Feeling more irritable, dealing with the rollercoaster of mood swings, and tossing and turning all night long – these are some of the most common monthly struggles many women face during their menstrual cycle. But what’s even more frustrating is when these symptoms disrupt our sleep quality. If you’re here to seek solutions to this issue, read on as we will dig deep into the impact of pre-menstrual symptoms on our sleep and explore ways to alleviate those pesky period cramps while ensuring a good night’s rest.
Why Do I Get Insomnia Before My Period?
Before we talk about PMS insomnia, let’s first define what PMS is. Pre-menstrual syndrome, also known as PMS, is a condition characterised by a combination of bothersome symptoms that generally arise about a week or two leading up to your period and may continue during your menstruation. The severity of these symptoms varies, and not all women experience the same set of pre-menstrual symptoms.
The exact cause of insomnia during PMS is still unknown, and more research is needed to understand it fully. However, several studies have uncovered factors that significantly influence a woman’s sleep before her period.
According to experts, PMS increases the chances of insomnia at least twofold, before and during a woman’s period. The situation can be even worse for women suffering from PMDD, as research has revealed that approximately 70% of women with this condition encounter insomnia-like problems before their period.
Put simply, PMS symptoms like tender breasts, headache, bloating, sensitivity to noise and light, as well as anxiety, sadness, irritability and other symptoms can keep you up at night. Even for those without severe PMS, their sleep quality often declines 4-5 days leading up to their period. What experts believe to be the cause of this is the hormonal shifts that occur late in the cycle.
Can Period Affect How You Sleep?
Just like we’ve learned how PMS can disrupt sleep, having trouble sleeping during your period is also a common experience. It’s often primarily caused by pesky symptoms like anxiety, sadness, heavy flow, worrying about leakage and discomfort due to period cramps. These things can prevent you from getting a restful sleep while on your period.
Tips on How to Sleep When You Are on Your Period
Now that we have a better understanding of how PMS and period can impact a woman’s sleep, it’s time to explore some valuable and easy tips to enhance your sleep quality before and during your period.
#1 Find the best sleeping position to relieve cramps
Usually, the best sleeping position is the one that’s most comfortable for you. However, it might be worth considering switching positions when you’re on your period.
If you want to alleviate cramps and prevent leakage, the ‘Foetal Position’ is highly recommended. For extra support, you can place a small pillow between your knees.
#2 Practice Yoga
A study showed that doing yoga for an hour a week over the course of 12 weeks helped to reduce period cramps. Doing a few yoga stretches before bedtime can also aid your body into relaxation.
#3 Take a warm shower or bath
Period pain is mainly caused by cramping or tension of the muscles. Taking a hot shower or bath promotes muscle relaxation, relieving your pain. Moreover, it is known as a soothing pre-bedtime activity that can help you fall asleep faster.
#4 Heat Compress
Heat compression has been used to relieve menstrual cramps for many generations. This method promotes circulation and helps relax cramped or tense muscles. If you don’t feel like taking a bath or showering, placing a sealed bottle filled with hot water or a heat pad on your lower abdomen will also help your uterine muscles relax.
#5 Have a cup of calming tea
While there are no definitive studies proving the effectiveness of herbal teas in alleviating menstrual cramps, enjoying a cup of warm, natural tea like chamomile, valerian, or lavender can help you feel calm and relaxed before drifting off to sleep.
#6 Choose the right period protection products
Stressing about period leaks and staining your bed sheet is one of the reasons why you might find it difficult to sleep soundly. To minimise this risk, ensure that you’re wearing a fresh, overnight pad that’s wider and extra absorbent. Additionally, you can protect your mattress by using a high-quality mattress protector that can be easily washed off if it gets stained.
#7 Take your pain medication
If you suffer from terrible period cramps, ensure that you take your pain medication before going to bed. If you haven’t taken pain medication before and are considering it, we strongly suggest consulting your doctor first for safety.
Experience Restful Sleep Even on Your Period
We’ve covered various strategies to help you sleep better on your period – From understanding the impact of PMS on sleep quality to adopting practical strategies like adjusting your sleeping position, using heat compression, and enjoying soothing herbal teas. By incorporating these tips into your bedtime ritual, you can achieve restful sleep, even during your period. Here’s to better sleep, month after month!
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