Sleep disturbance or insomnia is not uncommon in women starting at midlife. While this may be due to a physical concern, usually it's not. Let's discuss some things you can do NOW to improve your sleep.
There are natural supplements that can be tried. If you are a milk drinker, consider having a glass of warm milk. Milk when it is warm releases tryptophan, the same substance that was in that Thanksgiving turkey that had you napping. On the other hand, I recently read that warm milk also has substances that can keep you awake. Let your own body tell you what it likes about milk.
Other suggestions include valerian root, melatonin, passion flower and of course the chamomile, catnip, anise or fennel teas. Some companies package teas in their own formulations for sleep, such as “Sleepy Time". Your local herbalist or health food store may also be able to give you suggestions. As with anything else, the key to try different things and see what you respond to.
If none of these suggestions work, I would recommend the following. First of all, see your see your health care provider to ensure there is nothing physical that needs to be attended to. Keep a sleep diary for 3 months with the goal to see if there is some sort of pattern. Keep track of the time you go to bed, awaken, how often you are awake and/or up at night. Are you tired when you awaken in the morning? What time are you getting up? Is there something that is on your mind? Does any of this correlate with your cycles (if you still have them)? Use of sleeping medication is something that can sometimes be used to get your body back on track, but it's not for long term use, and should only be used when other remedies have been ineffective.
For over 26 years, Barbara C. Phillips, MN, NP has been involved in health care. Now, as the founder of OlderWiserWomen, LLC, that experience and passion is focused on Women who want to experience the freedom, magic and wisdom of successful aging. She can be reached through http://www.OlderWiserWomen.com