When it comes to finding help with sleep problems in menopause, there are a lot of supplements on the market. One that you can take alone or along with others in a natural sleep remedy is inositol.
What is inositol?
Inositol is a sugar found in some foods (e.g., grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables) and that is also made in the body. Nine forms of inositol exist, but the most common forms are myo-inositol and D-chiro-inositol, which you are most likely to see listed on supplement labels.
Inositol is a non-essential member of the vitamin B complex, even though it technically is not a vitamin. In the body, it is found in all cell membranes, but it is most prevalent in the brain and central nervous system, where it helps with messaging among neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine.
Inositol also plays a role in insulin activity, maintaining calcium balance in cells, and lipid metabolism. It may help balance chemicals that are involved in depression and panic as well as support sleep.
Inositol and sleep
A few studies have looked at how inositol may affect sleep. Inositol has an effect on insulin levels, which in turn impact blood glucose levels. Blood sugar levels affect sleep quality, as people with higher blood sugar experience poorer sleep, as noted in a study of people with type 2 diabetes. In another study, 62 percent of people with blood sugar levels in the pre-diabetes range reported poor sleep compared with 46 percent of those who had normal sugar levels.
The use of inositol supplementation may help in such cases. One study of 40 women aged 45 to 55 who had not had a period for at least six months evaluated the effects on insulin and thyroid of myo-inositol (2 grams twice a day) alone or along with melatonin (2 grams myo-inositol plus 3 grams melatonin twice daily). The combination of myo-inositol plus melatonin had a positive impact on glucose metabolism, which could help sleep. At the same time, the women who took myo-inositol alone showed an improvement in thyroid function, which also may improve sleep.
How to use inositol
Most Americans get an average of 1 gram of inositol daily from their diet. Supplements typically contain varying amounts, as in this combination sleep aid supplement. Inositol supplements should be taken according to package directions.
Sleep disturbances are common among women who are going through perimenopause and menopause. Along with adopting good bedtime hygiene and practices, a natural remedy such as inositol may help with sleep issues.