Period fatigue: what it is and how sleep hygiene can help
Ever felt tired before your period? Like your eyelids are heavier than usual, your brain’s suddenly foggy, and your energy’s MIA?
If this all sounds familiar, you’re not imagining things. What you’re experiencing is period fatigue, and it’s a very real thing. It’s also generally very manageable.
Read on as we take a look at what period fatigue actually is and share some strategies for nipping pre-flow drowsiness in the bud.
Fatigue can be super frustrating, especially when it starts getting in the way of everyday life. But it’s also one of the most common symptoms of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). So if you get tired in the lead-up to your period, know that this is totally normal and usually nothing to worry about.
Experts believe that PMS is caused by hormonal fluctuations that happen in the body during the ovarian cycle. In the luteal phase of your cycle, before your period starts, estrogen (also spelled oestrogen) production tends to drop, right along with your serotonin levels. Serotonin influences our energy and mood, so too little of it can make us feel sluggish and low.
Do you get headaches, bloating or cramps before your period? These PMS symptoms can also have you tossing and turning in the night, leaving you depleted the next day.
Plus, it’s normal for your body temperature to rise in the luteal phase, which can also interfere with sleep.
You might experience the following PMS symptoms alongside period fatigue:
If you’re wondering how to beat PMS fatigue, sleep hygiene practices may help you do just that.
What is sleep hygiene? Well, it’s all about creating the ideal conditions for healthy, uninterrupted sleep.
Broadly, you can do this by:
If you’re struggling with fatigue before your period, improving sleep hygiene can help put some pep in your step, boost your productivity and get you feeling like yourself again. And it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Managing period fatigue is all about being kind to yourself. As humans, we need some time to decompress after a busy day before we’re able to drift off. This is why it’s important to prioritise sleep hygiene by incorporating self-care habits into your day – and sticking to them.
If you’ve been wondering how to reduce PMS symptoms naturally (fatigue included), these science-backed tips are worth trying:
Start building these sleep hygiene hacks into your routine and you should start feeling more energised throughout the day, all month long. Pretty soon you’ll start to notice improvements to your overall health too, because the quality of our sleep has a big impact on our physical and mental wellbeing.
If you’ve tried practising proper sleep hygiene at home but your fatigue continues to make day-to-day life challenging, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment options.
Want to know how to balance PMS hormones? The best person to ask is your doctor. (They might suggest some home remedies, refer you to a specialist or recommend some PMS supplements.)
Head to our blog for plenty more period-related info, including tips for getting blood stains out of fabric (sleep hygiene of another kind!).
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