Sleep is a big issue for many perimenopausal women – me included! 3 am would come around and I’d be wide awake for hours.

Although I sleep pretty well now (unless caffeine has been to the party) I know this is a massive issue for so many of us – so I was thrilled to talk with Lisa Pomare, a medical herbalist, nutritionist, and naturopath at Next Phase Health.


In this week’s episode dedicated to providing sleep solutions, we delve into the hormonal shifts of perimenopause and menopause and understand how they can affect your sleep, as well as the consequences of sleep deprivation such as high blood pressure, anxiety, weight gain, and more.


Lisa highlights strategies for rescuing sleep during menopause. Brewed into our discussion is an understanding of night sweats and sleep apnea, troublesome menopausal symptoms, and practical tips for handling them. Our episode offers a holistic guide for women navigating menopause, with a focus on maintaining and recovering sleep quality.


If you’re struggling with sleep problems or interested in improving your sleep hygiene, this episode serves as a thorough guide. Tune in to comprehend the importance of sleep during midlife and learn practical solutions to achieve more restorative sleep.


Lisa Pomare Next Phase Health

Lisa Pomare is a Tauranga based Naturopath and Nutritionist who is passionate about all things Peri/Menopause and healthy, happy ageing. She decided to begin her degree at age 44, while in the wild throws of her own perimenopause. She has ticked off many of the symptoms on the list, from mild to life impacting during her journey. Lisa works in clinical practice both one on one (online and in person) and providing group education, she speaks from not only research but personal experience. In her spare time Lisa loves to grow veges, read trashy novels and hang out near a beach, lake or waterfall.






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Please note: Nothing within this podcast constitutes medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider.


Full Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Meegan Care: So welcome to the podcast, Lisa Pomare from Next Phase Health. So excited that you’re here. Tell us a little bit about yourself and the people that you help.

[00:00:10] Lisa Pomare: Sure. Thank you for having me. This is really exciting to share some of the information and learnings I’ve had both through my studies and through going through the menopause transition myself.

I am a 49, well, turning 49 soon mother of two, based in sunny Tauranga. And about five years ago, I gave up my business career. I’d had a lot of retail stores for many years and decided to retrain and become a naturopath, medical herbalist, and I work as a nutritionist as well. And one of the reasons I did this was I saw the hormonal changes, how they were affecting me, but also the woman in my circle.

We were all kind of blindly Sort of trying to get through some real challenges, and I wanted to go and learn more about how I could support myself and and support others. So I guess it was a really, like, four and a half years of study was a really intense way of, of going and figuring out my own health issues.

Probably could have just gone and seen a naturopath myself, but but it’s always been kind of something health is, Always been a big deal to me and it’s something I’m super passionate about. So it’s been an incredible, incredible journey. And I now work in a clinic in, in Tauranga and I see I see everyone, but I am really passionate about working with one on one and in group settings with women who are either early stage perimenopause.

So just starting to notice. Some strange symptoms coming up right through to postmenopause, taking care of things like cardiovascular health, bone health and just outlook on life, how they want this new stage of life to be for them. So we do a lot of work around that, which I absolutely love as well.


[00:01:54] Meegan Care: And do you work online as well, or are you?

[00:01:57] Lisa Pomare: Yeah, yeah. No, online’s big. I saw a lot of clients last year in Auckland, so they have followed me into my own private clinic. So I have telehealth set up so I can see people organize prescriptions and blood tests and things all around. Just at this stage, just New Zealand.


[00:02:13] Meegan Care: Yeah, beautiful. So you’re available to us. That’s fantastic. So let’s dive into our topic for today, which is that crazy time around sleep and menopause. What happens to our sleep? My sleep was substantially affected going through perimenopause. that’s not a problem now, but man, it was an issue for a number of years.

So you’re here to guide us through that with our sleep troubles and perimenopause and menopause. So where’s a good place to begin?

[00:02:46] Lisa Pomare: I guess just understanding, firstly, I would love to talk about just a few of the things that poor sleep can impact because it’s, I think we think about short term stuff like how rubbish we feel the day after we’ve had a bad night’s sleep and and then it.

That starts to impact as the, as the sleep sort of, you know, back in the day, you’d have a few a few nights of poor sleep and, you know, it would be gone. You’d be back to sleeping normally, but I guess that one of the downsides with aging is sleep becomes a mystical, magical thing that we can’t quite get on a regular basis.

And it’s a real long reaching Implications with that one of the, one of the underlying problems can be high blood pressure. So regular regular lack of sleep impacts our stress hormones like cortisol, and that can drive up blood pressure which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease as well, because high blood pressure is one of the drivers of Of strokes and, and yeah, and cardiovascular problems.

So, yeah, we definitely want to get a good quality sleep to look after our blood pressure. It can affect our immune system. Again, anything that’s driving or dysregulating our cortisol our stress hormone impacts our immunity. And melatonin, which is our sleep hormone, which we want lots of.

That’s actually an anti inflammatory hormone as well. So that’s going to help with inflammation immune regulation. Stress, anxiety, depression. As I said, we know how rubbish we feel after a poor night’s sleep, but long term sleep that dysregulation of our, our cortisol, our stress hormones that can really drive the feelings of.

Anxiety, it’s actually a sleep deprivation actually impacts a specific part of the brain, which is responsible for feelings of it or associated with feelings of anxiety. So there’s, there’s lots of flow on effects from those, obviously, those mental health implications another one, which is so, important and so relevant at this stage of life as weight gain. It’s probably one of the biggest things that my clients complain about. Yeah, hello. Yeah, it’s. The amazing, when I’ve got people sleeping properly, you know, we can do all the things around food and exercise, but sleep is probably the first thing I focus on and one of the things that has such a big impact because, I mean, there’s a few, there’s some chemical things that are happening there, like with blood sugar poor sleep impacts our insulin resistance and our blood sugar maintenance and so that storm affects how we Use, utilize energy and store fat.

But also when you’re sleep deprived and you’re trying to get through the day, you’re more likely to reach for quick carbs, sugar, something to help caffeine to help you out. And less likely to do a really good job of exercising. So that’s a, that’s a huge one for. People struggling with weight gain and then brain fog and memory issues.

So as you see, a lot of these things I’m talking about are things that we see in as medical symptoms. And so sleep can really have a, an underlying impact. There’s, you know, a lot that happens while our brain is resting and I’ll go into that a little bit more later. And obviously there’s lots of causes behind brain fogs, not just sleep, there’s hormonal changes and inflammation, but the sleep.

Has an impact on how memories dealt with and also how the cells send messages, the neurons send messages throughout the brain. So yeah, again, poor sleep can really impact that and increase those feelings of that brain fog. So that’s just some of it. Like there’s loads of. Research around even disease states that can be really affected by long term chronic poor sleep.

So I think it’s, it’s something that people really do want to pay attention to and not just accept that it’s this stage of life and therefore, you know, I’m only going to sleep four or five hours and it’s going to be poor sleep. It’s just, just the stage of life because you can get sleep back. It takes a bit of work, but it’s as you can see from these health issues, it’s definitely worth it.

[00:06:50] Meegan Care: Yes, absolutely. And so why does sleep change for many women that I talk to, and including myself, so dramatically in perimenopause?

[00:07:04] Lisa Pomare: There’s a few there’s a few reasons. One of the biggest one would be the shift in hormones. So we obviously go through this wild ride of, of peaking estrogen and progesterone slowly exiting the building as our ovarian stores run out and progesterone is a hormone It’s a calming hormone.

It’s a sleep inducing hormone. So as you lose that, that definitely has an impact on sleep and also like with estrogen with the peaks and troughs of estrogen, we see the hot flushes come in and with the lowering of estrogen, we see those night sweats start to ramp up and. It’s pretty hard to sleep when you are, you know, so much hotter or when you are waking up and the bed’s completely drenched.

That’s not super supportive of a, of a quality night’s sleep. So that’s a couple of reasons. We also become less resilient with, with the hormone imbalances. We become less resilient to stress. So it feels like a much more stressful time And I guess if we stop and think about it for a while, things that external things that you probably would have taken in your stride.

Well, 20s, you wouldn’t have been worried about it. 30s, you would have taken it through your stride, but in your 40s and 50s, these little things can become a lot more overwhelming and things seem to stack up. And we’re a lot more responsible, reactive, I guess, to some of the things that are happening in our lives.

So obviously if we’re feeling more stressed and we’re worrying about more things, that in turn is. Telling our body, you know, that we are in a dangerous situation and therefore we go and release those stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and that’s going to have a direct impact on on our stress.

So, yeah, definitely when we get down to talk about things that we can do to support our sleep, really ramping up that stress management and and the nice things we can do for ourselves as well. The other thing, as I said earlier blood sugar impact. So I see a lot of changes in insulin sensitivity due to, again, the loss of estrogen we become.

Like an insulin resistant state, a lot of women and we need insulin to escort sugar into the cells so the cells can use the glucose for energy. But what happens as we go through this change is a couple of things. We can end up Quite fatigued from not having enough glucose energy, but also our blood sugar becomes what can become quite erratic.

And those peaks and troughs can really affect our sleep. So if our blood sugar is nice and stable throughout the day, then often it tends to be quite stable at night. But if it’s a bit of a wild ride during the day and we you know, we wake up with low blood sugar and then we have some kind of high energy, maybe cereal or toast or something sweet, that’s going to peak our blood sugar, then it’s going to drop down quite substantially.

Which then needs more sugar to help us bring it up again. And so we kind of go up and down and up and down and that can translate into your sleep as well. So for people who are kind of waking at 3, quite wide awake there can be a number of things, but often I’m finding with clients, it’s actually the Blood sugar’s dropped quite low.

Cortisol’s come in to say, Hey liver, release some blood sugar so we can stay alive, breathe, do whatever we need to do. And as a result of that when you, when you get a shot of cortisol in the middle of the night, of course it’s like It’s not even sleeping, like it’s wide awake and then that’s often when we get that, that wake up that is hard to go back to sleep.

So there’s, there’s so many things happening there. So yeah, it’s a fun ride, like a lot of symptoms that way. Experience. Yeah. Amazing, really, to make it through all of this.

[00:10:58] Meegan Care: Yeah, we’re incredible. And never fear, we’re going to, we’re going to actually get into some strategies, some helpful things as we, as we go through this, but we talk about, you’re talking about poor sleep and you know, and I think about good sleep, but actually what, what should we be aiming for as a sort of a ballpark?

What is, what is good sleep?

[00:11:16] Lisa Pomare: Sure. Well, okay. So I’ll just go over a little bit of like. What sleep not what sleep is, but I guess how sleep actually works and the body because we’ve taken it for granted for years and it’s always going to be something that’s going to be there and you just shut your eyes and it happens, but what actually happens is the body works off walks on a 24 hour clock or the circadian rhythm, right?

And that clock kind of defines when the melatonin comes in to some degree when the melatonin comes in and. When sleep happens and again, when we wake up and that that clock is defined or kind of. It works on a part of the brain, which is light and dark sensitive. So that’s why it’s really, really important to, for starters, have really regular sleep and wake patterns if you can, that really supports a good sleep and to get light in your eyes in the morning and have things nice and dark and moody in the evening.

So I highly recommend like anyone who’s struggling with sleep, first thing when you wake up or within that first bit of waking up in the morning, get outside if you can. Sit on the deck with your warm water and lemon or take the dog for a quick walk around the block and without sunglasses on. Now I’m not talking look, get your eyeballs at the sun.

But I’m just saying light in the eyes tells the brain turn off the melatonin. It’s time to be awake. And hopefully we’ll have some nice cortisol to cause cortisol. Good. We actually want it. It keeps us awake during the day. It’s just, we don’t want it and 3 a. m. So yeah, so basically we want some light in the morning and then at bedtime, hitting even from sort of seven 30 onwards, lower lights creating that.

That mood for sleep and then pitch black as possible. Like when the kids were babies, we want it really black to give us a really good good night’s sleep. So it’s just circadian rhythm, which Manages a lot of this. And then you’ve got the hormones, as I said, that come in. So melatonin kicks in anything from sort of nine 30, 10 30 ish, and helps us fall into that sleep pattern.

And then cortisol comes at the other end of the day and wakes us up and gets us moving. Now, during those patterns, once we are asleep, there’s what’s some people may have heard of like the REM sleep or the rapid eye movement sleep and in the non rapid eye movement sleep and, and to make it really brief REM sleep is when we process what’s happened during the day.

We consolidate our memories. And then during the non REM sleep is when a lot of the neurotransmitters actually switch off for a bit. So things like serotonin, histamine, they’ll actually switch off, which gives the, the little receptors that the neurotransmitters tell, tell them to do something, gives these little receptors a little rest and helps them become more able to pick up the messages.

So It’s a great time for sort of resetting the brain, resetting our systems during that time. Also the brain cleans out. So with the brain working really, really hard during the day, a lot of sort of waste is created, which clogs up the brain. We’ve got this system called the lymphatic system, kind of like the lymph system of the body, which clears out our waste and works as our immune system.

The lymph system in the brain is clearing out all that junk. That is sitting in there. We want that gone to help with inflammation and to help with clear thought. So that’s all happening while we’re asleep. So kind of, it’s really important to make sure we are getting enough sleep. And the research I’ve read sort of indicates that sort of seven to nine hour window is actually optimum.

And there’s like, obviously people out there who say five hours because there’s. We’ve got lots to achieve and, and that they do really well on five hours. But from what I’ve been saying to, to have all these processes happen, well we want a good sort of seven to nine hours sleep, especially as we’re approaching this sort of more hectic time of life.


[00:15:13] Meegan Care: So that’s, that’s definitely been the sweet spot for me. And actually when I, when I talked to my partner about. Sleep and he’s not a woman and, but he’s in midlife ish and he doesn’t sleep that great. And so, and I sort of talked to him about actually, but sleep is the foundation. So if we do all this other stuff, but you’re staying up till one or two in the morning, then honestly, what is the point?

Bit harsh, but sleep really is the foundation of our health.

[00:15:45] Lisa Pomare: Yeah, absolutely. And as we talked about with those, you know, the previous kind of the impacts that can have it’s, it’s so it’s up there with, you know, hydrating and eating well it’s as important, if not more important because, you know, our brain health is like everything.

And so we really want to do all we can to to maximize that time where the brain is restoring and repairing itself as well. So yeah, super, super relevant for men, women. at children, everyone.

[00:16:13] Meegan Care: Everyone. So tell us about, tell us about our friends caffeine and alcohol, because I used to be able to get away with it pre perimenopause.

And now I cannot neither caffeine nor alcohol though. They really destroy the quality

[00:16:28] Lisa Pomare: of my sleep. Yeah, absolutely. So caffeine has a half life in the body of about six hours, depending, give or take, depending on the person. So and it’s a stimulant. So if you’re having it anything after kind of lunchtime, it’s literally still there being like, Hey, come on, let’s do some stuff.

So Definitely if you’re having caffeine and there’s a lot of other reasons that I won’t go into today why in midlife we don’t want to be having a lot of caffeine, but if you’re having a coffee in the morning, highly recommend having it after some food and probably early in the morning and just having one.

I, I would hesitate to have any kind of caffeinated drink, whether it’s soda or anything else. After lunchtime, because It can definitely, even if you’re a reasonable sleeper, it can definitely not only impact sleep quality onset, but also the quality and depth of that sleep and the ability to have good REM sleep, REM sleep as well.

As far as alcohol goes it’s a rough one because I know a lot of women reach for the end of the day Alcohol to, you know, wine or whatever to help with the days, you know, stress of the day and all those kind of things. But yeah, it definitely, the liver load the sugar content this, yeah, it really does have an impact on the quality of our sleep.

And you do notice it, like, I’ve spoken to quite a few women lately who are just saying to me, I love A drink, but I just couldn’t stomach it or I just did not feel like it. And I guess that’s the body just saying not right now. Maybe later, but not right now. Sleep’s too important. So even though it does feel relaxing and like make you feel a little bit sleepy in the evening, it will actually have an impact.

Later on the quality of that sleep and, and just doesn’t make us feel great the next day. Next day, I’ve actually had to stop. I haven’t. Really? I probably had maybe three or four units a year now because it is just not my friend. So I’ve found lots of other delicious alternatives and new routines around having a wine glass.

[00:18:32] Meegan Care: Yes. Cause a lot of it is that psychological, you know, I’ve had a stressful day. I’ve been really busy and I’m still cooking dinner. I’m still doing things. What can I do to treat or nourish myself? That, that was what was going on for me. Yeah. And then it just, Made me feel worse and worse and worse even just one drink and now I’m sort of at the stage Where I can have one or two drinks a week or whatever, and I’m okay, I’m okay.

But wine is no longer my friend at all, yeah, and I know a lot of women my age who feel the same way.

[00:19:07] Lisa Pomare: So sad. I used to love a good pint of wine, but yeah. Like I have a couple of mouthfuls now and I know I know yeah, so definitely creating, I mean, this is the era of self care, like this, this journey as it’s all about us, it’s time to really take stock of our needs and really take care of ourselves and start educating those people that we’ve given to for all these years about how they can support us.

So little things that I’ve done is I’ve definitely. My I’ve really ramped up my self care probably my partner might say too much, but definitely looking at areas, things that bring you joy because, you know, when you’re doing things that bring you joy, you’re less needing to reach for other things to bring you joy.

I always have an arsenal of. Things I can drink that delicious, but non alcoholic. So there’s some, I love like some, some kombucha, sparkling water and lemon. During the winter herbal teas, because they relax me, especially like with lemon balm and passion fruit and chamomile and things like that, licorice, they actually have quite a profound effect on my nervous system.

So that’s like a win win. And things like going for a walk building oxytocin and dopamine, those happy, nice, nourishing neurotransmitters by petting a pet and cuddling someone bringing more of that in so we’re not needing these external things to kind of get those boosts of goodness and creating routines you know, I can still go out for dinner, I can go Go to an event and there’s always now something there because it’s really becoming quite a thing to not drink.

And there’s no judgment on anyone that does. I’m just saying if it’s not working for you right now, there are plenty of ways to take a break. You don’t need to feel bad about it because. It’s amazing how many people are making this choice now because it’s just not working for them. So the options, if you go to the supermarket and look at the alcohol free section, it’s getting bigger and bigger.

So yeah, there’s plenty of options out there and then readdress it. Like when you come through the transition and things have really settled down, readdress it, what you want your relationship with alcohol to be. But it was certainly your liver will be super happy to have taken a break because at the moment it’s got a big job dealing with the.

All the massive hormone fluctuations that are happening. It’s under pressure with the dysregulated blood sugar. So that guy needs some love and taking away alcohol for a little bit is super

[00:21:28] Meegan Care: supportive. Yeah, it’s very supportive for our liver. That’s right. And, and it doesn’t mean that we’re never going to have fun now.

You know, that’s what I. I had to understand within myself and that’s certainly, you know, how it’s rolled out for me. Yeah. So night sweats for women, for many women is very difficult, like really challenging. What sort of tips and advice have you got for us around

[00:21:54] Lisa Pomare: that? Firstly, with hot flushes and night sweats is trying to get to the bottom of what’s actually happening for you.

Is it yeah, is it just a lack of estrogen or is it blood sugar or is it stress? So Just to give an example, this is more I was, I was getting the night heat as well, not sweats, but hate. But through the last year of college, I had terrible, very, very strong hot flushes, like really would kind of feel them come and they would zoom forward and.

Full on, and I would run several degrees hotter at night which really was impacting my sleep. And I just presumed it was just another phase of the fun time and just kind of did my best to manage those symptoms. As soon as I finished college and got back home, I was traveling. As soon as I got back into a home environment, gone.

Hot flushes, night switch, gone. So stress was a massive, massive impact for me. And managing my stress now sees. None of that happening. So firstly, identify, is it stress and how we can manage that better. Again, blood sugar quite often people will be able to, if they drop in enough, identify that, that drop of blood sugar and the rush in of cortisol or adrenaline that can be behind their their heat.

So managing and I’ll talk about food and stuff later on, but managing that blood sugar. So that’s a lot. more regulated, that can help. And if, if it’s all of those things taken care of, and it seems to be just the hormonal peaks and troughs, some of my tips would be definitely looking at your linen.

What’s under your mattress. Is it like a Synthetic mattress protector. Is your linen nice and breathable? There’s obviously good quality cotton, bamboos, linens, those types of things that are really breathable. Having layers that you can remove. So lightweight blankets instead of like a big heavy duvet.

Even if it means that your, your partner has a different. Duvet to you breathable, no pajamas or breathable, lightweight pajamas or sleepwear. And if you could see my room now, I actually literally have moved my bed to the window. So my head sleeps by an open window. I have a giant fan pointed at my head and it works really well.

So this was more for when I was going through my really stressful heated period. It’s not so bad now, although I do sleep a lot better when the room is cool. But I will literally go to bed with my head right by the window. And if I’m having some hot stuff going on, a fan pointed at me. And that’s because in your brain is the the sensor for temperature.

And in perimenopause, menopause, that goes on the fritz and sort of over exaggerates or gets really sensitive. So you might walk from a cool space into a warm space and your body suddenly goes, Oh my God, it’s so hot. We’re on fire. Sends all our blood rushing away from our internal organs to the outside of our body, and we get that hot flush.

So keeping this area nice and cool is a great way to help with that. And then yeah, managing the blood sugar, which I’ll get to when we chat about The food side of things. So those are some tips. Having a cool shower before bed is really beneficial. Not only does it help cool the cord down, but it also tells your brain that it’s time to re release the melatonin.

So I’m not talking ice bath situation, but just cooler than a really hot hot shower that can raise the temperature as well.

[00:25:22] Meegan Care: Yeah, really great tips there, and sleep apnea, so that’s, how might that be affecting our sleep? Is that something that gets worse? As we get

[00:25:32] Lisa Pomare: older. Yeah, I was actually just reading some research about this.

When I was looking into other bits and pieces for today. And it does seem in woman, it does seem to get worse with age. I’m not sure of all the mechanisms behind that. Definitely with weight gain that can affect our ability to breathe well. During our sleep and more likely to have issues with sleep apnea.

And I think because I mean, estrogen receptors are everywhere in the body, right? Like everywhere. When I started looking into it, it’s like literally every part of our body can be affected by estrogen telling it to do a job. And I do wonder if there’s something with the back of the throat and the way we breathe being impacted by those hormones as well because potentially that could be a mechanism, but The research does show definitely as we are aging and getting into this phase, that there’s a big increase in the incidence of sleep apnea and sleep apnea, the, the ramifications of, it’s not just poor snoring and poor quality of sleep, but you know, All of that can lead to the dysregulations during the day, to weight gain, inflammation, those types of things, so if it’s something that potentially could be happening, it’s definitely worth looking into and getting it identified and getting some help with that if it is a problem for you.

[00:26:54] Meegan Care: Right. And so how do you know if that’s going on for you

[00:26:57] Lisa Pomare: other than yeah, often it’ll be because it’s, it’s to do with not getting breath or sometimes gasping in the night. So often your partner will point out that you’re maybe snoring more or that they’re hearing you gasping. Sometimes you can feel it in yourself as well that you kind of Feel like you can’t take a breath or you’re gasping for breath.

And I guess if you were seeing a lot of, there’s a couple of clients have come to me and I’m like, with what you’re telling me, I want to investigate it. So weight gain outside of anything super obvious. So, you know, quite good diet and, you know, doing all the things, but saying like, You know, weight gain, a lot, you know, very much daytime fatigue, that kind of thing.

If thyroid is looking okay and a lot of the other numbers are looking okay. And if they are newly snoring and I’m like, let’s look into this. Cause this was something that could be going on for you.

[00:27:48] Meegan Care: Nice, nice, really helpful. And so, what about you know, ways in our everyday life when we, you, you know, pointed towards food and that kind of thing, can we help our, the quality of our sleep given everything else that’s

[00:28:04] Lisa Pomare: going on?

Absolutely. So what I’d highly recommend to anyone who is having trouble sleeping is to like, look at your whole day because sleep is not what happens after nine o’clock, right? It is from the minute the cortisol kicks in and we wake up on that cycle. So everything throughout the day has an impact. So I’d really consider, take some time and consider what you’re doing throughout your day.

That could be impacting what happens at the other end of the day. It’s massive. And when I work with clients around this and we start looking at all these things that are happening during the day, the, where the stress is coming in, when they’re eating, what they’re eating it’s really easy to pinpoint some areas that they can quite simply make some great changes.

So yeah, looking at that and creating a nice routine for life that is sleep supportive. Because then that’s health supportive. So things like obviously getting up in the morning, getting that light in your eyes is the first thing I would say. Now we also want to get lots of protein in because so melatonin is the end goal for helping with sleep.

Serotonin is our happy one of those nice hormones that turns into melatonin. But prior to serotonin, we need tryptophan. And tryptophan is an amino acid that we get from protein, right? So we want to be eating plenty of protein for so many reasons. Like we literally are made of protein and all our neurotransmitters and everything is protein.

So getting enough protein. And so I highly recommend people having a good protein for breakfast for lots of reasons, but it will help with our tryptophan. And it will help keep our blood sugar nice and steady during the day. So that can look like, some eggs and some salmon or a protein smoothie it can be some oats, some yogurts, some seeds and some berries chia seed pudding with some extra protein.

I mean, there’s loads and, and if anyone’s interested, I can, if they reach out, I can send out some recipes and things like that to help support protein in the morning. So. Yeah, getting that protein in. We also want some carbs throughout the day because we need carbs to add to the tryptophan to make the serotonin.

So when I say carbs, I’m not necessarily talking like sugar and white bread and things like that. I’m talking like whole grain carbs that are sustaining our blood sugar throughout the day, not peaking it. So things like whole grain bread. If you’re going to have bread, rice can be a good one. Quinoa basically some good whole grains to sustain your energy and to help balance your blood sugar. So, that would be the first point. Getting hydration throughout the day, because what tends to happen is we run a million miles an hour, we don’t drink enough water.

After work, we’re like, Oh, I’m dehydrated. So we drink a whole bunch of water in the evening and then we need to get up and pee in the night. And so that. Anything that’s waking us up is interrupting our sleep cycle and then there’s the risk we’re not going to go back to sleep. So staying nice and hydrated, again, it impacts so many things in the body, but it definitely helps support good sleep.

So other regular meals would be lunch, again, protein, some good carbohydrates and some fat a decent size lunch so we’re not running on empty and, and therefore Affecting our nervous system and then coming into dinner time. What I’ve seen work quite well is a lighter dinner and not if you’re going to have the heavier proteins like red meat and stuff I’d actually have that more with your breakfast or lunch when your digestive system’s firing a lot Better a lot stronger and then have that lighter dinner.

So, you know if you’re wanting animal protein Chicken, fish, that type of thing. But yeah, something lighter because it’s easier for our digestive system to process. We’re going to be going to sleep in a couple of hours, so we don’t want to be lying there with a lot of food and gurgling and things happening because that in itself is going to be potentially keeping us awake.

So yeah, I like a light dinner in the evening and definitely eating early in the evening to give us a big window of time for digestion to happen. So and that can help with things like bloating indigestion, discomfort even reflux to some degree because sometimes when we go to sleep and, and also in menopause the little valve that keeps all the food down where it should be can get a bit lax.

And then we go to bed and so we tend to get more acid reflux. So yeah, early in the evening would be a great way to go. And then I guess leading into, oh, sorry. Really important managing your stress throughout the day. So yeah, I can’t forget that one. So things like when you, when something happens, you take a phone call or an email or someone lets you down stopping and doing a bit of breath can be a few deep breaths.

I really love cyclic sign at the moment. It’s such a hack for someone who. I’m not great at doing a 20 minute meditation, but I will sit for 90 seconds to a couple of minutes and cycle at side. And if you Google that there’s, it’s certainly easy and it’s my favorite at the moment. So yeah, just like even sitting at the lights, if you’re feeling tense, just doing some nice slow breath.

So we’re tapering our nervous system regularly throughout the day, rather than going into these big, like into the, into the world moments, which is going to really increase that cortisol. Response. So yeah, really managing that doing some nice things for yourself, having some nice thoughts taking five minutes to go and sit and eat your lunch in the sun, or even at work, if you can go for a walk around the block putting your feet on the grass, like anything you can do to calm down that nervous system get in nature after work, if you can, because that’s going to lead to Better sleep.

We can’t run on empty and run frantically all day and then expect. Our brain to just switch off. It’s good. It needs some some little, little and often, right? Absolutely. Absolutely. And that’s a lot more sustainable as well because people are busy. So yeah, definitely. Looking at that and then coming into sleep time.

So after work, obviously meals and all the rest of it, but as we get to that kind of seven 30, eight o’clock time onwards. Bringing the lights down low, you know, creating a nice mood in the house. If you’ve got kids that will help even with their sleep and sleep quality. So, you know less noise watching, if you’re watching TV or reading something, things that are less likely to be stimulating or upsetting.

So definitely avoiding any. Big conversations or arguments avoiding anything too dramatic or traumatic. So your nervous system’s nice and calm. Everything’s feeling a lot more sleep supportive. And then I always have and have for a number of years, because I really struggled in that probably early forties, my sleep was pretty bad.

So I. Oh, my gosh. I don’t want to think about all the things I’ve done over the years to try and support myself, but I have created a pretty consistent mini sleep routine, which I can take. So, if I’m traveling or whatever is going on, I can still bring that bring that online to, to make sure I have a good night’s sleep.

So. Everyone will be different and if you want a, I’ve got a handout that has lots of ideas on it. Just reach out if you would like to look at that, but basically mine looks like, as I said, bringing the low lights down doing something chill. I’ll usually do a lot of stretching. Things are starting to get quite tight, especially with all the typing and just stress.

So stretching and doing what you can to kind of turn down any pain that you might have going on because obviously that’s not helpful for sleep. I will always have my magnesium before I go to bed. It is something that I think everyone I’ve come across as being very deficient of magnesium. If you’ve got things like muscle aches and pains and leg cramps and feeling quite anxious, often that can have an underlying magnesium as well as other nutrient deficiencies, but it’s You need magnesium for so many hundreds of processes in the body and we just don’t get it a lot from our diet anymore.

So that can really be helpful, but there are very particular types of magnesium which help with sleep. Some will help greatly with constipation, which is fine if you are constipated, but if you’re not, they can have a negative effect. If you think you may be allergic to magnesium because you get diarrhea when you take it, please reach out and I will talk to you about the forms of magnesium which are sleep supportive.

But anyway definitely some magnesium. I’ll have a sleepy tea. So my partner, I’m brew a little, little, because I don’t want to have huge amounts of water, but we’ll brew quite a strong little sleepy tea which will sip while we’re kind of winding down. And I really like to use a Shakti mat.

I find that works really well for me. It’s an acupressure mat and lying on that brings in seems to bring all the blood and the oxygen into my back. And as a result, within about 10 minutes, That combination, the eyelids are getting very, very heavy, and I will have a very deep, dark sleep now if everything else is lined up during the day.

So those, that’s just mine, but for other people there are lots of different things that I’ve seen working. Some will do. Like a little mini yoga before bed, or they will listen to a guided meditation. I’ve got one with an Irish guy talking for about 20 minutes, which I never have heard the end of it.

It puts me out every time. So there’s some great, great resources there. And a lot of them are free if you try YouTube. Yeah. Look online. And so yeah, some stuff like that. A yoga knee dry, which again is like a, it’s called a yoga sleep. That is like a talking meditation that can be really great for helping you fall asleep.

I, there’s a, a breathing technique I love called the sunbather. Which in my really tricky years of sleeping, of not sleeping someone taught to me and that was basically you lie on your bed and you have a pillow underneath your knees and you just drop your knees, not like full butterfly, but you just kind of drop your knees out to the side so there’s no pressure on any part of your body, little head under the little pillow under the head and you actually bring your hands back behind your head.

And in this position, you can only diaphragm, diaphragm medically breathe. You’re no longer breathing into your chest. So again, that nice long, which we hardly ever do. There’s nice long diaphragmatic breaths. And when I used to do that again, if I did 10 minutes of that, I’d be out. And that’s beneficial, not only for sleep, but like nervous system as well.

So it’s a great thing to, if you’re suffering with anxiety and other things like that, it’s a great one to put in your arsenal for for tools when you need it. So that’s just some of the things. Oh my gosh. There’s so many lists of bits and pieces you can add into. And so I kind of give people the list and I say, try something for three or four nights.

If it works, put it into your routine and then come up with your own little sleep routine. Depending on your lifestyle and, and what’s got a great idea. That’s a great

[00:38:44] Meegan Care: idea. And a lot of those tools, I think, you know, those times when I was waking up at three in the morning and that was me for three hours.

I could actually do those tools while I was lying there and, you know, maybe I wasn’t going back to sleep then because of other things that were going on with my physical well being because of perimenopause, but I was getting the rest. So it is,

[00:39:05] Lisa Pomare: you know, they’re very helpful. Absolutely. I guess the other thing around that is is identifying why that middle of the night waking is coming.

Like, is it worrying about something? Is it because you need, so worry is one thing we can, you know, work on the stress and also some nutrients to help get you through that time. Is it urination? So that’s a, that’s a big one because With that, we want to dig into, is it the membrane and the tissues around the bladder and vagina, which is causing a more sensitive is it the bladder is too empty and it’s becoming hypersensitive or coffee making it sensitive?

Are you drinking too much water in the evening? Has the bladder become, something’s happened and it’s happened, something’s happened. So you’ve woken up a few times. One night and it becomes a habit. So, you know, do we need to retrain that bladder? That actually you don’t need to wake me up. So that’s one reason.

Is it liver? And we need to address that and give the liver some love and support. Is it blood sugar? So those things we want to look at first, but also we want to sort of think about How we manage ourselves when we do wake up, because, you know, the first night you kind of don’t think too much about it, but when it’s happening subsequent nights, you start to panic and you start to feel because you’re feeling so rough during the day.

It becomes like, I have to sleep tonight, like, whatever happens, I have to sleep, you know, it’s going to affect my work. It’s going to do this. I can’t do that. And all of these stories start happening. So the danger of that is creating patterns for starters and creating those stressful moments. So, you know, a couple of things you can do is as first night fine, whatever, but the 2nd night it happens, try really hard to not engage with those stories.

And those thoughts, and which can be really tricky. And, and so what I would say is don’t clock watch so much cause that’s a real common thing to do. Don’t clock watch. You could have a little rescue remedy, a little sleep herb, a little routine that you have, which helps you go back to sleep and just go straight into that before having this conversation in your brain.

I noticed there was a time in my life and it was stress related, but I was waking at literally Two eleven say every single night and it would happen and I’d look at the clock. Oh my God, it’s two eleven again. Like why is this happening? And all these stories and tomorrow I’m going to do this. And I’d become so stressed that it would take me hours to go back to sleep.

And then I can’t remember who told me this. I probably learned it on Instagram or something, but it was like, Make friends with this, like, laugh at it. And so the next night, it was like, again, 2 11, and I was like, LOL, 2 11, of course it’s happening, that’s so funny, that it’s happening at 2 11, like, oh my gosh, why is this happening?

Took the power away, and I started sleeping through again. You know, it, it, And, and I’m not saying that’s going to work for everyone, but definitely taking the power of that fear of that negative talk away can be really, really powerful. Or just saying like I, I, for a while there, I just said, okay, if this happens and I’m not in a state to work tomorrow, I’m just going to call in sick because I shouldn’t be seeing people if I’m in this state.

And again, that took the power of the worry of what could happen away. And I even needed to do that, but it gave me the option. It took away the pressure and I think that’s a really powerful thing if you can do it as well, just to take the pressure off yourself or just say, look, okay, this happens, I’m going to get up, I’m going to read for a little bit, I’m going to make myself another little sleepy tea or take some herbs, and then I’m going to get back to sleep and it’s going to be great.

Yeah, definitely changing the mindset and the conversations around. The

[00:42:36] Meegan Care: mindset’s huge and I think there’s a lot of lessons in there for how we approach. Other stressors in our life as well, you know, that we often don’t put ourselves first because that’s our conditioning. And so this mid lifetime is a beautiful time to start really nurturing and nourishing ourselves and putting ourselves first.

And if that means, well, actually today my caseload is going to be less or work is going to have to adjust. If we can do that, then that becomes really important and far reaching, I think, out into our lives as well.

[00:43:08] Lisa Pomare: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Like we’ve got to think about what we’re teaching our, not our children in general, but our daughters, you know, like I’ve got older children now, older girls, and I’m having a lot of conversations around, they saw me go through this crazy period in my thirties of running multiple businesses and just like burning.

And I did burn out and, and I’m now saying to them, do what you love. Don’t do what I did. Don’t follow mom. You know? You know? Because. To me, health and happiness is way more important and I got it wrong. First to say I got it wrong. That was not the way to live. I did not practice any self care. You know, yoga once every three weeks was not going to undo the amount of damage I was doing to my nervous system to my sleep cycle.

And I did, I was pouring daily from an empty, empty cup. I want them to see, and hopefully they see it now, someone who does prioritize rest and joy and, you know, doing all the things for myself that I don’t need to feel guilty about it, that I don’t need to justify it. And, and that’s, I’m a better mom and a better partner if I’m taking care of myself and that is, it’s a shift I’m seeing coming through now.

It’s a lot of conversations around this and I really hope this next generation learns from that.

[00:44:25] Meegan Care: Is there anything important that you want to share as we come to nearing the end of our conversation about

[00:44:32] Lisa Pomare: sleep? No, I think I’ve gone in pretty deep and covered it.

I think you’ve gone

[00:44:37] Meegan Care: really deep. It’s been fantastic.

[00:44:40] Lisa Pomare: I mean, I think I’ve covered it pretty well. I guess it’s just, yeah, it’s, it’s, I’m giving you permission to take care of yourself. I’m giving you permission. To prioritize your sleep for your longevity from your, from point of view of your health and happiness.

Please, yeah, make this a priority and start taking care of yourself. The way you would someone else you really care about. I think that’s really, really important. And if you are struggling with sleep there is, So much you can do. Don’t just accept that this is the stage of life or the age and you just need to put up with it.

Reach out to your health practitioner. Even in a health food shop, you know, there is lots of great information out there that can really improve what’s happening. And

[00:45:23] Meegan Care: if they, if they want to reach out to you for further advice. How can they do that?

[00:45:28] Lisa Pomare: Yeah, just have a look on my website. So it’s nextphasehealth.

co. nz. Otherwise, if you want to jump on Instagram, it’s pretty horrific. I’ve started putting up some some live reels with information about just basics of life, like how to food prep. So you’re not cooking every night. How do I make vegetables? Because like, I was not a visual eater and I’ve had to learn how to be, so how to make vegetables delicious, but I also put lots of information around stress and sleep and the things I do to manage that.

So that’s where you can get some free information is just to go follow me on Instagram or, facebook and that’s again, just next phase health. And yeah, that might be a good starting point to get some hints and tips. Otherwise, you feel free to just message me through my website and I’m happy to send out the handouts that I give out to my clients because I just think this is such an important set of information for, for everyone really.

[00:46:20] Meegan Care: Yeah, so fantastic. You’ve given us a really, really great grounding and, you know, what can we do to help our sleep when things get a little bit chaotic and go off the rail a bit, which is super common at this stage of life. So really, really appreciate your input in our conversation, Lisa. Thank you so

[00:46:38] Lisa Pomare: much.

No, it’s been amazing. Thank you.