Tips For Better Sleep In Different Phases Of The Menstrual Cycle
Before Your Period
The days leading up to your menstrual cycle are when sleeping difficulties most often occur. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, relaxation methods, and lots of water consumption might help you feel less stressed and cope with PMS better.
Medicines and nutritional supplements may be used in case of more severe symptoms of PMS and PMDD, which can help you get a good nights sleep. In addition, light therapy, which uses a bright light to alter the circadian rhythm, might help some women with PDD.
For any woman dealing with annoying PMS symptoms, such as sleeplessness, its critical to consult a physician who can explain the benefits and drawbacks of various therapies.
During and After Your Period
Suppose you have menstrual problems that are not alleviated by standard treatment. In that case your condition may get worse if you remain on the same dose or schedule.
Absorbent pads designed for nighttime use, like those available at most drug stores and supermarkets, can benefit women who have heavy periods or are concerned about bleeding overnight. For women worried about staining their mattresses, a mattress pad or cover might provide comfort.
If PMS symptoms have disappeared, you have a second chance to focus on healthy sleep practices that can help you get better rest and avoid disruptions before and during your period.
How Can I Improve My Sleep
If your sleep is being disturbed in the week leading up to your period, there are some at-home remedies you may be able to use to improve this and get more shut-eye each night:
- Hack your evening routine by going to bed early, switching off screens before bed, having a warm bath or shower, drinking some chamomile tea, and maybe even having sex!
- Make lifestyle changes that could improve general PMS symptoms, like cutting out excess sugar from your diet, doing gentle exercise, and drinking more water.
- Its an obvious one, but try to cut out caffeine in the latter half of your day and monitor your sleep to see if it makes a difference.
- Tire yourself out each day to improve your sleep at night. This might be a HIIT class, a run, or even just a walk in the day to get rid of some energy.
- Keep the temperature in your room cool. Studies show that a cool room is the optimum temperature for your body to get the best chance of sleep.
Do Not Use Electronics At Night
There are a few reasons why putting down our electronic device is necessary if we want to sleep soundly at night.
First, electronics engage our brain , making it difficult for us to go to sleep because our brain is still active due to loads of stimulation and information it just received. Second, the blue light that comes from our device actually tricks your brain to think that it is still daytime, hence ruining your circadian rhythm and setting your body in a wake up mode.
So, turn off your electronics at least an hour before you go to sleep. I know this is hard but it helps a ton. If you cant do this, at least put your phone on night-shift which will take away the blue light.
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How Sleep Disturbances Relate To Pms
If you’ve ever spent the night before your period tossing and turning in bed – perhaps throwing off your duvet because you’re suddenly too hot – you’ll be all too familiar with this situation. As Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, a physiologist and sleep expert, explains, this part of the cycle is often associated with changes in mood, body temperature, and energy levels, along with physical symptoms.
“These can include bloating and other stomach disturbances, pain and cramps, light and noise sensitivity, constipation or diarrhoea, and appetite changes,” she says. “All of this can have a disruptive effect on sleep for some women. Some might have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, oversleeping or not getting enough sleep. Others might have more vivid and disturbing dreams. With severe PMS there might be a combination of all of these sleep problems.”
One 2012 study found that women with severe PMS were around twice as likely to experience insomnia. Among women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder , a very severe form of PMS, 66% experience sleep problems, 72% feel depressed and 84% feel tired. It can sometimes be hard to work out what comes first – are you sleeping badly because of anxiety and low mood, or is the low mood a product of sleeping badly?
Either way, it comes down to your hormones. One study found that women whose progesterone levels rise more sharply during their cycle are more likely to experience sleep disturbances towards the end.
Recognizing The Symptoms Of Pms Insomnia
PMS Insomnia is common in women and can be caused by the general issues seen with PMS such as fatigue and irritability, says Dr. Dulka.
If youre having trouble sleeping in the days leading up to the beginning of menstruation, you could be experiencing PMS insomnia. These symptoms can include:
- Trouble falling asleep or restlessness
- Difficulties staying asleep
- Hot flashes
- Vivid dreams or nightmares
While the hormonal changes that occur in the body can not necessarily be avoided, there are certain ways you can help reduce the symptoms of PMS and insomnia.
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Insomnia And Pms: The Hormone Connection
Many of the symptoms of PMSpain, digestive upset, and irritabilitycan make it more difficult to sleep. The main underlying cause, however, may be hormonal. Levels of estrogen and progesterone change throughout each menstrual period:
- During the follicular phase, from day one of menstruation to ovulation, estrogen levels rise.
- After ovulation, estrogen rises again, along with progesterone.
- The hormones remain relatively high until a few days before the next period when both drop.
Progesterone tends to relax you and make you sleepy estrogen provides more of an energy boost. During the PMS period, when progesterone drops rapidly, it can be difficult to sleep.
How To Deal With Pms Insomnia
To find out if your insomnia is linked to your menstrual cycle, keep a diary of your symptoms for a few months. List your daily symptoms, and the dates of your period.
This will help you figure out if theres a link between your period and sleep problems. It also means you have a list of symptoms handy if youre talking to a health professional.
Here are some tips on managing PMS insomnia:
- On the days leading up to your period, try to get more rest and sleep.
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What Can I Do To Help Myself Sleep Better
Try to boost your serotonin levels: foods such as pineapple, eggs and bananas can help. Keep your sugary or fatty food cravings happy with fruit such as figs, mangoes and chickpeas. Exercise regularly – even just a short walk can help. Try a vitamin B complex and/or a magnesium supplement.Melatonin production may be helped by adding bananas and porridge oats to your diet. Adjusting your sleep environment and lifestyle to coincide with your monthly cycle can help you sleep better during your period. Try these sleep tips, also known as good sleep hygiene:
- Make sure your room is dark and not too hot or cold. Remember that your increasing progesterone makes for a hotter you try opening a window or turning down the radiator in your bedroom
- Try to keep your room as quiet as possible. If this is not possible, put on some gentle music to block out any background noise such as traffic
- Go to bed at the same time each night and not on too full a stomach
- Winding down before you go to bed means that you are more likely to drift off to sleep more quickly and easily. Dim the lights in your home, take a relaxing bath, read a book or do some yoga
- Keep away from computers, laptops, tablets, TVs or other similar devices around your bedtime, as often the glow from them affects the production of chemicals in your brain in a way that does not encourage sound and restful sleep.
Other things you can do:
Pms Pmdd And Insomnia
Many people experience insomnia, and in fact 35% of adults in America suffer from it. Unfortunately, there is a higher chance for us females to suffer with poor sleep, due to hormonal changes when our menstrual cycles come around.
When our period arrives, the days just before can seem dark, with a change in our mood, and an increase in both our sexual and regular appetite. We often experience bloat, and pimples come to the surface. There is a change in our bodys hormone production, and some of us will suffer mildly with PMS, or severely with PMDD .
When we have either PMS or PMDD in whichever form, mild or severe, we often suffer with insomnia and sleeping disorders, which just worsen the time period during our menstrual cycles. Without enough sleep, we eat more, and are tired and moody throughout the day.
Now, its a proven fact that sleep is one of the most important functions we have besides eating and breathing. In fact, there have been many sleep deprivation experiments where the people involved started hallucinating and cursing and even the CIA have used sleep deprivation as torture.
Therefore, its really important to know all about PMS and insomnia, and how to treat sleep best when on our periods.
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Make A Sleep Schedule
The National Sleep Foundation suggests sticking to a sleep schedule that has you waking up and going to bed at the same time every dayyes, even when your period makes you feel like spending the day in bedwhich will also increase your ability to fall asleep. Dont fall for these 22 sleep mistakes that keep you up at night.
How Pms Affects Sleep
PMS is linked to a variety of sleep difficulties. For example, PMS women are at least twice as likely to have insomnia before and during their period. In addition, sleep deprivation may lead to daytime tiredness or drowsiness around the time of the month.
PMS may cause some women to sleep more than usual. In addition, fatigue and tiredness around their period and mood swings such as sadness might lead to oversleeping .
PMDD is one of the most challenging types of mood disorders to diagnose. PMDD is marked by severe emotional and physical symptoms that appear 4-8 weeks before a womans period begins. These problems can be bleak if they persist beyond a month, as around 70% of women with this condition have insomnia-like difficulties before their period, and over 80% feel tired.
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Diagnosing Insomnia In Women
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
Maintain Your Circadian Rhythm
Essentially, the cells in your body are programmed to follow a 24-hour cycle of day to night and so on. This 24-hour cycle is called a circadian rhythm and it naturally adjusts your body temperature, appetite, sleep patterns, and energy levels to rise and fall according to certain times of the day.
One of the most important circadian rhythms is the sleep-wake cycle. And it can be disrupted by fluctuating hormones during PMS. However, ensuring that youve had sufficient exposure to daylight and vitamin D will help your circadian rhythm to comprehend when it is time for sleep.
Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at regular times each day is also important to regulate the circadian rhythm. Skipping breakfast can especially confuse your circadian rhythm, for example.
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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.”
Physical And Emotional Changes Before Your Period
Around 90% of women report that they notice at least some physical or emotional changes in the lead-up to their period. Examples of changes that can occur include:
- Bloating or gassiness
- Sensitivity to noise and light
- Reduced concentration and memory
- Sadness, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings
- Changes in sex drive
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Appetite changes
When these symptoms appear, they range from 10 days to only a few hours before your period. They may go away shortly after menstruation begins or can last for several days after your period starts.
Though almost all women detect some changes before their period, they are usually limited and mild. The type and severity of changes can fluctuate over time and across different menstrual cycles.
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How Does Your Period Impact Your Sleep
Many women experience sleep disturbances at various points in their menstrual cycle. Here’s how your period may affect your sleep, and what to do about it.
Reviewed byDr Sarah Jarvis MBE
28-Sep-20·5 mins read
Many of us experience poor-quality sleep from time to time. And though statistics vary, studies consistently show that women are more affected than men. One review paper, from 2006, found that women are at 40% greater risk of insomnia.
Changes In Your Body Before The Period
According to a recent poll, roughly 90% of women notice some physical or mental changes up to their period. Changes that may occur:
- Bloating or gassiness
- Sadness, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Appetite changes
Pregnancy symptoms can begin ten days before your period and last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. They might dissipate shortly after your period starts or persist for several days afterward.
Though almost all women experience some changes before their period, they are frequently minor and fleeting. In addition, changes in type and severity can vary depending on time, place, and cycle.
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Develop A Regular Routine At Bedtime
Creating a regular bedtime routine, even when not experiencing PMS symptoms, can create an environment for a comfortable and uninterrupted sleep when PMS does occur.
Ongoing healthy habits, like eating light meals in the evening at least 4 hours before bedtime and cutting out caffeine after mid-afternoon will allow the body to slow down and prepare for bedtime.
Reducing screen time on the phone, as well as TV, will prepare the mind for sleep. As will taking care to minimize noise and bright lights in your bedroom at bedtime.
It is also beneficial to listen to some guided sleep meditation once you are in bed and ready to relax.
What Are Pms And Pmdd
What are PMS and PMDD?
Premenstrual syndrome is characterized by severe and unpleasant symptoms that appear in the days preceding your period and continue throughout menstruation. The severity of PMS varies from person to person. However, some women with PMS report that the symptoms interfere with their daily routine and activities.
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a severe illness with at least five symptoms that include substantial emotional changes. PMDD can cause more significant difficulties at school, at work, or in social and family life.
Pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting is a condition that affects approximately 12% of pregnant women. In most cases, the typical symptoms are moderate, although PMDD affects between 1% and 5% of all female patients.
The frequency of PMS or PMDD varies throughout a womans life. However, they are most prevalent between 29 and 39, with the most severe symptoms surfacing in people in their late 30s to early 40s.
At some point in their life, many women will experience PMS. According to specific sources, around 75% of females will have PMS symptoms at some point during their lives.
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Natural Remedies To Encourage Sleep
Heres where I give you a few of my favorite long-term strategies for better sleep and for saying goodbye to insomnia the week before your period, but before I do, a quick disclaimer:
These tips and tricks arent going to change your life overnight. Its always a process, and your patience will pay off.
Boost your micronutrients: Magnesium and zinc are going to work wonders for promoting sleep.
Cut out caffeine and alcohol: Yep, seriously. Its not easy, I know. Your hormones will thank you for eliminating coffee, caffeinated teas, and alcohol. Trust me.
De-stress: The world is in a chaotic state right now, and thats not going to just right itself. Control what you can. Ashwagandha an adaptogenic herb supports adrenal glands and helps modulate your stress response.
Eat to detox estrogen: As you enter the second half of your 28-day menstrual cycle, you have much more estrogen circulating in your body, and what you eat can help your body metabolize that extra estrogen more efficiently. Cruciferous vegetables broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, and watercress are especially important for estrogen detox during this phase. The more effectively your body handles estrogen during the second half of your cycle, the easier it will be to fall asleep.