So I went to the doctors for some tablets to help me sleep.  Hello menopause, bye bye sleep.  Not a decision I took lightly – but going to bed has become an ordeal and sleep deprivation and the menopause are turning me into a wild animal.  And though wine helps… it’s not ideal is it?  Especially when you’re doing Atkins and trying to get healthy.  So the doc gives me tablets and I look up the side effects and those are in short, significant weight gain and carb-craving.  The bottle remains unopened.  But, moaning about this online, I was given some tips & thought I’d pass them on.  I don’t have a big problem falling to sleep, it’s staying asleep that’s the difficulty.  One thing that always works for me is lying on your back and stretching your toes, then stretch your feet and stretch every muscle up your body until you get to the pelvic floor ones (hate doing those).  Then do your fingers, arms, bottom, stomach, neck, stretch your mouth as far as you can, even eyebrows – the lot.  Within 10 minutes I’ve usually nodded off.  So that’s my tip… here are more from readers.  Any medications listed – please check out thoroughly!  I haven’t tried these but others have and recommend.  Ideally the more natural the better – but if you are anything like me, if you get ONE good night’s sleep on something that isn’t made of dandelions, that can carry you through for a bit.  Below – tips flooding in (sorry) for ladies BY ladies who have found things that work. Hope there is something on here to steer you calmly through the strange waters of the M word.

Tips about before bedtime.  Keep your bedroom for sleep and sex (!)  Sex does trigger off sleep hormones (usually during it if he’s crap!).  Listening to some music via headphones or reading or an audio book relaxes the mind.

Have a bath an hour before bedtime.  Not too hot.

For a catnap those Paul McKenna hypnosis tapes will send you off. I haven’t tried this particular one, but I have tried his other ‘trance’ ones and I do get a mini sleep during the day at my desk.

‘Get some 100 % pure organic lavender essential oil ladies and put ONE drop on a tissue in your pillow case or under your pillow. No side effects except a good night’s sleep. (Too much has the opposite effect). Neal’s Yard is a good and reliable brand.’

Marks and Spencers Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. 

Try the app called HEADSPACE to help you clear your head.

Piriton – the anti-histamines that make you drowsy  (for the odd occasion).  Or cheaper still – Tesco’s own brand hay fever tablets which are just the same but without the expensive branded name.

Sleep Gummies from Nature’s Bounty.

Melatonin tablets. Over the counter.

A snug-fitting sleep mask (good if you can sleep on your back).

Ladycare Magnet. Some people rubbish this stone you wear in your pants but a friend of mine said it reduced her hot flashes from 40 to 2.  She is a cancer sufferer and went through the menopause early so HRT was out and she absolutely swears by it.  Advice is that it doesn’t work for everyone, so try and source the cheapest you can find just in case.

Wellsprings sleep capsules and Menopause relief.

I’ve heard this Sleep Spray from LUSH is amazing and the best of all the sprays.  Novelist Jane Fallon’s tip.

This has made a big difference to me – the hot flushes have stopped.  It’s an American maca hormone balancing supplement called Femmenessence and it’s made a big difference, I’m sleeping through the night again and hot flushes have stopped. There are two types, one for peri menopause and one for post menopause, you can get them here in the UK…Maryon Stewart has some good advice she has a FB support group too.’

If any of these work especially well for you or you have any other ideas, especially about things for the Menopause you have found particularly helpful – please let me know!  I’m avoiding the HRT route like the plague.