Ann is an older, well-known actress who has been experiencing menopausal symptoms for the past eight years. We changed her name to protect her privacy. But her experience is one that most women can relate to.
Even though Ann's been using bio-identical hormones, she's still been suffering from sleep disturbances and hot flashes. She came to see me because of her sleep issues and her associated fatigue. As an actress, she has early morning calls for filming. It was taking her until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. to fall asleep every night, and she has to get up at 5:00 a.m. for make-up. Her work was suffering, as was her health. She juggled caffeine and sleep medications to try to sleep when she needed to sleep and be alert when she needed to be alert. The combination just wasn't working.
Ann was very direct. She told me, "I have seen many doctors — both natural and otherwise. Please don't give me more than two supplements." She didn't want to be juggling much more than she already had to handle.
This was an interesting challenge. I gave her an adaptogenic complex that features ashwagandha for her to take in the morning and afternoon and melatonin for her to take in the evening.
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Ashwagandha is an herb frequently used in Ayurvedic medicine. It helps regulate cortisol and balance the endocrine system. Ashwagandha can be particularly helpful for people like Ann who experience regular emotional, physical, and/or mental stress, which can lead to a condition commonly called adrenal fatigue. When you suffer from adrenal fatigue, your adrenal glands, which release hormones, get overtaxed. This can cause imbalances in your hormones, which can then lead to additional stress and sleep issues, like Ann was experiencing.
One study found that ashwagandha can significantly improve anxiety when compared to a placebo. And it does so without any of the dangerous side effects and adverse reactions that sometimes accompany antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.
The benefits of melatonin for menopause can be found in the latest issue of Women's Health Letter. So I won't go into that here. But it works. After a couple of weeks, Ann reported that she was feeling stronger in the mornings and sleeping longer at night.
Since the plan was working, she agreed to try an additional supplement, and we added Pure Sleep to her routine. Pure Sleep works more slowly than a full 3 mg dose of melatonin, but it begins to correct the body more deeply, strengthening the "terrain" of our cycles and improving the nervous system.
Ann is feeling much better now that her hormones are better balanced. If you're experiencing similar struggles, know that you don't have to take on a complicated regime of supplements to get relief — especially if you're too tired to keep track of one! Ashwagandha and melatonin may be able to help you get the rest you need, particularly if you're experiencing menopausal symptoms. And Pure Sleep can be that long-term fix you need to sleep comfortably.
Better Health and Living for Women,