibly hard to break out of menopause-related sleep deprivation because our lack of sleep worsens menopausal effects.

So, even if we decide to get a good night’s sleep and do everything you can to stay asleep, the effects of menopause will keep you awake.

Less sleep every night magnifies menopause symptoms.

When a woman hits menopause, she'll experience uncomfortable effects like:

  • Bloating
  • Weight gain
  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Mood-swings, sadness, irritability, and tiredness
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble with memory and concentration
  • Insomnia

Imagine waking up at night because of hot flashes, trying to fall asleep again, and experiencing this for three nights in a row.

By the end of the week, we're likely to experience fatigue related to insomnia, along with menopausal-related fatigue.

Phew.

Menopausal symptoms occur because of changes in hormones. Hormones are these large groups of special cells that ‘signal’ responses in the body.

There are different production sites in the body that create different hormones. Together, they make up the endocrine system.

    When it comes to natural body processes like sleep and menopause, hormones are always at play. And we feel negative effects because of hormone changes and imbalances.

    That’s why a good way to make sure we get a good night's sleep when we're going through menopause is to balance your hormones.

    And, vice versa, the best way to reduce the intensity of menopausal effects is to make sure you sleep all through the night.

    Later in this article, you'll learn more about how you can get back to a restful 7 to 9 hours of sleep, all using natural remedies.

    For now, let’s take a look at the science behind the sleep-menopause cycle and connection:

    • The hormones that regulate sleep include melatonin, human growth hormone (HGH), and cortisol (related to the stress response, and wakefulness/rest cycles).
    • In menopause, your aging ovaries begin to secrete a lower level of reproductive hormones. This is the point where our hormones can become imbalanced.
    • Hormones affected by menopause include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone (these levels are low in women), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH)

    All of these hormones play a role in important body processes.

    For example, we need the right levels of estrogen and progesterone to have a period. But, when we're in menopause, our estrogen levels drop. This leads to symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, which then interrupts sleep.

    But that's not all.

    Estrogen is a protective hormone, and it has an essential role in sleep.

    • When we have optimal estrogen levels, the number of times we wake up through the night and the amount of time you spend awake decreases.

    • Estrogen also helps to regulate body temperature (which would explain why we may swing from hot flashes or chills in one night).

    • Estradiol, which is a form of estrogen, helps the body get restful sleep. When researchers increased estrogen in women experiencing menopause-created depression and sleep disturbance, they found an improvement in sleep quality.

    Another key hormone that falls out of balance during menopause is progesterone. It's important for sleep because it has a sedative and ‘anxiolytic’ or anxiety-reducing effect on the body.

    Women who simply can’t fall asleep in perimenopause and menopause often experience anxious thoughts and a lack of natural tiredness. These are directly associated with drops in progesterone.

    Now, that’s not all.

    Sleep and hormones have something we call a ‘bidirectional relationship.’ This means that both affect and trigger disruptions in the other. In other words, it’s not just declining or increasing hormonal levels that affect sleep.

    Sleep deprivation itself causes hormones to become unbalanced. When we don’t get enough sleep, our body’s ‘circadian rhythm,’ which is your 24-hour internal clock, gets disrupted.

    Melatonin is one of the hormones that become unbalanced when this happens.

    Now, during menopause, hot flashes, chills, and night sweats cause melatonin production to fall out of balance.

    But the link could also rest between melatonin and estrogen.

    ‘Nocturnal melatonin levels decline with age...In women, the decrease in melatonin levels coincides with menopause.

    The ‘cross talk’ between melatonin and estrogen is still being researched but there’s a definite link. 

    Studies show that low levels of melatonin are ‘detrimental to fertility.’ We don’t want too much either, because high levels of melatonin can inhibit or block the ovulation cycle.

    The bottom line is that poor sleep is both a trigger in worsening the effects of menopause and a victim of menopausal symptoms.

    Sounds like a lose-lose, right?

    Well, there’s hope.

    9 Science-Backed Remedies to Help You Sleep Well With Menopause

    #1: Valerian Root Extract

    What it is

    Valerian root extract is a plant that has a mild sedative effect on the body. This makes it a great sleeping and anti-anxiety aid. Medicinal use of valerian root extract dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times.

    Valerian Root Extract

    How it helps

    At the right dosage for your body, valerian root extract helps in a few ways. Researchers think the plant’s chemical components work together to stimulate nerve cells to release gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This is a neurotransmitter that slows down nerve cell activity.

    It could also help by blocking an enzyme that breaks down GABA. This makes GABA more ‘available’ in the body for a longer period of time. Together, these produce calming and mildly sedative effects.

    Another fantastic bit of news for women experiencing menopause symptoms is that valerian root extract can help reduce hot flashes. This means fewer chances that your natural sleep cycle will be disturbed.

    #2: Hops Flower Extract

    What it is

    If you’ve ever heard of someone complaining that their beer tastes ‘too hoppy,’ it’s because brewers frequently use this dried, flowering herb of the hops plant. Hops gives beer that nice, foamy head and keeps it fresher, longer.

    hops flower extract

    For medicinal purposes, however, hops flower extract is commonly used as an aid to treat anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, tension, and menopausal symptoms. It’s the humulene and lupuline in the hops plant that have mild sedative properties.

    How it helps

    A large variety of studies have proven that hops is an effective sleeping aid. In one study, for example, 30 college students were asked to drink hops-infused beers for three weeks.

    Not surprisingly, participants reported a significant improvement in the quality of sleep and the time it took to fall asleep.

    There’s also significant research linking the use of valerian and hops. Studies consistently show that if you take these two natural herbs together, you'll sleep even better. 

    The combination works well because valerian calms the mind while hops binds to melatonin and serotonin receptors.

    This enhances the overall feeling of sleepiness and 'feel good' relaxation.

    #3: Curcuminoids 95% (From high potency 30:1 Turmeric Extract)

    What it is

    Unlike hops, which enhances sleep directly, turmeric works more like valerian. It addresses the symptoms of menopause, rather than sleep quality itself.

    This potent, golden spice has been used in Ayurvedic remedies for hundreds of years and has significant anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial healing properties.

    How it helps

    At its highest potency of 95% curcuminoids, studies show that turmeric can significantly reduce hot flashes in women.

    It can also greatly reduce the joint-related pain and inflammation that often comes with menopause.

    #4: Passionflower Extract

    What it is

    Passionflower extract is a deeply calming herb that’s frequently prescribed for anxiety and sleeplessness.

    This small and beautiful climbing vine is native to southeastern United States and Central and South America. It’s also a common holistic, ‘catch-all’ herb prescribed to relieve the symptoms of menopause in women.

    How it helps

    The effects of ‘passiflora incarnata L’ on insomnia and anxiety are consistent and notable. 

    In one study, administering passionflower extract showed a significant increase in total sleep time. A large number of participants fell into slow wave sleep, which is the deepest and most restful sleep stage.

    In another study, 30 women relying on a 6-week course of passionflower showed a decrease in menopause symptoms, including, ‘insomnia, depression, anger, headache, etc.’

    #5: Rare Zinc Glycinate

    What it is

    Zinc glycinate is simply a compound of zinc and glycine. Combining the two just means our stomachs have an easier time digesting and absorbing all of zinc’s important compounds. 

    Zinc glycinate is routinely used in the treatment of osteoarthritis symptoms like joint swelling, stiffness, and discomfort. Its job is to reduce swelling and provide pain relief.

    How it helps

    Since the risk of osteoarthritis increases with age, postmenopausal women are most at risk for the rapid onset of this issue. That’s because estrogen deficiency leads to OA. So, of course, if you’re taking zinc glycinate, you’ll be able to reduce the pain or discomfort that comes with joint swelling that keeps you awake at night.

    When it comes to sleep, dietary zinc acts as a powerful sleep modulator. 

    Studies are now showing that daily zinc supplementation can improve how quickly you fall asleep and how long you stay asleep.

    #6: Wild Jujube Extract

    What it is

    Also known as the red or Chinese date, jujubes are fruits native to South and Southeast Asia.

    wild jujube extract

    They’re small, round, and have a sweet and chewy texture. However, jujube extract is often used in alternative medicine as a reliable and consistent sleep aid and anxiolytic.

    How it helps

    Jujube’s effects are primarily ‘neuroprotective.’ This means that it has a direct effect on the central nervous system and is often prescribed as a remedy to improve brain function or protect it from age-related decline.

    When it comes to sleep, studies show that jujube increases sleep time and reduces free movement while sleeping.

    #7: Magnolia Bark Extract

    What it is

    For thousands of years, Chinese natives have relied on boiling and extracting the essence of magnolia tree bark for use in everything from treating asthma to depression, anxiety, and inflammation.

    Since these three issues show up through menopause, it’s useful to consider magnolia bark as an aid for these symptoms.

    How it helps

    Magnolia bark extract has been proven to help alleviate the symptoms of early postmenopause and menopausal transition.

    Specifically, studies show that it can improve the incidence of hot flashes as well as act as a mood and sleep regulator.

    #8: Magnesium Citrate

    What it is

    Like zinc glycine, magnesium citrate is a naturally occurring form of magnesium. As a mineral that the body needs, magnesium is connected to muscle and nerve function and regulating blood pressure and blood sugar.

    How it helps

    Recently, researchers have started to look at its effects on sleep. It can improve insomnia, sleep time, and how quickly you fall asleep. 

    Magnesium can help regulate the neurotransmitters involved in sleep to transmit messages about sleepiness and wakefulness in a more effective way.

    In women with menopause, studies have also shown that supplementing with magnesium reduces the frequency of hot flashes.

    So, while other noises may still wake you up, taking magnesium citrate may reduce sleep disturbance caused by hot flashes.

    #9: Glycine (From Hydrolyzed Collagen Peptides)

    What it is

    Let’s break this down into its parts — no pun intended. First off, collagen is a naturally occurring molecule found in skin, bones, tendons, and connective tissues within the body.

    Bovine collagen is simply collagen that comes from 'bovine' or cows.

    Hydrolyzed bovine collagen is simply collagen broken down into smaller proteins. This makes it easier for your body to absorb because collagen is a large molecule.

    How it helps

    Hydrolyzed bovine collagen has an amino acid essential for deep, restorative sleep: glycine.

    It has a role in improving bone health and muscle tone, and menopausal and post-menopausal women are at risk for decline in these areas.

    However, glycine also helps improve sleep quality and reduce feelings of fatigue throughout the day.

    It does this by limiting the amount of neuronal activity and decreasing the body’s core temperature.

    A cooler temperature and relaxed state are what helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. 

    Also, glycine mimics estrogen when it comes to protecting osteo health. That can be a great relief if stiff or swelling joints are keeping you awake.

    The Bottom Line on These 9 Natural Remedies for Menopause

    Plenty of women facing perimenopause and menopause rely on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), hoping to reduce the effects of menopause.

    However, HRT can also decrease natural melatonin secretion. And we know that melatonin is the sleep hormone. This means opting for HRT could affect the way your body produces melatonin (and how much).

    But there’s more than one path up the mountain of getting better sleep.

    You can rely on natural remedies to alleviate the sleep-disruptive effects of menopause.

    Even better, these 9 naturally occurring herbs and compounds can improve both sleep outcomes and the effects of menopause.

    You owe it to yourself and your health to give any of these total-body remedies a try.

    Editors note: Take our scientific 3 min free Perimenopause and Menopause Sleep quiz. You'll get personalised information about your sleep problems, pinpoint the exact root cause ad get scientifically proven solutions to end it for good:

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