Six Sleep Problems That Occur During Your Period (And What To Do To Make Them Go Away)

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Women Report Sleeping Worse in the Days Leading Up To Their Period

Not surprisingly, menstrual problems – cramps, bloating, headaches, heavy bleeding, and pain – can lead to sleep problems. Women report worse sleep during the days prior to and during the first few days of their period.

Survival Tip: In the days leading up to your period, do your best to practice a wind-down routine that helps you fall quickly into a restful slumber. 

1

Your Body Temperature Rises, Which May Cause Disturbed Sleep

Your core temperature rises almost half a degree after ovulation. People begin to feel sleepy when their temperature drops and are most likely to sleep when their temperature’s at its lowest – so the second half of your cycle could be a time of more disturbed sleep.

Survival Tip:It’s more important than ever then to keep your bedroom at 60-67 degrees F. To “trick” your body into feeling sleepy, take a warm bath or shower prior to bed. The contrast between the warm bath and your cooler bedroom environment will make your body temperature drop and help with sleep onset.

2

PMS Can Cause Sleep Problems

Women with severe PMS feel sleepier during the day and have slower reaction times when premenstrual than at other times. PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), dysmenorrhea, and polycystic ovary syndrome cause sleep problems of their own. Women with strong cramps take longer to fall asleep and then sleep poorly.

Survival Tip:Treating cramps with ibuprofen or naproxen may help. A warm bath or shower with a soothing scent like lavender may also help you wind down and prepare for sleep. 

3

It’s Normal To Feel Anxious, Depressed or Sleepy
Your cycle involves four hormones, and levels of all four fall just before your period starts. Estrogen peaks during the follicular phase. This is linked with well-being. Progesterone rises after ovulation, leading some women to feel sleepy. Many women also report feeling anxious or depressed before and during their period. (Blame hormones again.)

Survival Tip: Mind-body and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, and keeping a worry log before bed may combat these symptoms and help you get in the mindset to fall asleep. Don’t be afraid to take a nap but avoid naps in the late afternoon or evening.  Small “power naps” are shown to increase productivity and overall well-being at any time of the month!

4

Digestive Upsets May Occur
You may have noticed digestive upsets during menstruation such as indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea. These also can disrupt your sleep.

Survival Tip: Your first instinct might be to reach for the ice cream, chocolate, or pizza, but try to avoid heavy meals before bedtime especially during your period to avoid making things worse. Your system will handle a light snack better. Try a banana or almonds instead. 

5

Pain Happens
Nausea or muscle aches sometimes come along with those familiar cramps before and during your period.

Survival Tip:Changing your sleep position could help. Minimize pressure on tender areas by sleeping on your side or back or experimenting with a body pillow.

6

Just before and during your period, it’s likely to feel more difficult to get the sleep you need. This can mean everything from daytime sleepiness to poor memory to greater sensitivity to pain. We’ve gathered some research to help you get through this (ahem) period and wake up more refreshed. Read on for some whys and hows.

woman head in hands on bed