The concept of going through the menopause is bad enough but unfortunately, the reality can sometimes be worse. Hot flushes, mood swings and the main symptom to affect a lot of women, is disturbed sleep and in some cases, total insomnia.
Studies show, such as ones reported by The Sleep Doctor, that a lack of sleep can cause weight gain for more than one reason. The Sleep Doctor’s article suggests that in just one week of only getting 5 hours sleep a night, you could gain up to 2lbs, but it isn’t just the actual lack of sleep that causes the pounds to pile on.
We’re all familiar with the fact that when you’ve not slept well, you automatically tend to crave food that isn’t as healthy for you as your normal diet. We crave food with high fat, salt and sugar content and tend to opt for more carbohydrate-rich foods, often in the belief that these foods will give us energy.
Despite the fact most of us know a healthy diet with plenty of protein, fibre and vitamins is better for providing slow releasing energy which will actually make us feel more awake, we still gravitate towards the unhealthy foods, hence we find a lack of sleep leads to weight gain.
The National Sleep Foundation reported that around 61% of women going through the menopause reported experiencing symptoms of insomnia, so it really is no surprise that so many women struggle with the side effects of not sleeping properly.
Although weight gain is one of the most frustrating parts of not sleeping well, there’s also a whole host of other symptoms and they include:
- Short temper
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and depression
- Loss of libido
- Problems with memory and concentration
When you look into what both the menopause and a lack of sleep have in common, it’s clear to see that the way in which the menopause affects your sleep is definitely responsible for a range of the other symptoms you then experience.
Unfortunately, there’s not an awful lot of tried and tested effective methods of dealing with insomnia and disturbed sleep caused by the menopause. The usual techniques are always worth trying such as lavender scented products on your pillow and in your bedroom, listening to white noise or relaxing music when trying to sleep and reduced screen time before bed.
Although you can’t necessarily control your sleeping pattern, you can control the weight gain.
The menopause itself does cause an element of weight gain and the actual lack of sleep can cause you to add on a couple of pounds but a lot of weight gain caused by not sleeping properly is in your hands to control, such as the way your diet is affected.
Our top tip for battling weight gain caused by disturbed sleep, brought on by the menopause, is to continually remind yourself that an unhealthy diet will not provide you with the energy you need to function normally after a bad night’s sleep.
As much as a greasy breakfast or chocolate bar mid-morning might feel like the energy boost you need, becoming educated on the fact that processed carbohydrates that are high in fat, sugar and salt cause spikes in our blood sugar, providing a short and temporary energy release, so although we may feel much more awake after eating these foods, that energy will soon drop off.
Forcing yourself to continue with a balanced, healthy and nutritious diet, even after getting minimal sleep will not only help you reduce the chances of gaining unnecessary weight during the menopause but will actually help you function better whilst getting less sleep as your food will provide you with slow releasing, longer lasting energy to keep you going all day.
However, if diet alone isn’t helping keep menopausal weight gain at bay, Bodyline Clinic is here to help. One of the largest portions of our customer base is women going through the menopause, so we’re highly experienced in prescribing effective weight loss products that can safely be used during the menopause. As well as guiding individuals on a healthy diet and good exercise regime. So, if you need some support keeping yourself fit, healthy and confident during the menopause, contact your local Bodyline clinic today.