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Seeking Sleep Advice!


I'm in my 50's and as I've gotten older, I've found it increasingly hard to get a good night's sleep. Not only does it take me a long time to finally fall asleep, but I'll often wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and then I'll lie awake at night for hours before I'm able to drift off. It wasn't until I hit my 50's that this became a problem for me. Can anyone else relate? Has anything worked for any of you? thank you!



Drink a small glass of cold  tart cherry juice before bedtime. You’ll be out all night. It has tryptophan in it.

Also read Next Level by Stacy Sims. It has a lot of great information in it to help with all the changes from menopause. She also has a podcast Hit Play Not Pause.

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I second the tart cherry juice @HeatherM!! I've been drinking it and it really improves my quality of sleep. I feel like I'm sleeping deeper and waking up more refreshed. You don't even need to drink a lot @lucydogmom 


Yes, the tart juice can help!


Here’s some other ideas that might help:


-If you’re caffeine drinker, you can try cutting back on the caffeine. If you're drinking coffee, tea, or soda throughout the day, cut back or eliminate them altogether in the hours leading up to bedtime.


-Try to avoid working or using electronic devices in bed. This can help your brain wind down and prepare for sleep.


If you’re having trouble falling back to sleep, get out of bed and do something else. Read a book, take a bath, or listen to calming music. Then, when you're feeling sleepy, head back to bed.


Another thing to do is talk to your doctor. Your  doctor can run tests and/or refer you to a sleep specialist. Finding the root problem will help determine what is causing you to struggle with falling back to sleep and getting a good night’s rest.


There are so many different things that can cause us to struggle with sleep. It’s always good to get to the root of our sleep struggles. 🙂

These are excellent. I have been to a sleep specialist lately who has told me no caffeine after 1pm (I do none after 2pm lol), no electronic devices looked at when I go to bed (blue light doesn't mean it's okay), yes if you can't sleep get up and do something a bit then try to go back to sleep in a bit, when I wake up in the morning use a light box or natural light or something half an hour with eyes open to wake up and no lights on in my bedroom other than a night light when I sleep. But I am also now using a medication per my psychiatrist to help. (I have tried many that are not strong, and nothing worked till this one.) Let me know if you'd like the name.


I agree with trying all the things shared. Keep in mind that we are bio-individuals and that some of these may work and others not - but keep trying for your perfect mix.


I agree with checking with your doctor and getting your labs done. Thyroid issues and other hormonal changes can be part of it. Discuss HRT to see if it’s for you, for instance. If you choose non-hormonal options with or instead of those listed are terrific. There is a book I recommend by Dr. Matt Walker, “Why We Sleep” which helps illuminate this shared issue with others, not just those in menopause - but that often complicates it for us.


I will share what I have learned, but again this is MY protocol and your journey will be to discover yours.


~ Get light first thing in the morning. It sets your circadian rhythm and that is critical for letting your body it’s time to wake up, it’s time to go to sleep.

~Get light throughout the day on your eyes to augment above.

~If you ingest caffeine, wait an hour - let your natural cortisone do it’s job first to wake you up. This was a game changer for me. I no longer get the 3pm slump. Try to keep caffeine use to early in the day if you consume it. For some of us it has a long half life.

~Try to stop eating, drinking (esp alcohol which disrupts deep sleep) several hours before bed time. 

~Keep your bedroom dark, no TV and keep it cool - about 67 degrees I even use a cooling device on my mattress. Best. Gift. Ever.

~Reduce screen time as the evening progresses - no screen or overhead light if you can for hour before bed.

~Meditate or do some breath work before bedtime

~Supplementation is an option if cherry juice and other tryptophan foods don’t do it. There is a protocol by Dr. Andrew Huberman at which I found helpful. Dr. Huberman is also an amazing resource for this topic. Fan girl here. He has a podcast.


I am 61 and use an Oura ring so I track my sleep. Routinely get 7-8 hours and 2-2.5 of REM and Deep Sleep, which is critical for brain and body health, dialing in my protocol. Start with one habit, build on it. 


Oh…with the doc - rule out sleep apnea too. My husband has this and had to be corrected.


Best of luck and sweet dreams

What type of cooling device do you have for your mattress? I would love to know more, type/brand? 


Magnesium supplements before bed are also known to be helpful and a couple of my friends swear by it (one took ambien and converted to the magnesium). My problem is falling asleep, but once do I usually sleep very soundly (have a circadian rhythm disorder which is hard to treat and rarely fall asleep before 2am or after, even with meds to help).. Haven’t heard of the tart cherry juice but then couldn’t you also take tryptophan since that’s the ‘active ingredient’?


I’m a psychologist and the most effective treatment for insomnia is Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Insomnia (CBT-I).  


Sleeping in a cooler room can help, the less light and distractions- the better! Don’t take melatonin too often as your body can begin to feel dependent on it and start to produce less naturally. Don’t get on your bed unless it’s to sleep. It wasn’t until I started to do work and play on my phone on my bed that I had the most trouble falling asleep. I wish you the best!


I have had great luck with sleep by taking 5 grams of melatonin and a fan


I hear about this a lot from my clients and I actually highly recommend Melt Method. It has helped me to sleep better and can tell when I'm not doing it regularly because my sleep suffers. It uses a soft roller and certain moves to do a couple of hours before bed. It has also helped with waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Sue Hitzman (creator of melt), literally talks about this a lot because so many people suffer from this! I wasn't a believer till I tried this out as a last resort for an injury I didn't want to have to surgery on and now I teach it because I was so shocked. 

You can read more about it here if needed or if you have more questions definitely reach out!


I totally relate to this! I tried to read through others’ responses so as not to repeat things that have already been suggested, and I saw that magnesium was mentioned—this has been enormously helpful for me. In particular, taking magnesium glycinate (magnesium citrate is what I find most often in stores, but there are multiple types and this is the one that I have found to be most relaxing. Also, magnesium can stimulate bowel activity, and the glycinate seems to be much gentler.) I converted to magnesium from melatonin, which gave me kind of a groggy hangover the next morning and had some other risks that I see have been mentioned already. It looks like this community has great tips on general sleep hygiene! Hopefully you will find the things that work for you.

Additionally, if you are open to Chinese medicine, you may want to try acupuncture or find an herbalist who can work with you. In the TCM perspective, the organs of the body rev up at certain times of day. When they are overly active, this can wake you in the night. If you find that you awaken at the same time each night (or within the same 2-hour window), then you may find it useful to try approaching your sleep from this angle. I always wake up at 3am and am wide awake until 5am. I learned that this is the window for the lungs, which are associated with grief. I have undergone a series of losses over the years, and learning about this really resonated with me. It gave me another route to addressing the issue—rather than simply trying to tackle sleep, I also tried to work with my grief during the waking hours. I do believe that this has ameliorated the issue considerably over time. 

In my breathwork classes, I try to teach ways of using the breath to work with emotions. One that is helpful for grief (but also for sleep, if grief is not your issue) is simply to elongate your exhales. When you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, you could try utilizing this easy technique. It can be great when paired with legs up the wall and a pillow under the hips, which facilitates an easier exhale, so if you’ve got a headboard or a wall next to your bed, you could try that without having to get up. Although I did also see some advice about getting up and doing something else instead of lying in bed feeling frustrated, and that’s great advice! If you start to associate that frustration with being in bed, it’ll exacerbate the problem over time. I used to get up and read in the living room when this problem was at its worst.


Whatever you choose to do, I hope you find the things that really work for you. Not being able to sleep makes the rest of life so difficult! Wishing you all the best 💜