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The Best Ways To Support Sleep During Perimenopause

Sleep disturbances are often one of the first things I hear women talk about when suspecting they may be perimenopausal. Whether it's hot flushes, anxiety, or insomnia, it's a common issue. Here are 5 simple ways to support better rested, deeper sleep whilst going through the menopause. 


This is my favourite sleep support tool, magnesium is often referred to as ‘nature's sedative’. It is thought that Magnesium may play a role in regulating the neurotransmitter GABA, this may help promote calm and act as a sedative, to promote sleep. There are three main ways to get more magnesium – food, supplements and epsom salt baths.

As a nutritionist I recommend ‘food first’ and the best sources of magnesium are anything green, including: Kale, lettuce, avocado, pack choi etc. dark chocolate is also a rich source which is always nice! Supplements are also a great option, but as always it's best to seek dosage advice from a registered nutritionist. Lastly, another great way to get more magnesium is through our largest organ, our skin. Soaking in a warm bath with 2-3 handfuls of epsom salt a few times a week can be a great sleep aid. Particularly if done before bedtime. 

Valerian (teas, tinctures and herbal supplements)

Valerian is a herb that has long been studied for sleep support. The great thing about herbs is there are a wide variety of ways to take it so you can find what works for you. Many companies now make various valerian blend teas. You can brew a strong cup with two tea bags and drink an hour/30 mins before bed to help sleep. Companies such as PUKKA that have unbleached tea bags are the best option. 

For a stronger therapeutic effect, valerian can be taken as a herbal supplement or a herbal tincture. Check with a medical professional, nutrition therapist or herbalist before beginning a new supplement or herbal tincture. 

Reduce screen time 

Research supports that refraining from going on our phones at least 1hr before bed can help aid deeper and better sleep. Devices can interfere with sleep by suppressing the production of melatonin. This is a good habit to get into if you're not already doing it. 

Hot flush support 

Hot flushes can be a big source of sleep disturbance. They happen when decreased oestrogen levels cause your hypothalamus to become more sensitive to changes in body temperature. Therefore the best method to reduce these is to get more oestrogen, whether that is through HRT via a doctor or phytoestrogens via a nutritional therapist.

Sage is a long-used popular phytoestrogen source for perimenopausal women, so drinking sage blend teas or simply growing it yourself and adding a few leaves to steep in boiling water is a great way to add daily oestrogen support to your life. Sage is also great added to salad or sprinkled over some roasted root veggies.

Essential oils 

Essential oils can be a helpful tool to support sleep and relaxation. You can add them to a diffuser and let the scent fill your room before bed, add a couple drops to your pillow or add them to a carrier oil and rub on your wrist and pulses. 

I also recommend to clients to try adding them to epsom salt bath, 2-3 drops of any of the below essential oils in a warm bath before bed can be a useful relaxation tool.

  • Lavender: Known for its sedative and calming effects. Other potential benefits include anxiety reduction and headache alleviation.

  • Chamomile: The calming effects of chamomile have been studied for sleep and relaxation. chamomile essential oil may work to alleviate anxiety and improve sleep quality.

  • Peppermint: Is known for help with pain relief, it has also been studied for sleep support and may be as effective as lavender at improving sleep quality.


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