Sleep and your period are one of the most popular topics every day in the life of every woman. Nothing keeps the body fresh, strong and full of energy like a night of good sleep. However, for the female population, having a full month of solid and peaceful sleep is not the case. The menstrual cycle is something that affects ladies regardless of their wishes. Cramps, pain and temperature change are just a few of many symptoms that keep the night sleepless.
If you are losing on your sleep every month, and you are not sure why its most likely that lack of quality sleep is linked to your menstrual cycle. It is possible for your hormones to affect your sleep and your energy level in general, during your period, before and – in some cases, even after. You may get better or worse sleep depending on the time of the month.
But, knowing that hormones affect your sleep is a crucial thing to dealing with bad sleep. When you know the cause you can take certain action steps and fight it for better sleep. The key is to understand how exactly hormones can play a role and which one. Next, it is all about dealing with it in the best way possible.
It’s no secret that the female body is complex and that it goes through different changes in certain days. Menstrual problems like active cramps, headaches, bloating, heavy bleeding, or just pain may diverse from lady to lady.
While some are extremely tolerated to pain, other ladies pain tolerance is non-existing. Those are one of the main reasons why some women report huge drift in sleep cycle during their period. Especially during the first days of the period.
What Happens To Your Body During Your Period?
The menstrual cycle lasts from 25 to 35 days, with an average of 18 days for the largest number of healthy women. However, this can be different from women to women.
Fluctuation in four main key hormones marks phases of the cycle and account for many of the symptoms women experience. A cycle begins on the first day of menstrual flow.
On the first day of menstrual flow levels of estrogen and progesterone are low. Furthermore, during the follicular phase that lasts from days 2-13 estrogen rises, which leads to ovulation, on day 14.
The next phase includes days 15-28 and it’s known as the post-ovulation luteal phase. In this phase, progesterone increases before hormone levels drop and a new cycle can begin. Its the start of menstruation.
But, What Does Your Period Really Mean For Your Sleep?
Ovulation Ends, Temperature Rises
In the middle of your cycle, the temperature can rife up to half a degree after ovulation. This rise may cause smaller or bigger sleep disturbances.
Women have a tendency to sleep better with lower temperature, their sleep is just more comfortable. This falls under the first part of the cycle, just before the ovulation. This temperature rise can lead to night sweats.
PMS Equals Less REM Sleep
REM sleep stage stands for the phase where your dreams happen. In addition, it helps with restorative part of sleep that’s responsible for supporting brain functions.
All in, it leads to extremely lower sleep quality and more disturbing and painful sleeping patterns.
You Can’t Fall Asleep During PMS
Experiencing difficult insomnia or having a harder time falling asleep is not too strange when PMSing. The most logical explanation for this phenomenon is dropping levels in melatonin. Universal knowledge says – more melatonin, less PMS.
Mood Change Can Affect Your Sleep And Period
Change in hormones leads to mood swings. We all know that hormones equal mood. Increased feelings of anxiety or sadness are present and they can for sure affect good sleep.
Mood disturbances are directly connected with the ability to initiate sleep, quality of sleep and the duration of the sleep overall.
Furthermore, it can affect your ability to function normally on a daily level and lead to other hormonal issues.
Mood change can be regulated with birth control pills or oral contraceptives that can be taken only with the permission of your gynecologist.
Headaches Are Often and Painfull In PMS
Estrogen drops right before your period making it harder for you to sleep due to often present headaches. Headaches are making it difficult to have a steady and peaceful sleep and period.
Like any other symptom that is directly connected with hormonal changes, can be treated with a stable dose of proper hormones.
Menstrual Cramps In Sleep
Menstrual cramps can cause serious sleep disturbances, especially with women that suffer from extremely painful cramps. Dysmenorrhea, or in other word menstrual cramps, is a condition that leads to an inability to fall asleep.
This condition can be treated with non-steroidal medications like Naprosyn or ibuprofen.
The most important thing to understand about your sleep on your period is that whatever are the symptoms that you are having, its O.K. Those symptoms are not entirely in your control and it is entirely your hormones show. They dictate how you are going to sleep.
Bad sleep during your period can be affected by bloating as well and heavy bleeding. The best way to sleep well during your period is to be prepared for it, to understand how your body works and what to expect.
FAQ About Sleep and Your Period
Are Sleeping Problems a Common Part Of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)?
Yes. Majority of women has some problems with their sleep on their period. Furthermore, they start experiencing related issues just before the period actually starts.
Premenstrual symptoms can cause bad sleep. Women that suffer from sleep disorders in general, may have heavier problems on their menstrual cycle.
How Does PMS Affect Sleep And Period?
During PMS women find it hard to stay asleep and even go to sleep during their PMS. Restless sleep is a common appearance in days leading to period. A number of women are even reporting sleeping during the day.
In general, the amount of REM sleep is less in this part of the menstrual cycle, mostly because the hormonal change affects the body’s temperature control. Hormonal change is this period is addressed to sudden drops in progesterone.
Is It Normal To Feel Depressed During Your Period?
Yes. Your cycle is tightly connected with your hormones. Whenever your hormones raise up or go down you will go through a certain change. For example, follicular phase marks estrogen peaks. This is directly linked with your well-being.
After ovulation, progesterone rises and it leads to feeling sleepy. This is the time you may feel sad or depressed.
What Is The Best Position To Sleep During Your Period?
This varies from individual. But, some general directions are always welcome/ If you are sleeping with strong cramps you should try sleeping in the fetal position. This position will take the pressure off the abdominal muscles.
Next, the fetal position helps because the muscles around your abdomen are relaxed, which means fewer cramps and significantly less pain.
On the other side, if you are one of those types that leak a lot at night, you should avoid sleeping on your stomach. This position leads to squeezing your uterus, which causes the blood to come out more.
What Can I Do To Help My Sleep?
If you are sure that your sleeping problems are linked with your menstrual cycle you are blessed with knowledge in that case because you know that it’s likely to appear next month again.
Although your sleeping problems on your period may be different from month to month, you still can take some concrete steps to make your sleep better and peaceful in ‘those days’
First thing is to get as much high-quality sleep as possible in days before your period. Secondly, be sure to lower your intake of caffeine and alcohol during your period.
However, you can drink more tea. Try to drink tea that will improve your sleep and not just any tea.
Having a regular and good diet is just a plus. Be active. Make sure to spend enough time outdoor before and during your PMS. Furthermore, try to organize before your bedtime.
Keep any devices outside the bedroom, don’t surf the web at least 30 minutes before your bedtime. If you have to read use a hardcover book to rest your eyes, drink a tea or have any other ritual that makes you relaxed. You can also do some gentle and stretch yoga.
Quick tip: Avoid going to bed when not tired. However, if you have to go to bed difficult to fall asleep if you are not tired.
A shift in hormones can’t go without any disturbance. It’s just a normal thing that your body does. You can be happy about it or miserable. Luckily, you can always do something about making your period sleep better.
First thing first, make sure that you fully understand how the menstrual cycle works, what are the phases, and what you can expect in each phase.
With that knowledge, you can create certain action steps and help yourself. If you find it easier, you can track a diary of your symptoms for a few months and know what to expect. You can always discuss your symptoms with your GP.