Did you know that sleep problems have been reported in as many as 40% of women in the late perimenopausal stage and as many as 35% to 50% of women in postmenopause? The culprit? In addition to vasomotor symptoms, i.e. hot flashes and night sweats) lower estradiol and fallopian stimulating hormone levels can interfere with both falling and staying asleep. Add stress, emotional arousal, environment and alcohol or caffeine to the mix and you’ve got a woman on the verge. Personally? My sleep stinks; I wake up several times a night and regularly early in the morning, even though I rarely have trouble falling asleep. In fact, I don’t recall the last time I slept through the entire night.
So, how can I get more of those much needed Zzzzs? Well, I am hoping that Zeo can help.
Zeo is a home-based tool that uses SoftWave™ technology to track sleep patterns. The Zeo system is geared towards helping individuals understand how they are sleeping so that they can address factors (e.g. diet, stress, or environment) that may be profoundly hindering or interfering with their sleep.
Zeo collects information that summarizes the previous night’s sleep, including time spent in each sleep phase (i.e. light, deep and REM sleep), total time asleep, time it takes to fall asleep, and number of times awakened during the night, and displays it in a graph at bedside monitor.This information can then be uploaded so that sleep patterns can be tracked and trended along with individualized input about environmental and social factors that might disrupt sleep from night to night. Zeo also includes personalized sleep coaching. As the company says, the power of Zeo lies in its personalization, so that you can scientifically track your sleep phases and correlate them to the impact that daily habits have on your sleep. What’s more, I have looked at the scientific studies and the technology it uses to track your sleep not only favorably compares with what experts consider the gold standard for measuring sleep (polysomnography) but also does so in a range of healthy and “disordered” sleepers.
I’ve used Zeo for two nights so far. And guess what? It’s telling me that the fatigue I’ve been feeling is truly due to the fact that I’m not getting the restful sleep that I need. So, I am going to collect six nights of sleep information to create a foundation or baseline of my sleep pattern, and then undergo the Personal Sleep Program to see what I can change to optimize my sleep health.
I met a Zeo, Inc co-founder at last week’s epatient conference and after a conversation regarding sleep and menopause, he graciously sent me two units to share with my readers. I’ve given one of these units to a reader who is an insomniac and who is perimenopausal. But I’d like to give another Zeo to you. Here’s how:
Tell me in the comments section about your general sleep and how your symptoms or habits might be affecting it, along with steps you’ve taken or not taken to deal with the problem. The caveat? You must be experiencing some sort of menopausal symptoms or be in menopause and be willing to share your experience (anonymously) on Flashfree after a month’s use. If I get enough comments, I will randomly choose one winner to receive a Zeo Personal Sleep Coach monitor. What’s to lose? How about one more night’s sleep?!
[Disclosure: Zeo, Inc. provided me with three Zeo Personal Sleep Coach monitors - one via the epatient conference and two directly. Although this post was neither paid for or solicited by the company, I have eagerly agreed to write a post on menopause and sleep for their blog.]
I would love to track my sleep or lack of sleep with this gizmo. I regret the years of sleeping so deeply that a shrill alarm needed to wake me. That is, regret their passing. That kind of sleep is, well, bliss. Now my eyes close against my will and sleep is nothing but a fitful toss and turn. Every slight bump in the night is like a jackhammer to my sleep. Some days I feel more tired at dawn than when I went to bed. My remedies are lifestyle-based: more walking, less wine, more consistent bed-time routines. And in desperation, a sleeping pill.
I have been a poor sleeper since I was a kid, but the last 6 months have been so much worse. Waking constantly (last night at 11:30, 1:30, 3:30, and then up for the day at 5:45) is the main problem, but in addition that issue I've started having trouble just getting physically comfortable when I lie down. I've tried herbs, but I am allergic to chamomile & a few other recommended as sleep aids.
As far as the menopause thing, I had a TAH/BSO three years ago. A good night's sleep is elusive. I've resorted to taking either Ambien (only once or twice a week when I really need to sleep well) or an OTC sleep aid (1/2 a pill of Costco's generic sleep aid seems to work well enough but leaves me groggy). My problem is not falling asleep; it's staying asleep. I have extremely regular sleep habits: in bed by 11, get up 5:30-6. But in the middle of the night, I lie awake for hours, only getting sleepy again just about when it's time to get up. Having a radio or TV on when I'm awake sometimes helps me fall back asleep, but I've read this is not a good thing to do. I just downloaded the Relax HD app to my iPad. It has settings for the different phases of sleep but I haven't read all of the help files yet. I'm going to try it tonight.
Most of the time, I'm a good sleeper because I go to bed at a consistent time every night and get my seven to eight hours of sleep. Of course, sometimes best of plans go awry even when I do all the right things. It could be a hard day, it could be anything. I can't explain last night's lousy sleep. Wonder if the Zeo would've figured it out. It's just gonna be a tough day today. On the bright side, it's a great reminder to keep up with my good sleeping habits. Be happy to share my experience if I test the Zeo.