|Disclaimer: This article is for information only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.|
For many, getting a good night's rest is one of the best things they can do for themselves. But for those who suffer from painful menstrual cramps, a good night's sleep is even more important. Proper sleep is one of the most effective ways to manage period pain and make your period more bearable.
The Link Between Sleep and Period Pain
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can significantly increase the intensity of period pain. This is because when we're sleep deprived, our bodies produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This can increase inflammation and worsen menstrual cramps. Additionally, lack of sleep also lowers our pain threshold and make us more sensitive to pain, which makes period cramps even more uncomfortable.
On the other hand, getting enough sleep helps to reduce period pain. Not only does it reduce the amount of cortisol in our bodies (lower stress), but it also helps to regulate our hormones and reduce inflammation. When we're well-rested, our bodies are better able to cope with pain and discomfort.
Tips for Getting a Good Night's Sleep During Your PeriodIf you're struggling with period pain, here are a few tips for getting a good night's rest:
- Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening.
- Use a sleeping mask (hint: We recommend our amazing 3d silk sleeping mask here!)
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Limit your exposure to blue light from screens in the evening.
- Try to avoid eating large meals late at night.
- Take a warm bath or use a heating pad like Invisiwarm to ease period cramps before bed.
- Exercise during the day, but avoid strenuous activities close to bedtime.
- Sleeping positions: Sleeping in the fetal position, with a pillow under your knees, or in the child pose can aid in period cramps
- Regulate the temperature of your room
- Have a cup of chamomile tea
- Do yoga during the day
- Get fresh air during the day and go for some walks
- Practice self care - have a nice bath, light a nice candle etc.
Do You Sleep More When on Your Period?
It's all a matter of your individual anatomy. Every woman's menstrual cycle is different. Some women can do cartwheels despite bleeding, while others can barely make it out of bed (note that is NOT normal). If a typical cycle leaves you feeling particularly lethargic, it's not abnormal. It's likely just your body's reaction to the sudden dip in hormones. In the 10 days or so before your period, your body is geared up in the hopes that the egg you sent down the old fallopian tube will be fertilised. When your uterine lining isn't invaded by a fertilised egg, the hormones sustaining the environment aren't needed anymore and the hormone levels plummet. When this happens, your body goes from high alert to nothing hormonally and that shift causes other changes too and all of those changes are exhausting. Until your hormone levels increase again, you are really tired.
Why do I sleep so much on my period?
Hormonal changes throughout your menstrual cycle may be the reason you sleep more during your monthly bleed. Note some people struggle to sleep, where others sleep a lot more. According to research conducted by the US National Sleep Foundation, 30% of people experience disturbed sleep during their periods.
PMS (Premenstrual syndrome) is a compilation of all the various psychological and physical signs or symptoms you might face before your period begins. From experience, you’d also know how it can make you feel really exhausted and sleepy apart from causing headaches, stomach cramps, acne, food cravings, mood swings, and tender, swollen breasts to name a few.
Other Ways to Reduce Period PainIn addition to getting a good night's sleep,there are several other ways to reduce period pain and make your period more comfortable. Some of these include:
- Taking over-the-counter pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen or naprogesic, as directed.
- Applying a heating pad like Invisiwarm to the lower abdomen to ease cramps.
- Practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation, to reduce stress and tension in the body.
- Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and avoiding processed foods and sugar.
- Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and limiting your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
- Exercising regularly to help improve circulation and reduce muscle tension.
- Practice Yoga
With a little effort and some simple lifestyle changes, it is possible to manage period pain and get a good night's rest. By focusing on getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and taking care of your body, you can make your period more comfortable and enjoy a higher quality of life.
It is important to remember that everyone is different - and what works for one person does not necessarily work for others.