According to the British Menopause Society, sleep disturbances frequently occur during perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Estimates indicate that between 28% to 63% of women face sleep challenges during menopause.
A key factor in these sleep disruptions is the reduction of estrogen during menopause. This decrease in estrogen can lead to a range of symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats, as well as emotional changes like anxiety and depression. These symptoms, in turn, can cause difficulties in initiating sleep due to anxiety, and result in non-restorative sleep and early morning wakefulness, often linked to depression.
Michele, a 55-year-old resident of California and a member of the Muse community, opens up about her journey through menopause and how Muse has been instrumental in helping her overcome her sleep challenges.
Michele's journey with Muse
Tell us a bit about your menopause journey and how you discovered Muse.
I turned 55 last year and have been facing the tough challenges of menopause, particularly with sleep issues, and the diagnosis of breast cancer in my sister meant that hormone replacement therapy was a non-option for me. Depression is a feeling I had never experienced before, and anxiety attacks that would hit just before a hot flash have been an extreme nuisance. It was like a wave of anxiety starting in my chest, shaking through my arms and legs. I tried various things to help, but nothing seemed to work. The worst part and what seemed to aggravate these symptoms is I kept waking up at 2 or 3 in the morning and not being able to fall back asleep.
Then my husband found out about Muse and gave it to me as a birthday present. The Digital Sleeping Pills feature has been a game-changer. The first time I tried it, I woke up so refreshed, with more focus and well-rested. It's not just about falling back to sleep, which it helps with, but also about the quality of sleep I get. It's become an essential part of managing my menopause symptoms.
How has incorporating Muse into your routine impacted your management of menopause symptoms?
Before Muse, I was facing depression and constant insomnia. This depression was a foreign feeling to me, unlike anything I'd experienced before, except perhaps during major life events like the loss of my parents. The insomnia was particularly challenging, with me waking up at 2 or 3 in the morning and finding it impossible to fall back asleep. My doctor actually prescribed antidepressants, which I was hesitant about. Since using specific supplements and Muse to achieve better sleep and reduce stress, that bear-chasing anxiety feeling has mostly subsided. I still experience warm waves, but the intense hot flashes have reduced. It’s helped me handle the symptoms more naturally, without leaning heavily on medications.
Have there been any unexpected benefits you've had while using Muse for menopause-related symptoms?
The unexpected benefit has definitely been the focus. I'm more alert and can concentrate better. I use Muse primarily as a sleep aid so for it to also enhance my daytime focus and alertness is a bonus.
Do you have any favorite Digital Sleeping Pill soundscapes?
I've experimented with various soundscapes, and Muse offers something unique that I haven't found elsewhere. I've tried other sound machines and YouTube soundscapes, but they often don't sound natural. They can be repetitive and artificial, which isn't relaxing for me. Muse's soundscapes, on the other hand, are more realistic and immersive. My favorite is the Deep Ocean Dive. It's incredibly soothing and helps me relax. I was initially skeptical about the Cabin Fire soundscape, but it turned out to be quite lovely. Each soundscape from Muse feels like an authentic experience, not just a loop of sounds. It's more than just background noise; it's an experience that engages you in a calming and more natural way.
What tips can you offer to someone who is just beginning to navigate menopause?
For anyone starting this journey, I'd say research is key. If you prefer natural methods, explore options like Muse. But also, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor. There are supplements that can alleviate symptoms as well. It's about finding what works for you, whether it's a technological solution like Muse or something else.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I think more people need to know about Muse, especially in the menopause community. Poor sleep is a huge symptom for us, and finding effective, non-medical solutions for myself has been crucial. Muse has been a significant help for me, and I believe it can be for others too. It’s a tool that can genuinely improve the quality of life during menopause.
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