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POV: I’m on my period and can’t sleep!

POV: I’m on my period and can’t sleep!

As if navigating teen-hood, hormones and busy school life isn’t enough, you get your period! And what’s worse, it can affect your sleep!

Teens already get a rough ride with getting decent Zzzs thanks to the delayed sleep phase (releasing melatonin later in the evening so you feel awake long past bedtime, and that when your alarm goes off for school or college, you just want to crawl back under the duvet. This is normal – you’re not lazy!), but for females who have started their period, it can seem much harder to sleep.

The menstrual cycle is a natural process and comes with its fair share of ups and downs and if you’ve ever wondered why you feel more tired or have trouble sleeping during certain times of the month, you’ve come to the right place!

What is the Menstrual Cycle?

First things first, let’s break down what exactly the menstrual cycle is. Your menstrual cycle is a monthly series of changes your body goes through in preparation for a possible pregnancy. It typically lasts around 28 days, although it can vary from person to person. The cycle is divided into four main phases: menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase.

How Does It Impact Sleep?

Now we know more about the menstrual cycle, let’s chat about how it affects our sleep. During different phases of your cycle, your hormone levels fluctuate, and these hormonal changes can impact on your sleep patterns.

Menstruation (Days 1-5): This is when you’re actually on your period. Many girls experience discomfort or pain during this time, which can make it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. Additionally, hormonal fluctuations may contribute to feelings of fatigue.

Follicular Phase (Days 6-14): As your body prepares to release an egg, estrogen levels start to rise. This increase in estrogen can have a positive effect on sleep, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Ovulation (Around Day 14): Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from the ovary. Some girls may experience mild discomfort or bloating during ovulation, which can disrupt sleep for a night or two.

Luteal Phase (Days 15-28): During this phase, progesterone levels rise, which can have a sedative effect, making you feel more relaxed and sleepy. However, some girls may experience mood swings or anxiety during this time, which can make it harder to sleep.

Tips for getting some quality slumber:

Here are some tips to help you get better quality rest throughout your cycle:

Keep a regular sleep schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock and can improve the quality of your sleep.

Wind down with a relaxing routine: Engage in calming activities before bed, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing mindfulness or meditation. This can help signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.

Manage pain and discomfort: If you experience menstrual cramps or discomfort that interferes with your sleep, talk to your healthcare provider about ways to manage these symptoms. Over-the-counter pain relievers, heating pads, or relaxation techniques may help alleviate discomfort and improve sleep quality.

Pay attention to your body: Keep track with a diary of your menstrual cycle and how it affects your sleep patterns. By understanding your body’s natural rhythms, you can better prepare for potential disruptions and make adjustments to your sleep routine as needed.

Create a comfortable sleep environment: Make sure your bedroom is conducive to sleep by keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows, and consider using blackout curtains or white noise machines to block out any distractions.

Your menstrual cycle is a natural part of growing up, and understanding how it impacts your sleep can help you take control of your health and wellbeing. By implementing these tips and paying attention to your body’s needs, you can enjoy better quality sleep throughout the month, allowing you to feel more refreshed and energised to tackle school, exams, your social life and all the exciting things happening in teen-hood.

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Problem Sleeping?

Call our National Sleep Helpline, open between 7pm and 9pm five days a week, Sunday to Thursday.

03303 530 541