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Unlocking the Secrets of Nervous System Regulation for Women in Midlife

As women transition into their perimenopausal and menopausal years, they often experience myriad symptoms that can disrupt daily life and make them feel unlike themselves. It can be a turbulent time — physically and emotionally. These symptoms are frequently rooted in hormone imbalances, from stress and weight gain to brain fog and sleep disturbances.

And while hormones tend to take center stage, another important player often overlooked is the nervous system. Understanding and regulating your nervous system can help you unlock better health, energy, and overall vitality.

Understanding the Nervous System

The nervous system is your body’s command center. It regulates everything from your heartbeat to your ability to handle stress. During menopause, hormonal fluctuations upend this delicate balance.

An overactive sympathetic nervous system causes a chronic release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, making your breathing shallow and fast, sending your heart rate up, and diverting all available resources like blood and oxygen to your heart, lungs, skeletal muscle systems, and amygdala (the fear center of your brain) to get you out of harm’s way.

Since you only have so much blood and oxygen to go around, all the systems that aren’t responsible for survival in those moments–like digestion, reproduction, immunity, and even emotional regulation–get deprioritized to ensure you get to safety.

This is how humans survived over time; our nervous system evolved to prevent us from falling asleep or thinking about reproduction when a threat is nearby (bear! lion!).

Nervous System and Hormone Imbalance

Estrogen, a key hormone that declines during menopause, significantly impacts the nervous system. This decline can lead to heightened stress responses and disrupted sleep patterns. It’s not just about feeling stressed or tired; these changes can exacerbate other menopausal symptoms like weight gain and brain fog.

Regulating Your Nervous System

Fortunately, there are several strategies to help regulate your nervous system:

  • Mindfulness & Meditation: Regular mindfulness practices can reduce stress and improve your body’s response to hormonal changes. Simple techniques like deep breathing or guided meditation can be powerful tools.
  • Exercise: Physical activity, especially yoga and aerobic exercises, can help regulate the nervous system. They not only improve muscle mass and energy levels but also enhance your mood and sleep quality.
  • Nutrition: Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and B vitamins support nervous system health. Incorporating these into your diet can aid in managing stress and improving overall well-being.
  • Sleep Hygiene: Prioritizing sleep is crucial. Establish a regular sleep routine (also known as sleep hygiene), limit screen time before bed, and create a calming bedtime environment.
  • Supplementation: Certain supplements, under the guidance of a healthcare professional, can support nervous system health. These might include adaptogens, magnesium, or omega-3 fatty acids.

Products That Support Nervous System Health

When considering products, look for those that support the strategies mentioned above. Whether it’s a meditation app, a yoga mat, or a high-quality supplement, each product should align with the goal of nervous system regulation and overall well-being.

I started doing yoga regularly at the start of 2024 and it’s been wildly beneficial for me. I now attend yoga classes regularly several times a week. Try what works for you–perhaps you’d like to explore the serenity of meditation or supplements that can guide you into a calmer state.

One of my favorite products that helps to regulate the nervous system is the Apollo wearable, especially because it was created by neuroscientists and physicians. It delivers gentle, soothing vibrations that help the body switch from “fight or flight” to a more “rest and digest” parasympathetic state.

Apollo is designed to offer the benefits of mindful practices like meditation and breathwork through your body’s natural response to touch. It also can improve your deep sleep, REM sleep, and total sleep time. (And I’ll keep saying this: Getting better quality sleep is absolutely essential to managing your peri and meno symptoms!)

Navigating the perimenopausal and menopausal years doesn’t have to be such a struggle. By understanding and caring for your nervous system, you can significantly impact your health, vitality, and quality of life. Remember, small, consistent steps can lead to big changes.

I’m always looking for affordable items for my Bettys who want to uplevel their health.  If you choose to invest in an Apollo wearable to help manage your nervous system, click HERE. A DRSTEPHANIE 15% discount will be automatically applied at checkout for you.

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Disclaimer: The information included in a newsletter, email, or on drstephanieestima.com is intended solely for educational purposes. It does not replace a direct relationship with your licensed medical provider and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Affiliate Disclosure: Products mentioned in a newsletter, email, or on drstephanieestima.com, may be part of an affiliate agreement in which Dr. Stephanie Estima receives a small commission on the sale of an item you purchase.

Hey There!

I’m Dr. Stephanie

I’m part geek, part magic and it’s my mission to be a voice for women who just aren’t getting the answers they need about their health - whether that’s from their friends, their family or their primary health providers.

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