Do you ever feel so tired you can barely stay awake during the day?
Tired as soon as you wake up, even if you slept well?
Do you often struggle to get to sleep, or struggle to wake up in the morning?
If so, you’re not alone. Fatigue affects up to 85% of women during menopause and perimenopause, with a further 67% who say fatigue interferes with their quality of life (compared with 19.7% of pre-menopausal women). During the menopause dipping estrogen levels cause many different symptoms – one being chronic fatigue which can feel hard to shift.
At the onset of perimenopause women can start to experience symptoms of the menopause – but as they’re not officially diagnosed as being menopausal, they’re often overlooked. Sometimes the intensity of perimenopause symptoms can be exactly the same as during the menopause itself, causing a lot of disruption to daily activities and discomfort.
Fatigue can be particularly debilitating as it can significantly affect a person’s ability to work, take care of daily tasks and exercise, causing additional issues with health and wellness.
Why does perimenopause cause fatigue?
Fatigue is a feeling of unrelenting exhaustion and tiredness which isn’t relieved by rest. When energy levels are constantly low it can quickly become difficult to do the things you want to do, and can even lead to low mood, anxiety and depression.
There are many different causes of perimenopausal fatigue, some medical, some lifestyle-related, including:
Hormonal changes: Like many other menopause symptoms, perimenopausal fatigue is caused by rapidly changing hormone levels in the body. As estrogen and progesterone levels alter they interact with adrenals and the thyroid, resulting in instability and severe fatigue. This directly impacts upon energy levels but can also produce other symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats which can impair sleep quality.
Sleep issues: Dropping estrogen levels can cause disrupted sleep during perimenopause – such as waking in the middle of the night, struggling to get to sleep or get back to sleep after waking up and difficulty staying asleep. Collectively these can have a significant impact on your energy levels during the day – so working to address sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality should be a priority.
Fighting menopause-related fatigue naturally
It can sometimes feel as though you’re going to be exhausted, no matter what you do – but there are some things you can try to relieve the exhaustion that comes with perimenopause.
Sleep hygiene: Sleep hygiene is vitally important during perimenopause and menopause. Falling estrogen levels and lower levels of progesterone can disrupt the quality of our sleep, through preventing relaxation and increasing incidences of sleep apnea. This isn’t the only cause of perimenopausal fatigue, but it’s certainly a contributing factor.
Perimenopause is a great opportunity to put healthy habits in place to help you feel your best during the menopause itself – starting with a good bedtime routine. Try to go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time every morning, limit blue light exposure for at least an hour before bed and limit caffeine consumption as much as possible. Temperature is also important, especially if you’re suffering from hot flashes during the night. Make sure your bedroom is cool and well-ventilated and opt for loose-fitting, cotton nightwear to maximize comfort.
Drink plenty: When we don’t drink enough we can quickly feel tired. Low levels of dehydration can make anyone feel fatigued – but if you’re dealing with perimenopausal exhaustion, it’s especially important to keep those fluid levels topped up. Opt for filtered water and herbal teas and avoid diuretics which could deplete hydration levels – fruits and vegetables are also a great source of additional water.
Eat well: Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is incredibly important when it comes to combatting some of the most troublesome symptoms of perimenopause – including fatigue. This can become more challenging when we’re tired – after a difficult night without much sleep and in an effort to raise our energy levels we can crave sugary treats which offer a very quick fix. Instead of reaching for sweet snacks filled with refined sugars and carbs, opt for balanced, healthy meals filled with whole grains, vegetables and lean proteins. This may take a little forward planning and preparation, but it will pay dividends in the longer term.
Try herbal supplements: There are a number of herbal supplements you can try to help ease perimenopausal fatigue. Alongside adaptogens to support with anxiety and loss of focus, Magnesium can be a real support during perimenopause thanks to its calming and relaxing properties which support sounder sleep – even if you aren’t deficient, supplementation can have a significantly positive impact on symptoms.
Our Serenease blend features 6 ultra-absorbent forms of Magnesium to promote deep, restful sleep and ease anxiety to help soothe symptoms of fatigue. Learn more here.