Sleep is incredibly important to overall health. But, for many women, “that time of the month” can take a toll on not only getting to sleep, but the quality of sleep as well. In fact, 30% of women experience disturbed sleep during menstruation and 23% experience disturbed sleep in the week prior to menstruation.
The hormonal changes involved in the menstrual cycle can cause numerous changes physically and emotionally. Before and during menstruation, many women have feelings of anxiety and depression, while PMS symptoms like headaches, pain, heavy bleeding, cramps, and bloating can also occur. Any combination of these symptoms can prove to be difficult to sleep through, so here are some things that can help you sleep better despite your symptoms:
- Eat Light – Avoid heavy or fatty foods that tend to worsen digestive issues. Eating healthier is simply better for you overall, but it is especially important before and during your period.
- Exercise – Physical exercise is a natural way to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, which can help you sleep better. Try yoga, running, or tennis for starters.
- Sleep Schedule – Going to bed around the same time every night helps your body to anticipate and prepare for sleep, and a consistent sleep schedule helps your body to be less likely to be thrown off by PMS or menstrual symptoms.
- Stay Cool – Keep the thermostat in the bedroom between 60-67º to help keep your core temperature in its regular zone despite increases due to shifts in menstrual hormones.
- Comfort Matters – Try sleeping on your side, instead of your back or stomach to alleviate achy muscles and cramping. Extra pillows can also be helpful.
If these tips aren’t enough to help you sleep well before and during your period, you may need to speak to your doctor. If you are in our area, we would love to help you with your heavy periods, PMS, or hormonal issues at The Ashford Center!