Dr Harper: how CBD oil can help you sleep during menopause

Dr Shahzadi Harper spoke to us about the benefits of CBD oil on sleep during menopause

Dr Harper: how *CBD oil* can help you sleep during menopause

Menopause can have a huge impact on day-to-day life, especially when it comes to sleep - why oh why would nature think night sweats are ever a good idea?

Dr Shahzadi Harper has been a doctor for over 25 years and specialises in perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause. She helps women understand their symptoms and what they can do to ease them, including taking CBD oil to drift off at night. We had a chat with Dr Harper for a bit of insider info (you’re welcome) because, let’s face it, counting sheep just ain’t gonna cut it in this situation.

menopause & sleep: the basics

what is perimenopause and menopause?

Menopause is when a woman stops having menstrual periods. This usually happens around the age of 50.

Perimenopause starts 4 to 10 years before that. During this time, women have symptoms such as hot flushes, insomnia, anxiety, night sweats, joint aches or pains and sleep disturbance.

how does menopause affect sleep?

My patients often tell me they manage to fall asleep, but end up waking up between 3 am and 5 am with a racing heart or feelings of anxiety. They then find it difficult to fall back asleep again.

This is all down to hormonal changes. Hormones affect not only the sleep/wake cycle, but also cause hot flashes and night sweats, which again disturbs sleep. This has a domino effect and impacts concentration, mood and energy the next day.

how do you support your patients with poor sleep during menopause?

I give them tools to manage their symptoms. I help them look into their lifestyle, diet and the importance of exercise and strength training. I prescribe HRT (hormone replacement therapy). I also provide a list of supplements that could potentially benefit them, such as CBD oil.

what is CBD oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical substance made from the cannabis plant, but it won’t make you feel high as it’s made from the non-psychoactive part of the plant. It works on our body’s endocannabinoid system on the cannabinoid receptors, which stabilises and regulates the body’s sleep/wake cycle. This allows for a more restful night’s sleep. It also gives a calm, relaxing feeling by reducing aches and pains.

so how does CBD oil help with the menopause?

During menopause, women often experience the sorts of symptoms that CBD oil can help to relieve. And it’s especially important to get a good night’s sleep during this part of a woman’s life - it’s a challenging time with a lot going on, so a good night’s sleep can do wonders.

what’s the best way to start taking CBD oil?

I always suggest looking for a good quality product and starting at a low dose, so you can gradually build up over a few weeks. I would recommend eve’s camomile and passionflower CBD oil or their ginkgo biloba and ginseng. This range of CBD oils has been created by a trusted source, comes in different strengths and has a lovely, slightly sweet taste.

CBD oil can be easily added in as part of your night time routine. You could start with a cup of herbal tea, gently massage and cleanse your face, and then pop a few drops of CBD oil underneath your tongue as you climb into bed for a feeling of deep calm.

I have used CBD oil regularly myself during my own perimenopause journey. I’ve also used it at times when life has been particularly busy or hectic, and when I’ve found it difficult to unwind and relax. It’s a great way to ease into sleep and wake up feeling all nice and refreshed the next morning.