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Menopause Corner
Menopause Corner

Wendy Hoffman blogs about menopause and women's health—particularly focusing on how diet and nutrition can positively affect a woman's life around the age of menopause.

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A Prescription Free Solution to Sleep Deprivation

If you’re experiencing hot flashes and anxiety at night, common symptoms of menopause, you’re probably not getting enough shut-eye. And if you can’t remember the last time you had seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, you’re probably walking around in a fog, too tired to exercise and feeling crabby all the time. If that’s the case, you might want to consider napping. I know it sounds like a luxury that you don’t have time for. But if described as a “power” nap, would you have more respect for this prescription-free solution to sleep-deprivation? 

In his book, Sleep for Success: Everything You Must Know About Sleep But Are Too Tired to Ask, nationally renowned sleep expert Dr. James Maas writes that a power nap is an “easy, healthful way to quickly boost alertness, concentration, productivity, creativity and mood.”   Here are his suggestions for achieving a good nap:

  • It should be about fifteen to thirty minutes in duration – not longer. This will leave you feeling refreshed.
  • Sweep your head of “nap blockers.”  Forget about the to-do list in your head and turn off the cell phone.
  • Block the light and noise in your napping place using an eye mask or ear plugs if necessary.
  • Get comfortable. If not at home, just sit back in your chair or use a yoga mat on the floor.
  • Then close your eyes and drift off


Easier said than done, you say?  You might want to try the Power Nap Kit, which offers three voice-guided power-nap sessions (disc 1) and three music-only power nap sessions (disc 2).  The kit includes a 44-page booklet about sleep, stress and power naps. It just might be the tool you need to help relax and rejuvenate you.

Alternatively, you might prefer the nap approach advocated by “The Sleep Doctor,” Michael Brueus PhD. In his book, The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan, he suggests trying the “20 minute Nap-a Latte,” anytime before 2:00pm. Here’s how it works:

  • Drink one cup of cool coffee or black tea quickly (you need 90-100 mg of caffeine)
  • Lie down and take a 20 minute nap.

He explains that “when you wake up, the caffeine should be kicking in, and you will have gotten some rest while waiting. 

It doesn’t sound like a rejuvenating break to me, but it just might do the trick if you need a double shot of rest and caffeine to get you through the rest of the day.

Wendy Hoffman writes about women’s health at www.menopausetheblog.com

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About the Author

Wendy writes about women's health in midlife.