Feeling tired or lacking in energy is one of the most common symptoms experienced by women going through perimenopause and menopause. You’re not just ‘a little run down’. Menopause fatigue is a real thing.
For some women, menopause fatigue can hit them all of a sudden – like a rush of exhaustion and even muscle weakness that comes out of nowhere. This is what’s known as crashing menopause fatigue, and, like being hit by a freight train, it really can stop you in your tracks.
It’s important to understand that menopause fatigue doesn’t just affect your body. There’s also a mental and emotional side to it.
I’ve had women say things like, “I’m fine one minute and the next I feel absolutely drained”. Or “I just crashed at work today. My head gets so foggy all I want to do is close my eyes and sleep!”
The crazy thing is – you can feel crushing tiredness, but then you still can’t get to sleep or you sleep really badly. This can lead to other problems like:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Frequent hunger
- Racing thoughts at night
- Lack of motivation
- Stress and overwhelm
What causes menopause fatigue?
Menopause fatigue has to do with the changes in your hormones. Surprise! Surprise!
But understanding a little about what’s going on can be really empowering. So here’s the short version…
As you go through perimenopause and menopause your ovaries don’t respond as well to the messages your pituitary gland is sending out. It’s kind of like they’re starting to go deaf. Your pituitary gland says, “Make some oestrogen”, but your ovaries mishear the message and either make too much or not nearly enough.
These major fluctuations in oestrogen have a flow-on effect with your stress hormones. Sometimes it can trigger a flood of adrenaline (your fight or flight hormone) and cortisol (your stress hormone) leaving you even more exhausted afterwards. This may happen before your period if you’re still menstruating.
So, as your oestrogen goes up and down your body feels like you’re in a constant ‘hormone emergency’. No wonder you can’t sleep and you feel constantly exhausted!
My Top 3 Ways to Manage Menopause Fatigue
If you’re experiencing menopause fatigue, the good news is there are simple actions you can take to manage and minimise your symptoms. Here are three things you can do right now:
- Take a natural supplement designed to bring back balance to your body
Full disclosure here – I’m a huge fan of Progessence Phyto Plus (PPP) from Young Living. I use it myself every night and it is designed to do exactly what you want it to do – bring back the balance. You can read about how I discovered the benefits of PPP and what it does here.
But let me just say, as an Aromatherapist who specialises in women’s hormones and menopause in particular, PPP is my most recommended go-to solution for women going through perimenopause and menopause. I love it – and so do my clients – because it is SO easy to use!
- Snack when you need to and stay hydrated
Yep! You heard me right. If you find yourself struggling with menopause fatigue, especially if you’re experiencing episodes of crashing fatigue on a regular basis, then starving yourself is going to make things worse.
What I’m not saying is graze on chocolate and cake and sweets. And definitely don’t comfort-eat icecream straight out of the tub! Hitting the sugar will only aggravate those energy highs and lows.
But, you do need to give your body what it needs, especially when your hormones are all over the place. Eating healthy snacks helps to stabilise your blood sugar level, and assists in preventing crashing fatigue or recovering from an episode if it happens. So, eat every 3-4 hours throughout the day, but keep your snacks healthy and unprocessed and not full of sugar.
You could try:
– apple slices with almond butter
– carrots or celery with hummus
– plain yoghurt with blueberries
– a delicious smoothie with banana, blueberries, kale and coconut water
And stay hydrated – keep your water bottle full and close at hand so you remember to hydrate regularly through the day.
- Develop a sleep and pre-sleep routine
Your body loves routine and having a regular pre-sleep routine calms both your body and mind and lets you know that it’s time to prepare for sleep.
You could try:
– taking a warm bath before bed time.
– getting into bed 45-60 minutes before you’re ready to sleep. Dim the lights and turn off your devices. Instead of scrolling, read a book or listen to some relaxing music.
– put some calming essential oils in the diffuser. I love Lavender, Peace and Calming, or Stress Away
So, remember to look after yourself – you’re on a journey and it’s not always easy.
And if you’d like to grab a great solutions to help minimise the symptoms of menopause and smooth your journey, then check out my 28 to Elevate bundle here.