At Gennev, we’ve been on something of a quest to find the perfect sleepwear and menopause clothing for women who deal with night sweats and daytime hot flashes (or summer heat, for that matter). We’ve tried several, with mixed results. Then we found Cucumber Clothing. We loved the feel, the moisture wicking, and the cool, flattering cuts and styles. Cooling clothing for menopause, if you've been there, might strike you as a fantastic idea. We are inclined to agree.
We loved how it helped us get a better night’s sleep and enjoy cooler days.
Cucumber Clothing’s line, like all the products we bring to our Gennev community, helps you feel and be your best self. And the founders, Eileen and Nancy, are women over 40 who understand the realities of this whole perimenopause to menopause transition. They made the clothes they were searching for, so now the rest of us can (finally!) quit searching.
We asked them to share their story with us; we think a lot of what they told us may sound familiar ….
So here’s the thing, some of us are good at sleeping and some of us are not.
Neither group is well defined – in my lifetime I’ve flitted between the two camps. A sound sleeper as a child, an impossible-to-rouse teenager, a late-night owl in my twenties, and a fretting, nocturnal pattern of wakefulness through the next decade with young children.
Roll on a few years and my circadian rhythms have re-set again. Sleep has become a capricious bed mate, undependable, playing to its own rules, and not to be relied on.
Beyond puffy eyes, foggy head and a general sense of weariness, why is this lack of sleep so important, and why do so many women who may once have felt they owned the holy grail of sleep, now feel they have lost, or at the very least, misplaced it? There are a few things to think about here and not all of them are under our control.
We know that as our bodies enter peri-menopause and menopause, our level of hormones begin to fall. One of these, progesterone, helps us sleep, so as the level of progesterone tails off, our ability to have an unbroken, deep sleep does too.
A general fall in hormones can also herald the onset of hot flashes and flushes and the aptly named ‘sweats.’
Just these two factors can mean a swing from a good night’s sleep to an ‘I tossed and turned and sweated and didn’t get a wink’ sort of night, followed by a nightmare sort of day.
We need sleep to refresh ourselves, to reorganize our thoughts and memories, to repair our bodies and to rest our cardiovascular system. So necessary, and yet so frustratingly elusive for some of us.
That’s how Cucumber Clothing was born. Travelling home from a holiday with a bunch of like-minded forty plus year old women, our week-long bonding topics covered everything but the kitchen sink, and most definitely included the menopause.
Why, we wondered, were there so few solutions out there? Busy women all, some of us were suffering from the self-same debilitating double whammy of fractured sleep and sweats, which impacted hugely on the jam-packed days.
We decided then and there to create a beautiful and intelligent range of thermo-regulating nightwear and clothing. One that allowed you to look great and feel great wearing it and that quickly moved any moisture (sweat!) away from the body at speed. One that meant that if you woke up in the night feeling sweaty or even drenched, within a few minutes you would feel dry again. We couldn’t stop you from getting hot, but we could help you get back to sleep comfortably and quickly.
Cucumber Clothing was launched in September 2017 and, since then, our original range of six simple and elegant jersey pieces in two colors has expanded to include a summer collection in a silk-like fabric (that works just as hard) in three new colours.
We’ve broadened the range to include leisurewear pieces that work for the gym (our drawstring trousers are great for Pilates or yoga), to the poolside (throw our ruffle dress over your swimsuit), to work (our v-neck t-shirt looks perfect under a summer jacket with tailored trousers on a hot day). They work for any time you are going to get hot. So now there are cooling clothes for "menopause belly" as well as the gym.
They are all mix and match, and best of all, after a long day staying cool with Cucumber, you can fall into bed wearing them knowing they will be dry, odor-free (that’s our anti-bacterial nano-technology!) and help keep you cool through then night.
Cucumber’s multi-tasking pieces are ideal for travel – our fabrics don’t crush, are happiest cold-water machine or sink washed and like to hang dry – they dry super fast because of their moisture wicking properties. Remember, don’t iron our jersey pieces, and our ‘silk’ pieces rarely need a light press.
Have you tried Cucumber Clothing? What did you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, on the Gennev Facebook page or by joining Midlife & Menopause Solutions, our closed Facebook group.