Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.Full Bio
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I never realized what a treat sleeping through the night was until I had children. I envied the mothers who swore that their babies slept through the night within one or two weeks of life. Even within one or two months began to fill me with longing. And then, one or two YEARS starting sounding good.
It was almost as if overnight I’d turned into a sleep-deprived, raving lunatic.
And, then, the extraordinary happened. My children finally started sleeping through the night and my relationship with my pillow- and everyone living around me – took a dramatic turn for the better. I blissfully enjoyed uninterrupted nights of sleep, quickly forgetting those bad nights. I was finally able to accomplish getting through a full day with energy to spare; by the time 6 PM rolled around I could actually cook – and eat – dinner without longing to lie down.
Menopause. Actually, peri-menopause, those years leading up to the final event. Yes, my children were now sleeping not only through the night; come to think of it, they were sleeping through some days, too, as typical teenagers will often do. But I wasn’t.
There it was – the return of that old, familiar longing-for-sleep. Losing sleep. Looking for sleep in all the wrong places, like when stopped at a red light or when I sat in a dentist’s chair and was finally able to put my head down.
A recent survey done by Manhattan Research that polled 900 women who have experienced sleep problems during menopause found that they had not talked to their healthcare practitioner about their symptoms of insomnia. And 76 percent of the women polled said that their insomnia during this time had a moderate-to-significant impact on their overall quality of life. THAT part I remember: the daytime drowsiness, the unending fatigue, the irritability and difficulty concentrating on anything more than the wish to get a decent night’s sleep.
Let’s not even start about how sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your romantic relationships – nearly 34 percent of the women polled admitted to intimacy with their husband or partner suffering. (I have a feeling it is much more, but they’re just too tired to think about it or to care.)
In the past, I’ve written about ways to get a good night’s sleep in posts like The Truth About Sleep As We Age, The Health Dangers of Too Little Sleep, and why naps are such a common – and important – habit.
And frankly, I’m tired (pun intended) about writing about sleep right now. So, I give you this: www.TakeBackYourSleep.com. It’s a wonderful resource for menopausal women – whether that be pre, during, or post-menopause – who struggle with sleeping.
Why not take a look and learn what you can about various treatment options, tips for sleeping, and the connection of sleeplessness to your hormones.
What you learn may be enough to send you back to lala land and make you a very happy – and rested - person once again.