Weekly Hot Topic: Goodbye, Insomnia. Hello, Dr. Sheets.

Updated: Jul 9


Image via Giphy

GOODBYE INSOMNIA. HELLO, DR. SHEETS.


Growing up, our mother had a term for the miracle worker who showed up at night with her magical way of making everything better: Dr. Sheets, aka a good night's sleep.

Not only is sleep integral to our emotional, physical and mental health, it's a powerful immune strengthener – something we could all use right now.

Alas, Dr. Sheets disappears from a woman's life just when she needs it most: fluctuating hormones during menopause disrupt most women's sleep cycle for the worse, with roughly 60% of post-menopausal women reporting insomnia. Add the high intensity COVID-19 stress of late, it's no wonder women across the country are lying awake in bed for hours on end (including yours truly). Read on to understand the biology behind four important contributors to your sleep quality & actionable tips to invite Dr. Sheets back into your life.

Photo credit: Mark Chaves

Thermoregulation, i.e. body temperature


Dropping body temperature (typically 1-2 degrees) is one evening cue your body sends to your internal clock that it’s time to sleep. 

  • Take a quick shower or bath within one hour of bedtime to warm your body up (and eventually cool down).

  • Set your bedroom temperature to ~62 degrees – the optimal temperature according to sleep scientists.


Cortisol & stress

Chronic under-sleeping raises cortisol levels (a stress-hormone), which in turn causes us to wake up more often. It's a vicious circle of fight or flight unless we cultivate stress management tools.


Declining estrogen

With 100 estrogen receptors in our body, declining estrogen levels during menopause cause everything from the dreaded night sweats to snoring. Yes, snoring.





Device interference 

While our devices serve as an incredible tool of connectivity & entertainment during isolation, they emit blue light which impact's our body's melatonin production & circadian rhythms, potentially by hours. 


WHAT ELSE WE'RE READING


KEEP CALM AND ELEKTRA ON...



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Note: this blog post was first published on April 2, 2020 at the height of New York City's COVID-19 pandemic. We have since updated the post by moving the following message to the end; although we are now 3+ months into the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Elektra Team continues to thank the brave men and women who are keeping us healthy, safe and alive.


A note before we dive in. ** Thank you. ** Thank you to the men and women continuing to show up for work every day to keep our food on the table, packages on our doorsteps, public transport running, and more. You are heroes.

Special thanks to the healthcare workers who put the public's needs above their own.

While you are serving on the frontlines, we promise to do what we can to keep our country & communities healthy while you're fighting the good fight, starting with free remote OB/GYN care to any woman in need. [Note: Elektra retired our free remote care offering in June 2020; however, if you are in need of assistance, please reach out to hello@elektrahealth.com and our clinical team will do what we can to assist you.]


Post updated: July 9, 2020


Elektra Health is on a mission to smash the menopause taboo. Our platform provides world-class virtual menopause care, evidence-based information, and a supportive community of peers. Because women deserve better.


Sign up for the Elektra Health Digest: www.elektrahealth.com.


"So many women I’ve talked to see menopause as an ending. But I’ve discovered this is your moment to reinvent yourself after years of focusing on the needs of everyone else. It’s your opportunity to get clear about what matters to you and then to pursue that with all of your energy, time and talent."

-Oprah Winfrey

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