Episode 206: How Hypnosis Can Help with Hot Flashes and Stress Management

In this episode, Dr. Toni discusses hypnosis and how it can be used to support relaxation, sleep and stress management, as well as helping to manage some symptoms of perimenopause and menopause like hot flashes. You might think that hypnosis is about mind control, however that’s just a common misconception that is often used in movies. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and it has the potential to bring about some incredibly positive shifts, all while you stay fully in control. 

In today’s episode, we cover

  • What is hypnosis and some misconceptions about hypnosis you might have heard
  • How your body responds to your thoughts and emotions
  • An overview of some of the benefits of hypnosis studied with scientific research, including to reduce hot flashes, symptoms of pain and IBS, and to support sleep and weight loss

Today’s Mama Must Have: 

Dr. Toni is back to having daily elixirs with tea, coconut butter, local honey, medicinal mushrooms like reishi and lion’s mane plus Maca 

What’s Happening?

Join Dr. Toni online to learn more about self-hypnosis to support your health and hormones in 2024. Click Here and use the code MAMA2024 for a special deal. 

Thanks for listening!

Email us or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

You can also support us by visiting our Patreon page.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 107: How to Survive Perimenopause: What the Research Says

In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni discuss what research tells us about different treatments for symptoms in perimenopause like hot flashes, depression and poor sleep. In this part 2 of 2 episodes, we talk about treatments like acupuncture, hormone replacement and supplementing with soy, flax, omega 3 fish oil, melatonin and creatine.

In this episode, we cover how:

  • soy intake can reduce hot flashes in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, as well as supporting your mood, brain function, cholesterol levels and bone health
  • flax seed can impact your estrogen levels
  • beer can reduce hot flashes – for more info, see Episode 106
  • omega 3 fish oil can improve mood
  • melatonin can improve your sleep and other perimenopausal symptoms – providing benefit even if you get a good night’s sleep
  • creatine can support your muscle mass, mood and sleep
    • for more about the importance of muscle mass, see Episode 103
  • acupuncture can reduce depression and hot flashes, plus improving mood
  • you can discuss with your doctor what kind of hormone replacement might be beneficial for you to positively impact your hot flashes, sleep and mood, while supporting your bone and cardiovascular health (and the newly assessed risks of different hormone combinations)

Don’t forget, treatments for symptoms in perimenopause are not one size fits all! What works for one person might not work for you…it can take time to figure out what treatments works best for you.

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa loves reading daily and was inspired by Gretchen Rubin to read 13 books so far in 2021.

Dr. Toni is a big fan of reality TV shows like Survivor and Selling Sunset. 

Thank you for joining us today!

Email us or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

You can also support us by visiting our Patreon page where you can find out how you can join us for our monthly patron webinar where we do a deeper dive discussion about all things perimenopause,

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 106: How to Maintain a Healthy Weight in Perimenopause (Part 1 of Managing Symptoms)

In this episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni discuss natural ways to manage symptoms in perimenopause and menopause. In this part 1 of 2 episodes, they share what the research is showing about how to manage weight and metabolism, as well as some surprising research about beer and perimenopausal symptoms.

The goal of treatment in perimenopause:

  • Reduce and manage symptoms
  • Enhance your quality of life
  • Prevent disease associated with declining hormones
    • Osteoporosis
    • Heart disease
  • Not to get your menstrual cycle back to being regular

What can you do about body fat and weight gain in perimenopause?

Research shows that 8 years before menopause, you can experience a steady increase in weight and body fat with decreased muscle mass

Ways to support your metabolism includes:

  • Eating more protein
    • Aim for 1.2g – 1.5g protein per kg of body weight for muscle maintenance 
    • Animal protein is linked with longer lifespan in both men and women
    • For more info, see Episode 103
  • Using creatine to support your muscle mass
  • Have a variety in your workouts and physical activity, while getting in rest days
  • Intermittent fasting? Listen to your body and get enough calories!
  • Be mindful of intake of simple carbs, sugar and alcohol
    • Consider continuous glucose monitoring to track your blood sugar with different foods
  • Get enough sleep
  • Support your gut health
  • Check your thyroid function 
  • Manage your stress and mood
    • Consider managing your expectations and asking for support
    • For more info on sparking joy in your life, see Episode 104
    • For more info on vitamin D, see Episode 97

What can you do about hot flashes and other symptoms in perimenopause?

Research has shown that different phytoestrogens can impact hormone balance and reduce different symptoms in perimenopause:

  • Beer is the main food source of isoxanthohumol, a precursor of the strongest known phytoestrogen
  • Moderate intake of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer significantly reduced the severity of menopause-related symptoms in postmenopausal women
  • Moderate intake of non-alcoholic beer improved the lipid profile and decreased blood pressure in postmenopausal women

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa loves reading daily and was inspired by Gretchen Rubin to read 13 books so far in 2021.

Dr. Toni is a big fan of reality TV shows like Survivor and Selling Sunset. 

Thank you for joining us today!

Email us or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

You can also support us by visiting our Patreon page where you can find out how you can join us for our monthly patron webinar where we do a deeper dive discussion about all things perimenopause,

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 73: Why Can’t I Sleep?

In this episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni provide some updated info you need to know about sleep, especially if your sleep has been impacted by perimenopause and the pandemic. Want to stop gaining weight and craving carbs and sugar? Want more energy and better moods? Want to lower your risk of cancer, dementia and diabetes? Don’t wait to sleep when you’re dead!

Did you know?

2/3 of people in developed nations fail to sleep at least 8 hours a night!

Why do you need to get a good night’s sleep?

Research shows that the less sleep you get, the shorter your life.

You can’t make up for a poor night’s sleep by sleeping more the next night. 

As you age, your sleep can be more fragile and sensitive than when you’re younger.

Insufficient or poor sleep can:

  • Double your risk of cardiovascular disease
    • 24% increase in heart attacks after lose an hour with daylight savings time change in spring 
  • Make otherwise healthy people appear prediabetic on blood tests (even just after a few nights of poor sleep)
  • Contribute to weight gain
    • crave more simple carbs and sugar
    • insulin increases, can lead to insulin resistance
    • it takes 40% longer to regulate your blood sugar after a high carb meal
    • lowers leptin and increases ghrelin, impacting your appetite
    • 4-5 hours of sleep a night can increase daily calorie intake by 300 and contribute to gaining an extra 10-15 pounds over a year
  • Reduce your cognition or ability to think and problem solve
  • Put your body in fight or flight mode
    • cortisol increases which can make it more difficult to sleep, can become a vicious cycle due to overactivity of stress response pathway in brain
  • Double your risk of getting cancer when you get less than 6 hours sleep a night
  • Make you more likely to catch viruses such as the common cold
  • Cause your amygdala to be more activated, so you are more emotionally reactive
  • Reduce the work of your glymphatic system to clear out amyloid plaques and prevent dementia
    • even after 1 night of 4 hours sleep, more amyloid plaque in your brain is possible
  • Cause more accidents from drowsy driving than drugs and alcohol
    • Less than 5 hours sleep makes you 3 times more likely to crash your car

What can you do if your sleep is interrupted?

There is a time and a place for napping for sleep deprived moms. 

A research study by NASA in 1990s showed that even 26 min naps increased alertness by 50% and increased performance on a task by 34%

What is a good night’s sleep?

  • Adults: 7 to 9 hours a night 
    • Total sleep time, not just your time in bed
  • Fall asleep within 20 minutes
  • Wake up zero to several times a night with the ability to fall back asleep easily
  • Wake before alarm
  • Optimal bedtime depends on which chronotype you are
    • 40% of people are morning types or morning larks
    • 30% are evening types or night owls
    • 30% fall somewhere in between

Signs you are not getting enough sleep:

1. After waking up in the morning, could you fall back asleep at 10 or 11 am?

2. Can you function optimally without caffeine before noon?

3. Do you need your alarm to wake up?

What controls sleep?

  • Circadian clock: your inner time-keeper, which is temperature and enzyme dependent
    • Cortisol – regulates metabolism, blood sugar and inflammation
      1. supports memory, salt/water balance, blood pressure, immune response and more
      2. Helps body respond to stress
    • Melatonin – made in pineal gland
      1. Darkness triggers release
      2. Daylight stops release
      3. Supports sleep and detoxification
      4. Promotes bone health and immunity
      5. Antioxidant and potential cancer-protective effects
      6. Can influence reproduction and hormones
  • Adenosine – inhibitory neurotransmitter that inhibits the bodily processes associated with wakefulness
    • Adenosine exerts sleep pressure by accumulating in your bloodstream when you’re awake which makes you sleepy
    • As we sleep, we breakdown adenosine via an enzyme and your brain’s rate of adenosine metabolism determines the quality of your deep sleep
    • Caffeine – from green or black tea, coffee, chocolate, soft drinks – Stimulates you  by blocking adenosine binding to receptors so you can’t fall asleep or get into deep sleep
    • This reduction in adenosine activity leads to increased activity of the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate
  • Lowered body temperature
    • Your body temperature must fall by 1 degree C to trigger and support sleep

Sleeping pills:  

  • Act as a sedative, not producing true sleep
  • Doesn’t allow your brain to consolidate memories like regular sleep does
  • Associated with increased cancer risk when you use more than 3 times over one year

Cannabis:

  • THC acts as a sedative, not producing true sleep
  • Can create rebound insomnia if you stop
  • Can create dependence and paranoia
  • CBD may help your sleep without negative effects of THC

What can cause you to have a poor sleep?

External causes like:

  • Blue light
  • Sounds and movements from your kids, pets, partners, neighbours
  • Blood sugar issues
  • Stimulants like caffeine
  • Alcohol and certain medications

Internal causes like:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Sleep apnea and snoring
  • Pain
  • Urinary problems
  • Skin rashes or itchy skin
  • Hot flashes

Lab tests and investigations you need to consider:

  • DUTCH for melatonin, cortisol and other hormones
  • Snoring: food sensitivities, allergies
  • Pelvic floor physiotherapy
  • Pain: acupuncture, osteopathy, physiotherapy, etc.
  • Sleep study with medical doctors specially trained in sleep science

How Can You Get a Good Night’s Sleep?

  • Get daylight exposure
  • Exercise earlier in day
  • Balance your blood sugar and limit your sugar intake
  • Limit caffeine intake
    • Half life is about 6 hours and quarter life is about 12 hours, as you get older, you can tolerate less
    • Consider no caffeine after 1pm or for 12 hours before bed
  • Limit alcohol intake
    • Acts as a sedative – not real sleep – dulls down impulse control
    • Fragmented sleep with many short waking intervals more regularly and not deep sleep
    • Not restorative sleep with less time in REM
  • Reduce bladder irritating foods like citrus, spicy foods, carbonated beverages
  • Journal before bed – unload thoughts and “to-dos”
  • Reduce screen exposure
    • One study found even reading on an iPad versus a print book suppressed melatonin levels by 50% and delayed the onset of sleep by many hours.
  • Sleep in a cool, dark room
    • Turn thermostat down to 15-19 C or 60-67 F
  • Try out essential oils like lavender or cedarwood – diffuse or mix in carrier oil and put on bottoms of feet
  • Calming bedtime routine like meditation and a warm bath or shower helps cool you down by creating vasodilation after
  • Cortisol-balancing herbs in tea or supplement form:
    • TEAS: Tulsi, Chamomile, Lavender, lemon balm
    • Magnesium
    • Passionflower
    • GABA
  • Melatonin
    • 0.5 to 3mg is usually enough, while 5-10mg or more can shut down your natural production and produce more side effects like morning grogginess
    • Best used for jet lag from travel or as we age 
  • Progesterone support if needed
  • Consider a sleep divorce – sleep in a separate room from your partner if they snore
  • Don’t lay awake in bed longer than 20min so you don’t associate context of being awake with your bed
  • Seek out a psychologist trained in CBT-I for more personalized support

Sleep tools you can use:

  • Sleep cycle app, Oura ring, Whoop strap
  • Meditation apps like Insight Timer
  • Blue light glasses
  • Ear plugs
  • White noise machine, fan, humidifier, air purifier
  • Red light bulbs and night lights
  • Weighted blanket like Zonli

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa loves putting a tea bag or two of lemon balm or chamomile tea in Stuart’s bath and using Badger sleep balm on the backs of Stuart’s hands and his feet for extra sleep support.

Dr. Toni is a big fan of Cyto-Matrix’s Mag Matrix magnesium liquid for Frankie and Bach Flower Rescue Remedy night spray for the whole family. 

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to trust their instincts and their body during labour and birth is happening in May. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

Email us or connect with us on  Facebook  and  Instagram

We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!