Now that Spring Break is over and the end of the semester is approaching faster than any of us would like, I know that I need to get as much sleep as possible to keep my mind fresh and make it through each overscheduled day. I’ve noticed lately that the week before my period starts that I lie awake and review my growing to-do list over and over again and get a really restless night of sleep. Thirty percent of women reported that their sleep was disturbed during their period and 23% reported that their sleep was disturbed in the week before their period started.
Why do our periods give us insomnia when we would give anything to fall asleep quickly and get some good rest?
- Your body temperature rises over the course of your menstrual cycle and can make it hard to sleep. An evening drop in temperature is what helps our bodies feel sleepy.
- Mood swings can make you feel anxious or depressed.
- Stomach issues, cramps, or headaches can make it hard to sleep.
- Your cycle does cause insomnia. The drop in progesterone levels is likely a cause as progesterone has a mild sedative effect.
How to fix this
- Make sure your bedroom is cooled to an optimal temperature.
- Try deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to relax and de-stress before bedtime.
- Eat a snack that is kind to your stomach before bed.
- Take an ibuprofen or other pain reliever right before bed.
- Avoid caffeine for several hours before bed.
- Keep a period log that includes your sleep patterns in order to be prepared for your next cycle or to show your doctor at your next appointment.
- Use a hormonal form of birth control to reduce the fluctuation in estrogen and progesterone. In addition to all of the other benefits of hormonal birth control, it can also help you sleep!