I went to sleep before 8:30 last night, 9 the night before and 8 a few nights back. When slept in until at 9am (you read that right) my husband said, “I thought only teenagers did that.” I’m sleeping lots and lots right now because, like my teenage counterpart, I’m in a whirlwind of hormonal changes, and it’s gobbling all my energy up. I’d like to blame it on the “get in shape for ski season” exercise regimen my husband has us on, but I’ve a sneaking suspicion it’s really just good ole menopause.
Menopause takes lots of energy. You heard it here. Teenagers are growing their brains and we’re growing our wisdom, our wise woman sages. It’s kinda the same, isn’t it?
While some of us may be getting more sleep, most of us are simultaneously getting less sleep – insomnia rules our nights! Going to bed earlier, as if my eyelids give me a choice, and sleeping later are the norm, but wakefulness in the middle of the night, sometimes even for an hour or two, is the new norm too. It’s all part of “The Change”. I remember my grandmother taking afternoon naps on her chaise, wondering why you’d ever do such a thing as I ran around the yard hopped up on eleven-year old energy, but now I get it. We’re needing more sleep and less sleep all at the same time. What a dichotomy!
It’s awe-inspiring how little sleep we can function pretty well on. Night owls are official spirit animal, and no 7pm isn’t too early to go to bed in case you’ve been wondering. Go ahead and let yourself sleep when you can. Go to bed early. PJ’s after work is totally legit, especially because they give that extra padding around our middles some breathing room. Sleep in when you can. Throw all the rules that came before out the window. It’s an initiation into your next phase, so let go of the old regimented structure and find what works for you today, just today. And, BE OK with it! You’re still a valuable member of society if you sleep until 9 or 10.
There are lots of essential oils to help with insomnia, and I’ll get to them next, but first I invite you to use that wakefulness in the night to your benefit. First, let it go and be alright with your evolving sleep patterns. Freaking out isn’t going to help you go back to sleep, nor function better tomorrow. I’ve actually started enjoying my nighttime musings. It’s this beautifully quiet time all to myself. No distractions to grab my attention from the task at hand, birthing my Sage-ness. I relish this time to connect into myself, to process what’s coming up, to feel my body, to listen and learn.
I usually start with my gratitude list, everything over the last day I’m grateful for. If that doesn’t do the trick and lull me back to sleep, I’ll progress to something I’m chewing on, some issue, something that hasn’t been sitting quite right with me and take a deeper look. I follow that thread, that energy, those thoughts and sensations in my body and see where they lead. It is usually a gold mine of information I shine my awareness on, take out of the dark (my subconscious) and see what is underneath is all. That’s where the healing and the releasing happens. This is an important part of getting across the menopause river to my wise womandom, illuminating everything I’ve kept hidden and dealing with it once and for all.
If all else fails, I’ll read and that always does the trick. That and my trusty essential oil allies, like Vetiver, Lavandin Super, Spikenard, Zanthoxylum, Frankincense, and Roman Chamomile to name a mere few. Vetiver, from a root, is incredibly grounding. I can’t use her in the morning or she’ll lay me out during the day. Lavandin Super is super calming, promotes sleep, while at the same time helping us to love ourselves – a key ingredient during menopause. A Spikenard and Zanthoxylum cocktail is one of my favorite ways to knock myself back out. Spikenard brings amazing dreams and Zanthoxylum offers a peaceful sweetness, an added bonus if you don’t love the smell of Spikenard. Frankincense is a great hormonal and brain chemistry balancer, getting right to the cause of insomnia. Last, but not least, Roman Chamomile is tranquility and love in a bottle. She calms and pacifies the nervous system, like giving a pacifier to a baby, she makes me feel young and able to sleep like that baby.
Rest and self-love is the name of the game right now. Don’t push yourself so hard. You’ve done a lifetime of work, chores, raising kids, supporting partners, exercise, etc. It’s time for you. Be selfish now and take care of yourself. It’s temporary, so don’t feel like you’re just letting yourself go forever. Honor your newly emerging cycles and you’re journey into your wise woman years will go smoother, I promise.