Overlooking Sleep Problems In Women’s 30s to 50s #AMCoffee

Hormones & Woman’s Sleep
Reminders that Make A Difference

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hormones, sleep habits, menopause, peri-menopause, am coffee, amcoffee, health, damiva

We have been amazingly fortunate to have with us one of the best women in the area of women’s health Chia Chia Sun (pronounced chah-chah-sun), the Founder of Damiva, who has been trained as a geneticist and worked in the health industry with some of the best professionals.

Chia Chia is a passionate supporter of woman’s well-being. She has been especially interested in peri- and menopause and how these conditions affect women in their lives.

We have already had an informative AM Coffee dedicated to hormones and their role in the peri- and menopausal women. Today, Chia Chia will lead us into the conversation that covers our sleep and how it is affected by our hormonal fluctuation and our mood.

For proper sleep hygiene and insomnia problems, please do consult a sleep expert and your physician.

Do you remember sleeping like a baby in your teens? When you could snooze until noon and someone had to bang on your door to get up. There are many factors that contribute to poorer sleep as we age, a key one being our hormonal cycles.

For the past few years, Chia Chia has dedicated her time and efforts to formulate personal care, intimate care line of products that allow each woman to feel comfortable and healthy inside her body as she crosses that 40’s line. Some amazing insights and research Chia Chia has dug out from her own personal journey.

Chia Chia will be available to us all to ask questions during today’s AM Coffee. Get ready to ask and learn from her!

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This week in celebration of National Women’s Health Week, our friends at Damiva want to tell you all about what to expect and how to live happier and healthier lives after age 40. We’re going to explore many women’s health topics every day from Monday to Friday during our morning coffee chat. Chia Chia Sun, CEO of Damiva, wants to give you the real-life letter that you wish your mother had given you; along with the healthy dose of love that we expect from Mom.

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Comments

  1. Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

    AM COFFEE – Sign In! HELLO, Everyone!

    Today, Chia Chia Sun will take us on a new expedition, so to say. We will explore our hormonal cycles and how they affect our sleep in general.

    As woman’s body is so complex and unique in every case, we need to make it a priority and a habit to be a student for the rest of our lives.

    Learning is one of our protection policies in life. The joy can arise from our state of curiosity. We learn and make ourselves more powerful, stronger, and smarter.

    So happy to see you today here! Come over when you can. AM Coffee is for early birds and not-so, too! It is open all-day-long, as we do have different schedules we live with.

    Stay with us every morning, win prizes, but mostly, make awesome friends!

    Subscribe HERE to AMCoffe Daily.

    sign in am coffee, amcoffee, damiva

    • wendi watson says:

      Good Morning!!! I made it!!! It has been a rough couple days!!

      • Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

        Wendi,
        So great to see and feel your presence here!
        Sending my love and energy to your soul. I feel your pain.
        We are embracing you with love and compassion, our friend.

      • Hi Wendi and welcome! I hope your next few days are better!!

    • Hi! How do I sign in?

    • Thank you again for being with us!! I know i have gained some great knowledge from my #AMCoffee Group!!! And Laura works so hard to get us great information!!

    • Amanda Alvarado says:

      Good morning! I am ready for a nap and it’s not even 10!

      • We have a natural cortisol spike in the first hour after wakening. Then our cortisol goes down and we feel tired again. This “spiking” feels worse if we are stressed because our cortisol levels will fluctuate up and down more.

        I’m having that too this morning 🙂 because I have a big talk this evening so my hormones are on a bender today.

        • Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

          This is something I was NOT aware of at all, Chia Chia!
          CORTISOL is at its high in the very first hours after we wake up, wow, one more thing to work with and use it to our advantage.
          I, too, now can explain some things happening in my body.

        • Interested in what cortisol is.

          • Cortisol is our stress hormone. It kicks our bodies into gear to react, whether it’s fight or flight. Our adrenal glands produce cortisol.

          • Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

            Barbara,
            Cortisol, if it fluctuates in our blood stream all the time, can easily produce unwelcome side effects like:
            – Frequent munches, as we do start crave certain foods
            – Headaches
            And eventually can result in weight gain.

    • Good morning , I am really interested in todays subject.

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      Good morning all. This is a great conversation. It is so true that we are always learning because we are always changing in different ways no matter our age..

  2. Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

    amcoffee

    1. Hormonal cycles contribute to sleep loss

    Some women may experience problems sleeping in the 3 to 5 days leading up to the first day of your period. This is because our sex hormones (progesterone and estrogen) are both dropping.

    In particular, progesterone has a sedative-like effect and contributes to deep sleep especially during ovulation when the hormone levels are high.

    Women on birth control (in which there is no ovulation) show fewer cycles of deep sleep – WOW, that is not good!

    hormones, sleep habits, menopause, peri-menopause, am coffee, amcoffee, health, damiva

    • Thanks for having me back Laura! Sleeping is very important for me; I think it’s a primary reason why I can get through gruelling days. So, I rely on the ability to get a lot of good sleep!

    • wendi watson says:

      I am so that person!!!! No sleep whatsoever during that time and… my ears ring its like i drank a full cup of caffeine !!! I always wondered if I was the only one that had to deal with it

    • I thought I’d share an interesting fact: there was a recent clinical trial for birth control for men. However, it was discontinued because men couldn’t handle the side effects of bloating, depression and anxiety that the hormones were causing them.

      Scientifically, it’s just as easy for men to use hormonal birth control as women.

    • Amanda Alvarado says:

      To this day, I am so glad I couldn’t tolerate birth control! Like I’ve said in previous conversations, I have no problems sleeping – it’s getting enough sleep that I have issues with!

      • Hi Amanda,Are you waking up several times at night? Or are you waking up earlier? Is someone waking you up?

        • Amanda Alvarado says:

          Nope to all of those – I go to bed late and have to be up early. I try to get everything done earlier so that I can go to sleep earlier but it never seems to work! It’s all on me. When school is in, I get maybe 6 hours of sleep a night if I am lucky. The only time I may wake up during the night is if my bladder is full and wakes me up! I’ve always been a deep sleeper other than when my kids were newborns and even then my hubby would wake up first and usually bring me the baby!

          • Ok, I get it. I went through that too in my 30s with two young children. If it’s not interfering with your daily life, then it’s a phase of life I think. I think where it starts to have to change is if / when women are in their late 30s – that level of activity is not sustainable and some things have to change so that you can go to bed at 10 am instead of midnight.

            If you’re in your 40s and you’re only getting 6 hours of sleep due to all the work you have to do, your hormones will start letting you down tremendously and it’s going to be a lot more difficult.

            It’s hard to retrain ourselves (and others) not to take on as much. It’s very hard but we have to do it starting in our late 30s and early 40s. By the time we hit our mid to late 40s, it’s starts to become urgent because our hormones are declining at a pretty fast rate.

            • Amanda Alvarado says:

              I’m in my early 40s. I usually “catch up” on sleep over the weekend and will take naps BUT since I sleep so heavy, my “naps” are usually 2-3 hours! I’ve never been able to “power nap” except when I was pregnant.

        • well lately i have been getting good sleep and taking a day map it is wonderful

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      Even though I don’t have my periods because of the Novasure I still get the effects from have my cycle.

  3. Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

    am coffee

    2. We lose progesterone and estrogen, contributing to poorer sleep

    Both sex hormones help with sleep and progesterone in particular.

    We start to lose progesterone at about age 35 and start to have trouble falling asleep.

    Also around this age, our estrogen also fluctuates tremendously, both increasing and decreasing. This estrogen fluctuation, combined with melatonin decline, impairs our ability to stay asleep.

    hormones, sleep habits, menopause, peri-menopause, am coffee, amcoffee, health, damiva

    • I have had troubles with sleeping and didn’t know if using melatonin for short term is okay?

      • Melatonin is usually fine but as with anything, you might want to try a lower dose, such as 0.1 to 1 mg. Studies show that the typical 3 mg supplement you find in the drugstore may be much too high.

        Also, melatonin typically helps younger women but studies show that it may not be effective in older women.

        In my 30s, I used to use melatonin if I was travelling but now that I’m 48 I have now stopped.

    • Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

      Chia Chia,
      Are there any beneficial practices for low progesterone levels in the body?
      I know that PROGESTERONE acts a precursor for other hormones we need: cortisol, estrogen, testosterone.
      If low progesterone levels prevents a normal production of other hormones, it seems our body could be generously screwed up.
      WHAT DO WE DO?

      • There is Vitex for hormone (progesterone) maintenance. Generally, many of us should be supplementing with magnesium, vitamin B / D complexes and zinc if our diets don’t provide them.

        Some women use a progesterone cream or DHEA supplement; DHEA is a hormonal precursor. Suzanne Somers swears by DHEA.

        • Amanda Alvarado says:

          Other than the supplements, I’m guessing these are available by prescription only?

          • These are all available over-the counter: DHEA, Vitex is chaste berry.

          • Progesterone cream is also available over-the-counter in low doses. In high doses, it’s by prescription.

            • Amanda Alvarado says:

              Going to have to look for the DHEA next time I am at the store!

              • i have been having some sleep issues but it seems lately they are better i hope it says this way if not i will be looking for some alternative for sleep thanks for the information

            • I tried Progesterone cream years ago but maybe i need to try again. Is there any side effects to look out for.

              • Using progesterone cream is a pretty complicated exercise. It can have side effects that are like PMS symptoms. Also, it’s often used in specific timing of your cycles. So I recommend its usage under the supervision of a physician or naturopath because it’s hormone supplementation, not balancing.

                You may want to try Vitex for hormone balancing first. It’s like maca – these are hormone balancing agents that act on our hormonal glands.

    • Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

      Chia Chia,
      What do you think about using MACA powder in cooking?
      I used frequently in my cooking.

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      I have actually had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep since I was a kid. It is ironic though because when I do fall asleep I sleep for a couple hours than I am awake again. I have never stayed sleeping for more than 2 to 4 hours at a time and go like that for 5 or 6 days. Than on the 5th or 6th day I will sleep for 6 to 8 hours were nothing wakes me up.

  4. Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:
  5. i retweeted them all

  6. Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

    amcoffee

    3. Melatonin levels decline as we age

    Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland and generally decreases over time as we age. However, this is not constant across all people – some older people have very high levels of melatonin while others will have relatively low levels.

    Melatonin supplementation is still controversial and seems to help younger people, but studies in older people (50+) have yielded conflicting results. The newest studies show that 5 mg of melatonin at night does not help with improvement of sleep in older people.

    As we age, melatonin supplementation may not work for everyone. It’s likely that there are other contributing factors – such as medicinal interactions – that are affecting people 50+ differently. One small study of 14 postmenopausal women showed that after being given melatonin at 8 am, their cortisol levels were high for 48 hours.

    See our post on POLYPHARMACY that contributes to medicinal interactions and side-effects.

    melatonin, hormones, sleep habits, menopause, peri-menopause, am coffee, amcoffee, health, damiva

    • Amanda Alvarado says:

      I have never tried it – never really had a need – and now that I’m in my 40s it probably wouldn’t help anyway! LOL On those rare nights I have issues falling asleep, I take a herbal supplement by Hyland’s called Calms Forte and it seems to work – it just takes around 30 minutes to an hour to start working!

    • So I guess trying melatonin won’t hurt just to see if it helps. That is what I need to do at this time.

    • I worry about Melatonin putting me in a deep sleep and I will not hear the kids if needed.

      • Rebecca Swenor says:

        Barb that was my fear about taking it but you will hear them just start with lowest does. I took 1 mg. when I would take it. It puts you in more of a relaxed state or that is what it did to me. I just couldn’t take it every night.

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      I tried melatonin but only 1 mg tablets. It for some reason would give me nightmares or weird dreams if I used it every night and I would be druggy in the morning. I did start taking it every other or every second night and that seemed to be better.

  7. My doctor recommended me to take melatonin I have yet to try it!

  8. Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

    amcoffee

    4. What can we do to help with sleep?

    Maintaining our levels of magnesium, vitamin B6 and progesterone/estrogen in our 30s and beyond is important for every woman.

    Zinc helps with hormone production as well as supplements such as maca and chaste berry (Vitex) that help with hormone balancing and sex hormone production.

    Melatonin supplementation may work for some women, especially younger women.

    Ashwaganda can help with stress, cortisol and hormone balancing.

    Sleep hygiene is also critical, including putting away computers and phones at night.

    Other sleep specific natural products include 5HTP, St. John’s Wort, valerian root, passion flower and tryptophan (in milk) and tart cherry juice, e.g. studies of Montmorency cherry juice show increased melatonin and also improved sleep in 20 people.

    hormones, sleep habits, menopause, peri-menopause, am coffee, amcoffee, health, damiva

    • I remember when St Johns wart was the big thing to take for sleep they dont mention that as much anymore! Is there a reason it has dropped a little off the “advertising market” ? were there bad effects ?

      • St Johns wort seems to have quite a few interactions with other drugs / medicines. I believe that’s why it’s less popular right now. Also, it’s not a “cure” for depression the way that earlier advertising used to promote it as.

        • Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

          Drug interaction is a huge thing.
          In today’s world and life with a ton of drugs, and people being on more than one or two medicine pills – the drug interaction causes so much harm that individual drug effects lose their potency.

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      This is all interesting information indeed. I used to take valerian root but I think that made me to druggy in the mornings. The tart cherry juice is something I am going to have to try for sure along with meditating before bed to relax. I know taking a hot bath before bed has helped at times.

      • Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

        Valerian root is recommended in cases when a person is dramatically affected by stress and anxiety to calm down.
        To take is on the daily basis can make you sleepy! Again, depends on dose and personal preference of the body.

        • Rebecca Swenor says:

          Indeed true. I know the taste is awful and I know I didn’t take that every night. It was usually my last resort.

  9. Melatonin supplements are controversial because they are often too high a dosage and should be taken under very specific conditions, with the expert advice of a sleep specialist and/or physician. 3 mg is likely too high.

    You may want to try tart cherry juice – Montmorency cherries – as they have a natural melatonin and there has been a clinical trial showing that drinking it before bedtime does help improve sleep.

    • Amanda Alvarado says:

      Now I remember why I don’t buy cherries – they are expensive! LOL

      • Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

        Amanda,
        These things are not to be eaten by the pound!
        Small amounts go a long way.
        Also, if you eat them regularly, the body accumulates good stuff that is those cherries, in the organs and, thus, produces the overall positive effects on your well-being.
        View it as your PREVENTATIVE measure against expensive drugs. Wow, that becomes so Affordable ASAP!

        • Amanda Alvarado says:

          In my house they would be gone in 2 days between my hubby and daughter! LOL

          • Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

            Amanda,
            You choose how they need to be consumed.
            Your family needs to KNOW the reason why some foods need to be consumed in certain way. It works. All it takes is EDUCATION.
            You already know that!

    • So I need to look into the tart cherry juice then. Thanks.

      • well i will remember to try this i love cherry juice it is on my list and i do not take any pills or i mean i dont take perception drugs at all i guess at age 50 that is good but i see the chiropractor once a week

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      The tart cherry juice really is something I am going to try. Thanks Chia Chia Sun.

  10. Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:
  11. Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

    amcoffee

    5. Can anxiety contribute to sleep problems?

    For most women, the answer is yes.

    Cortisol and melatonin are antagonists.

    When cortisol levels are low at night, our melatonin production increases. So if we’re stressed at night and our cortisol is high, it will interfere with our melatonin production and therefore sleep.

    What can we do about this?

    Reducing our stressors and increasing our ability to handle cortisol spikes is especially difficult after peri-menopause and menopause, so we need to start with a healthy lifestyle a lot earlier, in our 30s.

    We need to maintain good weight, exercise, and eat high-fibre, nutritious meals with vitamins and minerals. Into our 40s and 50s, many women need supplementation (especially magnesium>, vitamin B and D complexes) and extra sleep (7.5 to 9 hours).

    hormones, sleep habits, menopause, peri-menopause, am coffee, amcoffee, health, damiva

    • Amanda Alvarado says:

      I know usually when I am worrying about something, those are the nights I have issues falling asleep.

      • Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

        Amanda,
        That’s CORTISOL speaking up!
        It winds you up to the level where you are quite awake.

    • I take supplements. But more doses of magnesium along with vitamin B complex could be beneficial. As I take a separate calcium with vitamin D already.

    • I do suffer from anxiety, some days its hard to even function. The best thing I have been going is hiking and walking. Using up some of my energy is the biggest help. I am worried about winter when I can get out side anymore. Winters are the worst.

      • Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

        Barbara,
        You have found an amazingly easy way to conquer those attacks.
        In winter, though, you can try “burst” physical activities in the comfort of your room.
        It is basically taking your body onto extreeme speedy workout in 5 minutes. You will feel exhausted! But so grateful you’ve done it!

    • Rebecca Swenor says:

      This is awesome information and I know with ADD my anxiety can be high. It is important to literally switch how we see things or react to things to lower our anxiety. Our minds, bodies, and souls are all connected and if one is off it can through everything off.

  12. I suffer from Chronic Anxiety as it has taken about a 1/4 of my life away… things i used to do I am no way able to anymore! Its a struggle for sure!! I Hate it! I hate the attacks! and i must say I have a prescription for xanax to help me along the way!! If i need sleep it is the way i go and the way i have to go otherwise sleeplessness anxiety and other things all at once are very hard to handle!! On a daily i take CELEXA it has helped me a lot but I’m on the max dosage then i wonder where is my next step! Talk about a roller coaster@!

    • Laura, Celebrate Woman Today says:

      Wendi,
      It’s a tough situation you are in.
      You know what works and what doesn’t in your unique life.
      That is why it is so important to cultivate peace and calm for you.
      What do you to do control these attacks?

      • i love to come in my bedroom and shut it down!! My room is my safe haven i have my himalayan lamps and my area that makes me comfortable! My bed blankets and of course letting my family know i need about an hour or two of quietness and no interruption if i dont and its a major attack I end up in the hospital! they get so bad as to where i will pass out then its 24 hours being monitored. So I TRY SO hard to NOT let it get there! If I’m out and something happens i need someone on the other end of the phone til i get home Crazy but very true!!!

  13. my problem is my mind is racing about what i have to do the next day to much going on in my brain

  14. Sarah K Masters says:

    Sonata!

  15. Melissa Craig says:

    baking alone in my kitchen, I think of nothing but the recipe and relax, I love it, it destresses me

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