How Hormones Change Over A Menstrual Cycle
There are 4 main phases of a menstrual cycle. The main hormones that fluctuate during this time are estrogen and progesterone.
Again, those are general patterns that they follow, but levels will vary between individual women.
Heres how they affect sleep:
- Estrogen – High estrogen levels actually makes it easier to get to sleep and increases total sleep time, which is why ovulation typically doesn’t cause insomnia. However, when estrogen gets low, it usually causes a rise in body temperature , and can make sleep more difficult .
- Progesterone – High levels of progesterone are associated with more frequent waking up during sleep, as well as other sleep difficulties . As a side note, it makes breathing easier, which explains why sleep apnea isnt that common in pregnant women, even as they gain weight.
SummaryBased on the above information and chart, its clear that hormonal changes are likely responsible for sleep troubles during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle .
Work On Your Bedtime Routine
“Have a warm bath or shower before bedtime, don’t use a phone or watch TV in bed. Try reading a book, or even better, have sex with your partner if that is an option!” says Matthews. “Change your sheets the week before a period is due, and maybe try some ambient noise in the bedroom, like a fan, to drown out any other sound. Some hot milk or chamomile tea to drink on the way to bed, or a herbal valerian supplement or low-dose melatonin tablet, will help falling to sleep. Try to avoid taking prescription sleeping pills.”
Which Profile Best Describes Your Experience With Insomnia As A Symptom
- Insomnia and adrenal imbalance. You may feel both tired and wired, which can be directly related to adrenal imbalance. Even though you feel exhausted, you still cant fall asleep easily. Or you may drop off initially, only to wake a short time later, fully aware and ready to go. You may have low energy in the afternoon, but get a second wind right before bedtime. You may feel the need to use caffeine and/or sugary foods to boost your energy level.
- Insomnia and hormonal imbalance. If youre in perimenopause, menopause, or have PMS, you may have restless sleep. Night sweats may wake you up and interrupt your normal sleep cycle, so its hard to fall back asleep. If you have other symptoms of hormonal imbalance your insomnia may be related to hormonal fluctuation.
Why Your Body Need Sleep
During the hours you are sleeping, the body is taking time to repair, detoxify, regulate hormones, correct chemical imbalances, adjust blood sugar levels, store and manage memories, plus more. In order for your body to do this each night your brain must pass through four levels of sleep cycles known as rapid eye movement . The second and third level is the most important because that is when the body is in its most restful and restorative state. If the body does not spend enough time in REM sleep each night, this may lead to hormonal disruption, delayed ovulation and irregular or absent menstrual cycle.Women with insomnia or who wake up throughout the night are not spending enough time in REM sleep. The body cannot function well when sleep is continually disrupted and over time it can lead to health issues, including difficulty with reproduction and menstruation.
How Is Insomnia Managed Or Treated
Short-term insomnia often gets better on its own. For chronic insomnia, your healthcare provider may recommend:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia: Therapy : CBT-I is a brief, structured intervention for insomnia that helps you identify and replace thoughts and behaviors that cause or worsen sleep problems with habits that promote sound sleep. Unlike sleeping pills, CBT-I helps you overcome the underlying causes of your sleep problems.
- Medications: Behavior and lifestyle changes can best help you improve your sleep over the long term. In some cases, though, taking sleeping pills for a short time can help you sleep. Doctors recommend taking sleep medicines only now and then or only for a short time. They are not the first choice for treating chronic insomnia.
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Why Pms Gives You Insomnia
Can’t sleep before you get your period? Here’s why — and what you can do about it.
Most nights, Karin Wacaser, 48, a public relations consultant in Dallas, sleeps soundly for about 10 hours. But three days before her period, like clockwork, Wacaser has intense insomnia, waking up every hour or two. “It’s crazy,” she says. “And frustrating. Sometimes I’ll toss and turn for an hour until I can go back to sleep.”At other times, Wacaser lies awake all night, finally falling asleep around 7 a.m.
What is going on? “Each phase of the menstrual cycle has different effects on sleep,” says Michael Breus, PhD, ABSM, WebMD’s sleep expert and author of the “Sleep Well” blog on WebMD.com. Rising and falling levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which regulate the menstrual cycle, can affect a woman’s ability to fall and stay asleep — as well as influence the quality of their sleep.
How Periods And Menopause Impact Sleep
When that time of the month comes round, women can find themselves tossing and turning in bed far more often than usual. With age, as periods stop and menopause begins, sleep problems can persist or worsen. Like sleep, menstrual cycles and menopause are natural bodily occurrences. How can these essential functions disrupt sleep? Lets dig in.
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Stress Depression Anxiety And Sleep
Stress and mood disorders are important factors that can also contribute to insomnia in females.
There are also differences in how daily life differs for men and women, and these factors may impact sleep, Dr. Martin said. For example, even today, women still have more responsibilities related to childcare and household tasks than men. This is true even if women are working outside the home.
She also explained that females are at increased risk of mood disorders that can affect sleep, such as anxiety and depression.
According to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the prevalence of depression is
Sleep May Change During The Luteal Phase Of The Menstrual Cycle
Researchers found more sleep disruptions in the late luteal phase, which is just prior to menstruation. Sleep efficiency, which is a measure of how well someone sleeps during the night, decreased by 3.3 percent while the amount of time spent awake after initially falling asleep increased by 15 minutes. The number of times the women awakened during the night increased by 3 times per night.
The research addresses challenging concepts regarding the interaction between sleep, food, and female hormones, says Natalie D. Dautovich, PhD, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and environmental scholar for the National Sleep Foundation. Dr. Dautovich was not involved in the research.
Given that women report more sleep disturbances compared with men and are at greater risk for developing insomnia, its important to investigate how the physiological changes occurring during menstruation can contribute to poor sleep in this population, Dautovich says. Given the challenges of studying sleep across the entire menstrual cycle, research that examines this topic is valuable and needed. A strength of the study is the use of actigraphy as an objective assessment of sleep.
Related: 10 Ways to Relieve Period Cramps
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Try Different Relaxation Methods
Though more research is needed, some studies have found benefits of yoga, deep breathing, and meditation techniques for relieving period symptoms. Muscle relaxation and massage may also help manage symptoms. Promote relaxation before bedtime by turning on some calming music or choosing another soothing activity.
So Whats Going On When You Have Menstrual Insomnia
Bloating, backaches, breast tenderness, and other PMS pains could all make it tough to fall asleep, but thats just the tip of the iceberg,. After ovulation, your body starts building up progesterone, which makes you drowsy. A few days before your period, though, progesterone spikes back down, which could be why the worst sleep tends to come with PMS. Plus, your core body temperature could be about a half to a degree higher during these days than the rest of the month, so when you hit the sack, you might feel uncomfortably hot and restless. Luckily, there are some ways to work with your body to get a good nights sleep. Dont miss these other 9 things your period wants to tell you.
Right After Ovulation Your Body Temperature May Rise
Mid cycle, your body temperatures can rise almost half a degree after ovulation, and this rise in temperature can cause sleep disturbances. “In general, when their temperature drops, women have a more comfortable sleep, which is in the first part of the cycle before ovulation,”Dr. Roohi Jeelani, OB/GYN, tells Bustle. “The second half of your cycle could be a time of more disturbed sleep.” This rise in body temperature can cause night sweats, which of course doesn’t lead to very restful and satisfying sleep.
Why And How Does Pms Affect Sleep
PMS is a condition defined by the symptoms that arise in the days preceding a period and often continue into menstruation. While the severity of PMS symptoms vary, many women find that PMS affects their day-to-day life. Women with PMS are twice as likely to experience insomnia during PMS and their period. PMS might cause excessive daytime sleepiness and mood changes which can lead to oversleeping.
Progesterone is linked to body temperature and fatigue two symptoms of PMS. This could be the reason why you feel tired but have trouble drifting off to sleep. A dip in temperature signals to the body its time to sleep, and if your hormones are keeping you warmer than normal, its often harder to fall asleep.
Mood changes are another factor in sleeping issues during your period and PMS. PMS symptoms can include anxiety and depression, both of which can lead to sleeping problems. Have you ever been so anxious you just couldnt sleep? Here are some tips to help you manage your stress.
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What Causes High Estrogen Insomnia
There are three primary reasons that can cause high estrogen levels and its related insomnia.
1. Exposure to xenoestrogens
Its not natural for the body to produce an excessive amount of estrogen. A common way this may happen is through the intrusion of foreign estrogens .
Xenoestrogens are chemicals that mimic the functions of our natural estrogens. When they enter our body, they attach themselves to our cells receptors, taking over the natural estrogens functions to control growth and development and causing elevated estrogen levels.
We can bring xenoestrogens into our body through foods packed with animal hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, or consumer products made with toxic chemicals. Check out the top 10 xenoestrogens you should avoid to regain your hormone balance.
Though estrogen is primarily produced in the ovaries, its made by fat cells as well. So being overweight also contributes to estrogen dominance and other associated conditions, such as PMS, high estrogen insomnia, and even breast and uterine cancers.
3. Congested liver
As mentioned earlier, estrogen is metabolized in the liver. It needs to be broken down and excreted efficiently to avoid unhealthy buildup.
Certain foods congest the liver and impair its ability to process estrogen. They can also cause the accumulation of toxins in the digestive tracks .
How Much Sleep Do Most People Need
Most adults need around seven to nine hours of sleep per night but the amount of sleep needed to function at your best varies between individuals. The quality of your rest matters just as much as the quantity. Tossing and turning and repeatedly awakening is as bad for your health as being unable to fall asleep.
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Could Your Thyroid Be Causing Your Sleep Issues
Besides joint or muscle pain, daytime sleepiness or fatigue, and feeling cold, hypothyroidism can also cause:
- Changes in bowel habits or menstrual periods
What Does Fatal Familial Insomnia Mean
Fatal Familial Insomnia is a rare genetic neurological disorder that causes chronic insomnia. FFI typically starts mild but eventually becomes worse, resulting in death. Fatal Familial Insomnia is different from traditional insomnia in several ways.
First, FFI is an inherited disorder. Research has found that some people may be genetically predisposed to developing insomnia, but there is no evidence that its directly inherited like FFI. Second, Fatal Familial Insomnia is a direct cause of death in patients. Insomnia can cause long-term health issues that could be fatal later, but it is not directly linked to mortality.
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Could Anything Else Be To Blame
Its worth noting there are a few other hormone-related issues that could be disrupting your sleep more than most. Studies have found that sleep problems may be worse for those who suffer from PMDD , which may also bring more intense symptoms of depression, anxiety, irritability, and more. PMDD is difficult to diagnose, but around 70% of people with PMDD report sleep issues akin to insomnia before their period, while more than 80% report daily tiredness.
Insomnia: Causes Symptoms And Treatment
Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which an individual has trouble falling or staying asleep, resulting in poor sleep quality and duration. Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders, affecting as many as 70 million American adults each year, according to Cleveland Clinic. Insomnia can be caused by different factors, such as stress, lifestyle habits, irregular sleep schedules, mental health issues, pain, illness, medications, neurological problems, and other sleep disorders.
There are two types of insomnia, acute and chronic. Acute insomnia is a short-term condition where the individual has trouble sleeping for a few days or weeks. Stress is a common cause of short-term insomnia. The other type of insomnia is chronic. Chronic insomnia is when a person experiences this disorder for a longer period.
Chronic insomnia usually occurs at least three times a week and will continue for three months or longer. Signs of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, trouble falling back asleep, and waking up too early. Insomnia symptoms include daytime fatigue, irritability, depression, impaired memory, and difficulty concentrating.
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Create Love Flourish Be Right In Your Inbox
High estrogn levels can cause PMS, mood swings, painful/heavy periods, as well as insomnia. Learn what you can do to reduce estrogen dominance and improve your sleep.
Its so frustrating, a feeling of such helpless not being able to fall asleep at night.
You know you desperately need a few solid hours of sleep to face your day, but your brain just cant seem to shut down, no matter what you try.
After counting thousands of sheep youre still tossing and turning and wide awake in the middle of the night.
This may happen when you sleep in an unfamiliar bed away from home, or you have a big exam or an important meeting the next day. Or you get super excited about a new idea, or tormented by an emotionally charged argument.
Its common to have disrupted sleep cycles from time to time. We all have one of those long and restless nights when the brain is unable to shut off, due to excitement, worry, fear, or external stimuli, such as noise, light, heavy meals, alcohol, caffeine, etc.
But if this happens often and you have trouble pinpointing the direct cause, your insomnia could be related to something more biological .
In my post, Hormone Imbalances and Sleep Disorders, I talked about the three types of hormone-related insomnia. Here Ill explain how high estrogen can disturb your sleep.
How Does Menopause Impact Sleep
When women stop menstruating and ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone, menopause begins. This is considered the end of a womans reproductive years. The loss of hormones can lead to unpleasant emotional and physical symptoms that can disrupt sleep. Over 35% of women experience sleep disorders throughout perimenopause into post-menopause.
- Hot flashes: One of the most common menopausal symptoms, hot flashes are a sudden temporary warming of the body, often accompanied by flushing, adrenaline, and sweating. When they happen at night, hot flashes are called night sweats and can significantly disturb sleep and impact overall sleep quality.
- Insomnia: In part due to the disturbances of hot flashes, it is common for menopausal women to experience insomnia and regularly have difficulty sleeping. Over half of postmenopausal report insomnia symptoms.
- Sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing: Studies indicate that menopausal women, specifically those in the postmenopausal stage, are more likely to develop Obstructive Sleep Apnea or sleep-disordered breathing than non-menopausal women.
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Causes Of Secondary Insomnia In Women
Women have their own unique set of reasons for insomnia. Many of them are related to hormonal changes. Secondary insomnia refers to the fact that you are having difficulty sleeping because of another condition. This could be related to another medical, mental or social condition that is keeping from getting a good nights sleep. The following are some common causes of secondary insomnia in women:
Other medical conditions can cause insomnia. They can include but are not limited to acute pain, chronic pain , hypertension, diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder , Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, asthma and other breathing disorders, acid reflux, thyroid conditions, and cancer.
- difficulty falling asleep
- staying asleep and/or having frequent episodes of waking earlier than desired with an inability to fall back to sleep
- feeling tired upon waking