If “that time of the month” brings along sleep deprivation, you’re not alone. In fact, 33 percent of women say that their slumber is negatively affected by their menstrual cycle. You can blame this lack of shut-eye on fluctuating hormones: When estrogen and progesterone levels drop right before your period, it’s common to have trouble sleeping. Luckily, it’s possible to stop menstrual-related sleep issues before they start. If you find that your period interferes with the quantity or quality of your sleep, try following these tips.
Get Ample Exercise.Working up a sweat makes it easier to fall asleep and promotes deep, restorative sleep. Plus, it may help ease PMS symptoms. Aim to fit in 30 minutes of fitness daily during your period to reap the benefits. Try going on a brisk walk or jog, biking, or taking a group workout class.
Bring a Hot Water Bottle to Bed.If cramps, pain, and bloating keep you awake at night, snuggling up to a hot water bottle may ease the discomfort. For more severe cramps, a warm bath before bed and pain medication like ibuprofen can provide additional relief.
Write Down Your Worries.For some women, anxiety and depression may spike during their period, and this stress can keep them awake at night. If that sounds like you, keep a journal on your nightstand and jot down thoughts and worries before you go to sleep, so that you don’t take them to bed with you. Meditative exercises or yoga may also help.
Skip the Heavy Snacks. You may be craving a large bowl of ice cream at this time of the month, but if digestive issues plague you during your period, steer away from sugary, fatty snacks that can keep you up with indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea. If you do need a bite before bed, choose a healthier option, like Greek yogurt or fruit.
Consider Birth Control.Women who take oral contraceptives may have less menstrual-related insomnia. Talk to your doctor about whether going on birth control is right for you.