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Can Pms Cause Insomnia

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Why Pms Causes Insomnia

What is Magnesium? Reduce anxiety, depression, insomnia, PMS, stress, migraine & stroke!

According to Kathryn Lee, RN, Ph.D., associate dean of research at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing, insomnia happens first when estrogen starts to increase up until ovulation. On day 14 of ovulation, estrogen increases again, causing sleep disturbances for women.

Once your ovulation is over, progesterone next rises. A few days after this and before the start of your upcoming period, the levels of both progesterone and estrogen drop, and the withdrawal your body will experience from the drop can cause insomnia. For a more detailed explanation behind this, check out WebMDs article: Why PMS Gives You Insomnia.

Although insomnia can be a pain to deal with, there are natural methods in which we can try to help our body fall asleep despite our hormonal shifts.

Pms And Insomnia: Why You Can’t Sleep

A week or two before menstruation some women may wonder why they cant sleep. Insomnia or interrupted sleep are, in fact, symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome . So is PMS the reason why you cant sleep?

According to statistics, over 33% of women suffer from insomnia or disturbed sleep during their menstrual cycles.

Read on to find out why, as well as tips to help when PMS gets in the way of a good nights sleep.

Relationship Between Melatonin And Pms

Many women understand too well the often debilitating effects of PMS. This common disorder, brought on by the menstrual cycle, can lead to feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability and increased tension in the body. PMS can also cause a cornucopia of physical maladies, including cramping, bloating, headaches and more.

In addition to the many emotional and physical symptoms of PMS, approximately 70 percent of women also report experiencing insomnia during this time of their menstrual cycle. This generally manifests in a difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Some women complain that the quality of their sleep is greatly disturbed when experiencing PMS, leading to fatigue and lack of energy throughout the day. This general tiredness, in turn, can contribute to a dangerous cycle of sadness and irritability.

Many studies have demonstrated how melatonin levels fluctuate during the different stages of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Without the proper melatonin levels, a woman is more likely to suffer from insomnia. This is because many women who suffer from PMS also experience a lower level of melatonin in the nighttime hours, disrupting their ability to catch some zzz’s.

This research has important implications for the treatment of specific PMS symptoms such as insomnia. By targeting the levels of melatonin specifically, women may be able to lessen the effects that their menstrual cycle has on their ability to get a good night’s sleep.

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What To Do About It

For many women whose hormones are otherwise in balance , the drop in progesterone isnt enough to disrupt sleep.

For those who do have an issue, progesterone *might* be an optionprogesterone will lighten the period, and too much of it may suppress it altogether. A better choice would be tryptophan or 5HTP, the precursors for serotonin or perhaps just melatonin during menses. Doses for the former two vary, but Id start with 1000 mg nightly of tryptophan, or 50 mg 5HTP. For melatonin, a standard dose is around 3 mg.

Other Pms Symptoms That May Affect Your Sleep

Can Premenstrual Syndrome Cause Insomnia?

The Problem: Your body temperature rises over the course of your menstrual cycle.The Cause: Your core body temperature rises between a half and a whole degree during your period. This can be a problem because an evening drop in body temperature is one of the main biological triggers that makes you feel sleepy.The Solution: Make sure your bedroom is cooled to optimal sleeping temperature: about 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Trick your body into drowsiness with a warm bath or shower, because moving from warm water to your cool bedroom will make your body temperature drop. And consider sleeping with fewer covers.

The Problem: Mood swings make you feel anxious or depressed.The Cause: Period-related mood swings are very normal hormones like estrogen and progesterone drop right before your period, making you experience negative emotions more strongly. And anxiety and depression make it tough to fall asleep at night.The Solution: First, just being aware that some of your mood swings can be attributed to hormones can help ease the problem, by untangling your mind-body matrix. Consider tracking your period with an app or on a calendar. During your period itself, you can try deep breathing, meditation or yoga to relax and unwind before bedtime.

The Problem: Cramps, headaches and muscle pain can make it hard to get comfortable.The Cause: Hormones, duh.The Solution: Try changing your sleep position, adding or subtracting pillows, or using a heating pad to relieve pressure.

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The Fixable Causes Of Insomnia With Menses

Lets start with the obvious: if youre anxious or in pain, youre not going to be sleeping very well. In these cases, insomnia is a secondary rather than a primary effect of your period.

As mentioned above, while cramping and moodiness are both quite common leading up to and during menses, in most cases they are fixable. These both go back to estrogen dominance more often than not, and it is usually quite possible to balance levels of estrogen to progesterone with a healthy diet, exercise, balancing your gut flora, and/or liver detoxification. There are supplements available that can speed this process along, and in some cases these are necessary depending on the actual diagnosis if there is one, and the level of severity. But these are the basic principles.

Mood Swings Make You Feel Anxious Or Depressed

Period-related mood swings are very normal hormones like estrogen and progesterone drop right before your period, making you experience negative emotions more strongly. And anxiety and depression make it tough to fall asleep at night.

How to fix it: First, just being aware that some of your mood swings can be attributed to hormones can help ease the problem, by untangling your mind-body matrix. So consider tracking your period with an app or on a calendar. During your period itself, you can try deep breathing, meditation or yoga to relax and unwind before bedtime.

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The Question: Why Is It Harder To Sleep During My Period

It’s one of the great ironies of menstruation that the same thing that makes you so tired during the day can make it tough to sleep at night.

Lest you think you’re alone in your sleepless period nights, the National Sleep Foundation found that 23 percent of women report disrupted sleep in the week before their periods, and a full 30 percent report disrupted sleep during them.

We spoke with New York gynecologist Dr. Karen Duncan about six of the main culprits of period-related sleep loss, and the best ways to address them.

Adjust Your Pill Times


On the other hand, if youre already taking another medication that has drowsiness as a side effect, ask your doctor if you can take that drug an hour before bed instead of whenever youve been taking it. A side effect like drowsiness can work against you during the day, but you can use it to your advantage at night.

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How Your Period Messes With Your Sleepand 7 Ways To Fix It

According to a poll by the National Sleep Foundation, about 70% of menstruating women say their sleep is disrupted during their periods by symptoms like breast tenderness, bloating, cramps, and headaches.

At the start of your menstrual phase , there’s a decline in estrogen , and you get sleepy. We now know that the drop in estrogen leads to less REM sleep, which is when dreams usually occur. Also, having a heavy period can lead to anemia from the lower iron level, which is a possible cause of restless legs syndromethat uncomfortable creepy-crawly feeling you may get in your legs when you lie down that forces you to keep moving your legs or walking around.

MORE:How To Eliminate PMS From Your Life Forever

During the follicular phase, in the first half of your menstrual cycle, the brain signals the pituitary gland to make follicle-stimulating hormone, which triggers a rise in estrogen. Thus, you no longer feel sleepyon the contrary, you may feel overstimulated and have insomnia. During the follicular phase, women tend to have more light or poor-quality sleep and an increase in REM sleep, often at the end of the night, which may make it difficult to wake up in the morning. So, it’s both hard to fall asleep and hard to wake up during this menstrual phase leading to ovulation.

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But to improve your sleep during all phases, follow these natural sleep tips for PMS and your period.

The Difference Between Insomnia And Trouble Sleeping

Before we get into exactly how PMS can disrupt your sleep, its important to note that regular insomnia and insomnia triggered by PMS are two separate things.

Millions of people suffer from insomnia in varying degrees, from mild, short-term symptoms to a lifelong struggle. The latter is usually associated with mental health illnesses including things like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Insomnia is a term that many people use to describe an inability to fall and stay asleep, but only a small percentage of people consistently struggle with this condition.

Insomnia triggered by PMS usually occurs as a result of changes in hormones during this time and physical discomfort. Women are twice as likely to experience sleep disruptions both before and during their period.

Now, lets take a closer look at how the physical and emotional side-effects of PMS may trigger insomnia symptoms in some women.

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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.

Tips To Sleep Better Before During And After Your Period

Why do I have Insomnia before my period? and How to beat PMS Insomnia ...

PMS and hormone changes arent always on your side when it comes to sleep. This doesnt mean you cant do something about it. First, focus on good sleep hygiene to ensure you have the best chance of sleeping well. This means going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, creating a cool and relaxing bedroom environment, avoiding alcohol and caffeine in the evening, and doing something to relax before bed.

As your premenstrual time approaches, take proactive steps to manage or minimize symptoms. Get regular exercise, eat well, and stay hydrated. Try using relaxation strategies, like meditation or focused breathing. These habits will help you cope with PMS symptoms.

Talk to your doctor if you have severe PMS symptoms or dont respond to self-care or over-the-counter medications. You may benefit from medications and therapies that reduce symptoms and help you sleep better.

PMS insomnia is a reality for many women. The better you feel, both physically and mentally, the easier it will be to sleep throughout the month.

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Dont Put Up With Twitchy Legs

See your doctor if you are bothered by tingly or creepy-crawly legs. Women with heavy periods seem to be predisposed to restless legs syndrome , according to Mayo Clinic experts, but this irritating condition can be treated. A blood test will help your doctor determine how much extra iron and folate your body requires during your period to keep your legs calm. Meanwhile, give these 8 RLS home remedies a try.

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.

Similarly, those who live with PCOS may experience worse sleep disturbances, with studies finding that those with PCOS are at higher risk of developing sleep apnea.

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How Common Are Pms And Pmdd

PMS is estimated to affect up to 12% of women, and in most of those cases, the symptoms are moderate. It is believed that about 1% to 5% of women have PMDD.

The likelihood of having PMS or PMDD changes over the course of a womans life. They are more common from the late 20s to the 40s with the most intense symptoms often arising in the late 30s into the 40s.

Women may have PMS during some menstrual cycles and not others. Some sources estimate that, at some point during their life, nearly 75% of women will experience PMS-like symptoms.

Your Menstrual Cycle Explained

Suffering from “PMS Insomnia” – Q& A With Dr Anna

To understand the connection between PMS and insomnia, you must first understand exactly what occurs during your menstrual cycle and how it affects your body.

Most women get their period every 28 days. Menstrual cycles usually last between 3 and 7 days, with some women experiencing heavier blood flow than others. Your period is triggered by a change in hormones. When your ovaries release estrogen and progesterone, the lining of your uterus begins to thicken in preparation for pregnancy.

But these hormones do more than just change the physical make-up of your womb. They also cause a fluctuation in hormones. Youll experience different emotions and physical changes during each stage of your menstrual cycle.

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Practice Proper Sleep Hygiene

As always, addressing and improving your sleep hygiene can be an effective solution for better sleeping habits. Be sure you consistently maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise habits. You should also avoid blue light technologies late at night and allow yourself to wind down before bed with relaxing activities such as a warm bath, meditation, or reading a book.

Period Insomnia: Symptoms Causes And Treatment

The menstrual cycle has a significant effect on every woman’s life. Around a week before their period begins, some women start experiencing various symptoms, many of which can be unpleasant. One of them is disturbed sleep.

StudiesĀ¹ show that menstruation can have some effect on sleep phases. The problem may be related to hormonal fluctuations. While more research is needed to identify the exact cause, several ways to control period insomnia exist. Let’s take a closer look at what they are.

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What Are The Stages Of The Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle has four stages:

  • Menstrual phase: This phase starts on the first day of monthly bleeding, often known as your period. During this time, the body discards the extra lining of the uterus that was formed in preparation for pregnancy. On average, it lasts for about five days.
  • Follicular phase: This involves the development of an egg cell inside a follicle within the ovaries, and it starts on the first day of your period and typically lasts for 13 days.
  • Ovulation phase: In the ovulation phase, a mature egg is released by the ovary. In a 28-day cycle, this normally happens on day 14.
  • Luteal phase: This phase lasts for around two weeks after ovulation. If a woman does not become pregnant, the luteal phase ends with menstruation and the start of a new cycle.
  • Some resources classify the menstrual cycle as having only three phases and consider the days of menstruation to be a component of the follicular phase.

    Diagnosing Insomnia In Women

    Women and Insomnia

    Insomnia is usually diagnosed when a woman discusses her sleep problems with a doctor. The doctor may suggest keeping a sleep diary for 2 weeks. The information in a sleep diary can give the doctor an idea of how severe the insomnia is and whether lifestyle issues may be making it worse. Your doctor may also want to run blood tests to check for thyroid problems and other health conditions that can lead to poor sleep.1

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    During And After Menstruation

    Most of us will find that the majority of PMS symptoms fade away around day 2 of our periods. For those of us that bleed heavy and are afraid of waking up to stained sheets, a thick pair of period panties usually helps. Mattress pads or protectors are also extremely comforting.

    When PMS goes away, its important to focus on routine sleep habits, so that when the menstrual cycle starts again and PMS eventually hits once more, our sleep will be more under control, and we can finally get a good nights rest!

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