According to the National Sleep Foundation, 30% of women report difficulty sleeping during their period, and 23% report difficulty sleeping the week beforehand. Read our blog to learn more about PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and sleep:
The Menstrual Cycle
Menstrual cycles last about twenty-five to thirty-five days, averaging about twenty-eight days for most women. The fluctuation in hormones marks different phases of the cycle and accounts for many of the symptoms women experience. The four phases are:
- Menstrual: Also known as a period, this lasts for about five days and marks the start of the menstrual cycle.
- Follicular: This phase is when the egg cell develops inside a follicle inside the ovaries. It starts on the first day of your period and normally lasts around 13 days.
- Ovulation: In the ovulation phase, the ovary releases a mature egg around day 14.
- Luteal: If a woman does not become pregnant, the luteal phase ends with menstruation and begins a new cycle.
The change in hormones not only affects the ovaries and uterus but also multiple systems in the body. Rising and falling levels of estrogen and progesterone, which regulate the menstrual cycle, can affect you physically and emotionally.
Why and How Does PMS Affect Sleep?
PMS is a condition defined by the symptoms that arise in the days preceding a period and often continue into menstruation. While the severity of PMS symptoms vary, many women find that PMS affects their day-to-day life. Women with PMS are twice as likely to experience insomnia during PMS and their period. PMS might cause excessive daytime sleepiness and mood changes which can lead to oversleeping.
Progesterone is linked to body temperature and fatigue – two symptoms of PMS. This could be the reason why you feel tired but have trouble drifting off to sleep. A dip in temperature signals to the body it’s time to sleep, and if your hormones are keeping you warmer than normal, it’s often harder to fall asleep.
Mood changes are another factor in sleeping issues during your period and PMS. PMS symptoms can include anxiety and depression, both of which can lead to sleeping problems. Have you ever been so anxious you just couldn’t sleep? Here are some tips to help you manage your stress.
How to Sleep Better with PMS
So what can you do to get a better night’s sleep during PMS or your period? To some extent, our answers are the same as they would be for anyone else struggling with sleep problems:
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule
- Limit or avoid alcohol and caffeine consumption (this can also help with cramps)
- Prepare your bedroom for sleeping
Getting better sleep takes dedication and discipline. Even going to bed an hour early during your period every night can drastically help. For more tips on sleep, read our blog here. Remember, if you are finding that your sleep problems interfere with your ability to function during the day, reach out to a professional for treatment options.
Sweet Dreams Are Made of These
If you’re concerned about your quality of sleep, schedule a visit to be evaluated at Whitney Sleep Center. We encourage you to set up an appointment at one of our locations. Get better sleep: contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website.