Many women in midlife suffer from trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, and low energy during daytime hours. As we age our sleep patterns change. A key contributing factor to quality sleep is our level of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone made in the pineal gland that helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycles.  Melatonin is well-known to promote sleep, maintain sleep, reset the circadian clock and improve sleep quality in general. And as you may have guessed, our melatonin production declines as we get older.

A great place to start in improving sleep quality is practicing good sleep hygiene:  

  • Get outside daily for some movement in the daylight hours 
  • Try to keep a healthy sleep cycle that allows plenty of daylight exposure to your body (sit by a window at work, take a walk).
  • When you settle in towards bed, avoid screens. Dim the lights, close the curtains, make sure there are no lights in your room. 

Before turning to a sleep aid, you should consider all the things you may or may not be doing that influence your sleep. Sleep troubles can be attributed to your diet, exercise habits, stress management, alcohol and caffeine intake, medications, underlying medical conditions, hormone fluctuations (hello hot flashes!) room temperature, room darkness, and more.  

And when good sleep hygiene is simply not enough, there’s now Gennev Sleep.

Introducing Sleep

We asked Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Wendy Ellis, to formulate a sleep supplement that would support women in menopause. She chose these ingredients for our sleep formula based on her 20 years of clinical experience with various sleep products and single ingredients. She shared, “I love this combination as it helps with falling asleep, but also staying asleep, with the added benefit of reducing anxiety and inflammation.”

Sleep’s proprietary formula provides the following benefits:

  • A safe, effective way to help slow down racing thoughts at the end of the day
  • Experience a relaxed mood that eases you into a better quality of sleep
  • Non-addicting, non-drowsy, and provides immediate relief

What is in Sleep

Sleep is a proprietary blend of Melatonin, 5HTP, L-theanine, and Magnolia. 

Melatonin – Sleep includes only 1mg of melatonin to help you fall asleep. Peak concentration is within one hour of taking melatonin, but the effects begin as soon as 20 minutes after taking it, and it stays in your system for 4-5 hours.  We kept the dosage of melatonin in Sleep to this low dose, as too much melatonin can contribute to nightmares, waking after 3-4 hours, and may leave you feeling groggy in the morning.  

5HTP – is an amino acid. It is the precursor for serotonin and melatonin, thus it influences mood and sleep in a positive way. By providing 5HTP to the body before bed, you’re providing more of a foundation for your body to produce serotonin and melatonin. 

L-theanine - is a unique amino acid that is naturally found in tea plants. It is one of Dr. Ellis’ favorite amino acids for treatment of menopausal sleep issues because it also has anti-anxiety properties. Amino acids such as 5HTP and L-theanine are a very safe, effective way to treat mood and sleep disturbances. It’s sedating without creating daytime drowsiness, helps slow down the ruminating women often feel at the end of a long day, as well as improving the quality of sleep. 

Magnolia  - This very safe botanical was added due to the effects it has on our “calming” neurotransmitter, GABA. It helps to create a relaxed mood that allows women to fall asleep more quickly, as well as improve the quality of sleep, without negative side effects.

The best way to take Sleep

Take only 1 capsule of sleep per day, approximately 15 min before you want to fall asleep.

Talk with your physician before taking Sleep to avoid interactions with other medications, and especially antidepressants (SSRI/SNRI).

Most sleep issues are behavioral, meaning it’s better to figure out the root cause of insomnia, instead of taking a sleep aid every night. That being said, sometimes you may need to take it for a few nights, weeks or even months in stressful periods, and this is absolutely fine!

Safety:

  • Vomiting and nausea have been reported when 5-HTP was taken in excess of 100 mg in some people.
  • 5-HTP can cause serious drug interactions with many medications, especially those used to treat depression. Because antidepressants generally work by increasing serotonin in the brain, 5-HTP could combine with these medications to cause high concentrations of serotonin.
  • Having too much serotonin can lead to serotonin syndrome, a serious condition characterized by dangerously high heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. 5-HTP can interact with other classes of drugs, like migraine and pain medications, that also affect serotonin concentrations.
  • Taking magnolia bark along with drugs that promote sleep or treat anxiety, such as sedatives, sleep medications, and barbiturates, may cause drowsiness. Taking magnolia bark with blood thinners, including aspirin, is not recommended. It may increase the risk of bleeding. See this reference for more information. 

Dr. Ellis shares, “The formula for Sleep not only helps you fall asleep, but stay asleep, with the added benefit of not feeling “hung over” in the morning. Sleep is a non-addictive formula and has a great safety profile.”  

If you continue to have sleep issues, consider seeing a board-certified sleep specialist or a behavioral sleep specialist. They can provide cognitive behavioral therapy, which has been shown to be effective for chronic sleep problems.  Always check with your doctor before taking any new supplements or medicines.

When you notice a change in sleep pattern that may be associated with the menopause transition, especially if body temperature instability is part of the problem, consider an appointment with a Gennev doctor to address the role that hormonal shifts can play in your trouble sleeping.

The information on the Gennev site is never meant to replace the care of a qualified medical professional.  Hormonal shifts throughout menopause can prompt a lot of changes in your body, and simply assuming something is “just menopause” can leave you vulnerable to other possible causes. Always consult with your physician or schedule an appointment with one of Gennev's telemedicine doctors before beginning any new treatment or therapy.

Author

Gennev Staff

October 6, 2022

Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Wendy Ellis

Naturopathic Physician & Clinician

Recommended Products

Sleep Supplement

Sleep Supplement

Are racing thoughts keeping you awake at night? Gennev’s Sleep for Insomnia & Anxiety Relief in Menopause supplement is specially formulated to help women with falling asleep and staying asleep.

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