I want to talk today about a problem that can be both annoying and potentially damaging: Chronic Insomnia in Perimenopause. It turns out that one can be sleepless not only in Seattle but also in those years that are the transition between full menopause and the time just before it.
I had an interesting encounter with a patient recently, a brief story that I would like to share here. This 70-year-old pleasant lady and started several months ago to have renewed hot flashes, some shortness of breath and occasional sweats. Her major problem however was a very unsatisfactory sleep experience with frequent wakings and difficult in falling back asleep again. After unsuccessfully trying other natural remedies I suggested to her Women’s Plus™ from True Botanica. She reported that within 48 hours of starting the supplements her sleep improved to the extent that she was able to have a full rest for seven hours uninterrupted. Her other symptoms also disappeared nearly completely.
This experience dovetails with the findings of a new study, referenced in the November 2015 issue of Family Practice News, which showed an alarmingly high incidence of chronic insomnia in women in their perimenopausal years. More than a third of all women in the stage of midlife transition were reported to have difficulty either falling asleep, or having nighttime wakings or early-morning wakings. This study reported that women who were heavier, older, or depressed, as well as those having night sweats, were all more likely to suffer from insomnia. Interestingly enough other factors that did not influence insomnia included marital status, tobacco or alcohol use, race/ethnicity, social economic status, and many accompanying illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
Rudolf Steiner and predicted already in the early 1920s that insomnia was going to increase to epidemic proportions in the decades to come. One of the suggestions to improve this difficulty was to use various herbal ashes. The root ashes of the pueraria herb are particularly suited for the women whose difficulty we are discussing here.
The process of obtaining the ashes is similar, at the plant level, to the process that is needed in order to fall asleep: just as the fire separates the imponderables (oils, fragrance, aromas, etc) from the ponderables (the woody portions and more) in the plant, so does the soul separate itself helped by the “fire of the Ego” from the physical and the etheric body. This separation (sleep state) of course then helps the normal restorative processes that maintain health.
Ross Rentea MD