Especially now in the COVID era, my period is completely affecting my sleep. One brighter side of this time is that with not as much to do, I can really monitor my menstrual cycle and all of the things I feel along with it. But now I know, I’ve gotta work on my sleep.
There’s actually a study that came out in 2018 that talks about how women who suffer from PMS will have poorer quality sleep during that time of the month. A source of changes in sleep during the menstrual cycle includes the shifting hormones, particularly with estrogen and progesterone. Before menstruation, progesterone levels should begin to even out, which allows for lower levels of estrogen and progesterone. But when Progesterone rises after the end of your cycle, it can lead to higher levels of anxiety and it also helps the body to fall asleep. But when women have more PMS symptoms, the progesterone levels are much lower than before your period, which creates sleep problems.
In a study published this year by the Sleep Foundation, they found that 23% of women reported more disturbed sleep in the week prior to menstruation and 30% reported disturbed sleep during their period. There are a number of PMS related problems because of sleep disturbance including gloominess and anxiety keeping you awake at night, along with cramps and headaches. This causes drowsiness throughout the day and 1 in 10 women reported that sleep problems interfered with their jobs and relationships. Sleepiness made their PMS problems worse as they were upset or moody during the day.
On a brighter note, since you now know that you’ll have problems sleeping right before your period, you can plan around it. Why not take it a little easier those couple of days? Or try to stop drinking caffeine accordingly? I have to limit my intake of sugar during this period, or I know it keeps me awake.
Here are some ideas to help you get some sleep.
1. Don’t force yourself to go to sleep. If you’re not feeling it, it probably won’t happen. Do something else for a little while, a crossword or Sudoku that makes your mind focus on one thing, read a book, or talk to a friend, and when you feel sleepy, go for it!
2. Keep a journal. It’s like your own mini therapist! Put it by your bedside and write down those thoughts that come to you at night, it will help you put them somewhere else other than your dreams.
3. Listen to an audio book. This really helps me! I listen to one every night. Often I listen to something I’ve already read so I’m invested in the story but my mind focuses on only one thing, with the lights already off.
4. Meditate or try Yoga! Yoga and Meditation help you start to breathe. They help you think of just the physical thing you’re doing in that moment and help you to start to relax your muscles.
5. Try Jubilance for PMS! Jubilance is there to help you with the emotional side so you’re not anxious or stressed with your thoughts running before you go to bed. It’s the only clinically proven supplement that helps you conquer your anxiety, stress, irritability, and moodiness of PMS.