Do you find yourself tossing and turning those nights before your period starts?
Are you spending time lying awake staring at the ceiling?
If so, you’re not alone! So, why does this sleep disturbance seem to happen at the same time each month?
Hormones affect sleep
Folks who bleed commonly talk about having increased insomnia (or difficulty sleeping) across the three nights leading up to the start of their period.
Sleep issues can come from a few things including screen time before bed, stress, diet and the big one that we’ll cover here - hormone changes!
To have a period, your body goes through some huge hormonal changes. In the weeks leading up to your period, hormones like estrogen and progesterone are surging, helping to prepare your uterus for possible pregnancy. Then, right before your period starts, these hormones drop to almost nothing.
It’s thought that this drop in progesterone is to blame for bad sleep before your period. Progesterone is a hormone which can make you tired. So, when it suddenly drops off, you’re left without this lovely buffering hormone to rock you to sleep.
Your hormones also may make it more likely that you will snack on sweet and carby foods right before your period, so it’s also possible that diet changes also affect your sleep.
So, how can I sleep better?
Similar to sleep hygiene for improved sleep, try out some of these ideas and see which help you most.
Exercise -exercise helps to promote deeper and more restorative sleep. Some simple places to start could be going for a walk, or trying out some home yoga with the help of a YouTube video (Yoga with Adriene has something for everyone).
Avoid caffeine, alcohol or sugar in the evening - they all have an impact on sleep. Caffeine, a stimulant, wakes up your body, and there’s some research suggesting alcohol impacts sleep rhythm and the chance to fall into a deep sleep (meaning folks are more wakeful through the night).
Relax before bed -create a peaceful routine before bed - low lighting, warm (non caffeinated) herbal tea, maybe a shower or bath and some deep breathing. Anything that helps to soothe your nervous system and quiet your mind can help to lull you into a deep sleep.
Did you find this article helpful?
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