Hello 2 am !!

In my early forties, I began to wake in the night for the first time. Often for a few hours. At first it was attributed to stress or worry but none of that was really a factor in my life. My partner was astonished ! Here was a woman who never moved let alone woke up in all the years they had been together, yet suddenly here she was, switching on lights, flushing loos, getting drinks of water and even standing in the shower in the middle of the night ! So why was it happening?

It was about that time that the term “perimenopause” was beginning to emerge. Some seemed to think it was a bit of a “fad” but I found myself taking note and researching some symptoms. I mean , how can we just launch into menopause? There has to be a transition phase right? And there is! The perimenopause, a now familiar term where symptoms are having a party !

Why sleep deprivation is so common seems to be a grey area. It could be worry or anxiety when those thoughts in the middle of the night seem gargantuan, yet simmer down a little by morning. It could be night sweats waking us up or needing the loo and an inability to get back to sleep. Or it could be a viscous cycle of sleeplessness leading to worry and anxiety and so the pattern repeats.

So what can we do to help this intrusion into our slumber? I have read up on this so many times and can really only find the usual suspects. You know, herbal tea, a cool quiet room (hmm, might be but not once a hot flush strikes, even in Antartica!), regular sleep routine, no stimulants, no alcohol, no caffeine, and so on. There is nothing ground breaking out there so I would love to know of any tips and tricks if you have them.

Here is mine. I used to stress and try so hard to sleep, tossing, turning, humphing around but now see it as me time. No one wants me, no one is calling , I am resting and it`s dark and quiet. I also started a little meditation of my own. I lie on my back, pop my hands on my chest (crossed) flop my feet to the sides and breathe in through my nose for five and out through my mouth for five. After about ten minutes, I get a “floaty feeling” , pop myself into my favourite sleeping position and drift off. If it doesn`t work, I try again.

Now after a few years instead of causing me instant angst, 2am wake ups cause me to sigh with relief as I know I have a while til morning. It`s a 4am one that fills me with dread! If I do get back to sleep, I shall be in the deepest slumber when the alarm goes off. Insomnia is so far my most hated part of the perimenopause as a good nights sleep is irreplaceable and something I really miss.


Why Perimenopausal Ponderings

I woke up one Sunday a few weeks ago, after months lost in ideas of what to do with my (mid)life, and announced triumphantly to the family that I was going to start “blogging” !! I spent the day perusing various blogging sites, weighing up the pros and cons and reading the blurb ( aka whether I could master doing it! ) Weeks later the empty blog sat looking pretty as I procrastinated and kept getting on top of things so I was ready to write my blog. Yet still there was nothing. Until today, when I decided to stop procrastinating and bloody well write! And do you know what? It feels good. Sometimes you just have to write as they say and no matter what comes out , you are doing it!

So why did I want to start blogging ? Well, to save my sanity (and that of my nearest and dearest) as I do like to talk, rather a lot I am told ! Am I mad, I sometimes wonder having all these conversations with myself or the dog or the wall ? But the reality is, my life isn`t how I expected it to be in my late forties.  Unexpectedly , I have  become a long term stay at home mum, who loves to be with people, who loves a chat (god help the postie, the assistant in the supermarket or anyone I meet on my daily rounds as they are getting a chat whether they want one or not !) and the nest is beginning to empty. I miss ME ! Being someone other than a mother, a wife, a daughter (which I adore and do with gusto ) but having the identity I had when I worked and the connection I had with others. So why not create my own little identity and journal along the way and connect with others in a similar situation.

So why Perimenopausal Me ? I am proudly perimenopausal and shall have fun blogging about those experiences (although I am not sure fun is the correct word to describe me at 2 am in a lather of sweat!) and find the best ways to deal with them. I strongly believe that the perimenopause and menopause needs to be talked about more, it is not a time in life to be ashamed of.  The stigma needs to go and knowledge about it grow. I think of phrases like “Is it hot in here or is it me?” I am guilty of that one ! When I want to shout “I am having a hot flush everyone!!” With an English Rose complexion , it is blindingly obvious might I add that I am having one and it isn`t hot at all….anywhere!

So I have finally bloody done it ! Does that mean I can call myself a “Blogger”? Perhaps not quite yet but lets hope I procrastinate no more and have fun along the way letting all those perimenopausal ponderings, tumble out from my chatty head onto the page so I can make sense of them all with some help. Lets face it I, I am not alone !

Until Then

PP xx