I think we can all agree that we love sleep. Sleep is truly the best. Leaving my bed in the morning honestly sucks. For most of the month we are usually able to get a solid night of sleep. And then the days leading up to and during your period, your sleep is typically less than ideal.
So let’s dive right in to see how our sleep changes through your cycle and some tips to make it through those restless nights.
First, let’s understand each of the four phases of our cycles and how our hormones change during each of them.
Menstrual Phase: Progesterone and estrogen levels are lower.
Follicular Phase: Estrogen levels rise.
Ovulation Phase: Estrogen levels rise at the beginning and then drop quickly which takes 24 hours.
Luteal Phase: Progesterone levels rise then drop.
The way your monthly cycle works and how you sleep are both affected by these hormonal changes. Researchers aren't sure why people have trouble sleeping during our monthly cycles, but it appears that fluctuating hormone levels are the most likely cause.
Now let’s break down how our sleep is affected during each phase of our cycle.
Menstrual Phase: You may be able to fall asleep and stay asleep during this time, but you may also have to deal with cramps and the potential of leaking, both of which can disrupt your sleep. It can be difficult to achieve quality sleep, especially if you wake up to change your pad for example.
Follicular Phase: Since the follicular and menstrual phases overlap, you may encounter sleep disturbances during the first half of your cycle, while you are bleeding.
Ovulation Phase: You may not notice a change in your sleep patterns during the ovulation phase because it is so brief. The temperature of your body increases during ovulation, making it harder to fall asleep.
Luteal Phase: The luteal phase, which covers the week before your period, is when the majority of sleep problems occur. During the luteal phase, progesterone levels are higher. Your body temperature may rise as a result of progesterone, disrupting your sleep.
Sleep is super important and integral for our body and mind to function the way it’s supposed to. These changes in hormones can sometimes make it difficult for us to get the rest we need.
In order to help with the potential of leaking while you’re sleeping, use overnight pads and wear period underwear. This will offer more protection and reduce the likelihood of leaking. I also recommend wearing all black.
Having cramps can also keep us awake which is super annoying. I mean we can’t even get a break while we’re trying to sleep smh. Consider using some type of heat, such as a heating pad, to help with the pain or take medicine if that helps you.
Unwinding and calming your mind before bed can also be helpful. Try to unplug from your phone or any electronic device at least 30 minutes before going to bed. Drink a hot beverage, such as tea or hot chocolate, to relax as well. Do whatever works best for you to calm your mind to get better sleep.
Our changes in hormone levels can cause some disruption in our sleep cycle. It’s important to continue to take care of yourself and take the necessary actions to try to get the best sleep possible every night.