Wake-sleep cycle

I’m a good sleeper 7 to 8 hours suits me. However when I was peri menopausal my sleep was disrupted for a while. I found doing things to work with my wake-sleep cycle helped me have a good nights slumber so I thought I’d share.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the hormone cortisol. Often only associated with stress, fight or flight. It’s also responsible for keeping us sharp, alert, maintains our sleep, wake cycle. Cortisol is naturally released in our body in the morning. Helps to give us that get up and go.

I’m not really a morning person to be honest, I need all the help I can get. A daily dose of natural light first thing is super helpful. (It’s not the same as switching the light on!) Natural light spurs my body on boosting cortisol. No excuses fling open your back door, fresh air and a cuppa.

When it’s not ski season I’ve taken to having my coffee on our balcony. If I’m able to get my trainers on a run is even better. I must admit I have more energy after any exercise. The weather isn’t always perfect, I was told there’s no bad weather just the wrong attire!

I know there are times when my body produces too much cortisol at the wrong times when I’m stressed or anxious. It can happen when I’ve watched a scary film. It takes me forever to drift off to sleep.

What I know is….

When levels of oestrogen fall, so does serotonin the ‘good mood feeling’ hormone and cortisol rises. Hence the reason trying to keep stress at bay, especially during the evening is a good thing.


During the evening I want my serotonin-melatonin to come into action, this happens naturally when it gets dark. I want it to continue so I light my favourite candles and make everything nice, cosy and calm.

What I do is…

Try not to use any devices just before bed, we all know the effects of blue light. Our body can spring into action by triggering cortisol levels due to blue light especially. Not helpful at bedtime!


A dark, cool bedroom. Black-out blinds or curtains. Light can be disruptive for all of us.

Even if I wake during the night needing the loo, I don’t switch the lights on otherwise it can me forever to fall asleep again. We’re lucky and don’t have street lights, so our bedroom is pitch dark. No need for curtains or blinds.

What helps you sleep well?


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