The Importance of Vitamin D
YOUR SUNSHINE VITAMIN
Winter is literally on our doorstep and the summer sun is now a distant past, but have you thought about the dark months we have ahead of us. There is no better time than now to invest in the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D.
We spend our time more and more inside due to the cold which means we are not getting the required sunlight we need, especially in midlife.
Vitamin D is important for everyone, but it is even more important for women over 40 in perimenopause and menopause to ensure you are getting enough calcium into your bones. Women in the menopause are at a higher risk of osteoporosis because of the depletion of oestrogen, so be aware. Its a silent disease and must be taken very seriously.
Having suffered from Vitamin D deficiency a few years ago, I was not aware that declining oestrogen levels during the transition into the menopause, led to this. My knees and my ankles became very painful and very swollen and after a blood test to check my levels, it was revealed that I had severe Vitamin D deficiency.
Based on my own experience, I would therefore recommend that all women in the transition of the menopause, get a blood test done as soon as possible.
Winter holidays are not only beneficial for our wellbeing but have the benefits of you topping up your natural sunlight vitamin however, that does not stop you taking some as a supplement if required. Women with darker skin need to be out in the sun considerably longer depending on the skin pigmentation as the skin partially prevents the absorption of the sun, nevertheless that does not mean you should sit out in the sun at its highest peak during the day and burn.
Some foods provide a good amount of vitamin D ...
Fatty Fish - Salmon, Herring, Mackerel and Sardines
Remember prevention is key !!!!!
The Importance of Sleep
The menopausal decline of oestrogen contributes to disrupted sleep as the symptoms of; hot flushes, sweats, anxiety and depressed mood leads to difficulty sleeping or broken sleep.
Sleep apnoea may become more of an increased factor for some, once the menopause begins, manifesting itself in various forms, these including; headaches, insomnia, daytime fatigue and more.
It is common for women post-menopause to experience restless legs, which can be described as a tingling, creepy-crawly sensation, often taking place at night, contributing to sleep disturbance again.
Some changes in lifestyle choices can help contribute to improving your poor sleep such as exercise, healthy eating and finding ways to help manage stress. Maintaining healthy relationships and being socially active is also fundamental for yourself and your wellbeing.
Here are some helpful tips -
Establish a routine by going to bed and getting up at a regular time.
Ensure the temperature, light and noise are calming, by removing ticking clocks and the tv, using blackout curtains and keeping your room at a temperature between 16-18 degrees Celcius.
Avoid having long naps in the day - make it no more than 30-40 minutes
Get comfy!! Good bedding and a good mattress are essentials
Have your last caffeine drink in the late afternoon/evening, including any fizzy drinks or chocolate
EXERCISE regularly, but don't overdo it within 2 hrs of going to bed
DISENGAGE !! from your phones, checking social media and status updates. Try to limit your phone time as much as possible, especially in the evenings, so that you can wind down peacefully before going to bed.