Have you had troubles with tiredness and insomnia during your period? Can PMS cause insomnia?
Insomnia can be related to the menstrual cycle, and there are many factors that can cause insomnia before period. PMS insomnia is quite common. Women with PMS are 2 times more likely to experience insomnia before period.
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What is PMS?
PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, refers to the various symptoms that can be experienced in the weeks before the period itself starts. Many women will experience PMS at some point, and sometimes it is severe enough to be a burden on everyday life.
Sleeping difficulties, fatigue, and tiredness are common, and there is a multitude of other possible symptoms.
Here are the most common symptoms experienced before period:
- PMS insomnia
- Feeling stressed, upset, anxious, or having mood swings
- Stomach pain and bloating
Other conditions may have similar symptoms to PMS, as the symptoms of many conditions can be exacerbated by changes during the menstrual cycle, so the only way to be sure that you have PMS is for the other likely conditions to be ruled out.
What causes PMS?
Unfortunately, the causes of PMS are poorly understood. However, hormones play a major role and that different people’s bodies react in different ways to these hormonal changes.
Treating and managing PMS will usually involve hormonal medications or antidepressants for those who need them. People who have milder symptoms may only need to make some changes to their lifestyle in order to manage them.
Lifestyle changes such as reducing stress, getting more exercise, and making changes to their diet can help.
This includes reducing consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
A similar condition to PMS is PMDD, or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. PMDD sufferers experience similar symptoms as PMS, including insomnia before period. But they are much more severe and can make life quite difficult.
If you think you may have PMDD, you should consult your doctor, as there is treatment available that can help you.
What Causes PMS Insomnia before period?
Here are the most common causes of PMS insomnia before period!
1. High Temperatures And Night Sweats
Temperature is a very important factor in getting good quality sleep. It is believed that cool, but not cold, temperatures are the most ideal for sleeping, and being too cold or too hot can certainly disrupt your sleep.
Before your period, you may experience sudden heat flashes when you are in bed at night. These are the result of hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle.
As a result of these sudden high temperatures, another big issue you might experience at nighttime is when you wake up drenched in sweat, to the point where you might need to change your clothes or bed sheets.
These are called night sweats. It is possible that you won’t even feel very hot when you wake up in a sweat, or you may even feel chilly. This is because although heat flashes tend to pass by very quickly, your body still tries to cool you down by sweating.
To help prevent these problems, try to keep your bedroom as cool as possible.
Try leaving a window open and a fan on for a while before you go to bed to cool the room down, and try using thinner blankets.
You may also want to consider which kind of pyjamas you should wear, as the ones you already have may be too warm.
It goes without saying that pain is usually the main issue during periods, and unfortunately, this may also cause sleep difficulties. As well as causing you constant trouble throughout the day, pain and cramps during the night can easily disturb your rest and prevent you from falling asleep, causing you PMS insomnia before period.
If you have not tried them before, there are ways to relieve the pain that may be helpful for you.
A good idea is to find a sleeping position that feels most comfortable and takes the pressure off of the most painful areas on your body. It is often said that laying in the fetal position can take pressure off of your abdomen, releasing tension and relaxing the muscles there.
Another good thing to try is sleeping with a hot water bottle, as applying heat to the painful area may provide relief.
Taking a relaxing warm bath before bed might also have the same effect.
3. Heavy Periods
Having heavy periods are common for many people, and aren’t always a cause for concern, however, sometimes they can cause difficulties, including sleeping difficulties and PMS insomnia before period.
Problems sleeping when you have heavy periods will probably be due to having to repeatedly wake up during the night to change your pad or tampon, or waking up because of a leak.
Heavy periods can also make you feel more tired and worn out in general, even after sleeping well.
It is also possible that having heavy periods could lead to the development of iron deficiency anaemia. Among other symptoms, such as general weakness, heart palpitations, pale skin, and cravings for items with little or no nutritional value, iron deficiency anaemia also causes severe fatigue and tiredness.
If you have heavy periods often and they are causing problems such as these, it is best to see your doctor for advice and treatment, as the cause could be a more serious issue that needs to be identified.
4. Other Problem
As we can see, there are many reasons why periods can cause insomnia. But as mentioned before there are also many other possible causes that you should keep in mind.
It is possible that the symptoms of your period are actually exacerbating the symptoms of another problem that needs to be recognized.
Iron deficiency anemia is one example that was mentioned, and other problems that could be the cause of PMS insomnia before period are:
- High stress levels can cause insomnia, which naturally can get worse during your period. Weighted blankets for adults and teenagers can help relieve stress and insomnia. They are a useful natural remedy to improve sleep.
- Anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. An anti-anxiety blanket can definitively help to stay calm.
- Health conditions that interfere with sleep such as sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome. Weighted blankets for restless legs are a very popular remedy to relieve the symptoms of this condition.
- Overuse of substances like alcohol and caffeine
- Problems with your lifestyle that harm your sleep, like your diet or sleep schedule
Ideas For Getting Better Sleep
Whether your insomnia is caused by your PMS or by other reasons, it may take some time for you to figure out the true reasons for your sleep difficulties.
In the meantime, here are some practical tips for helping yourself to improve your sleep:
- Keep a sleep journal. By documenting when and how your sleep is being affected, you should be able to gain a better understanding of why it is happening, and it will also be very useful if you need to talk to your doctor about the problem. If your sleeping difficulties appear to sync up with your period, that is a strong sign that the two are related.
- Try not to worry too much about your sleeping problems. Although they may be distressing and disruptive to your life at the moment, try to keep in mind that these difficulties are almost certainly temporary and you will be able to find a solution before too long. Stress and anxiety can both further contribute to sleep difficulties, so if you can find ways to do so, keeping your worries to a minimum will be very beneficial for your sleep. You might find it beneficial to talk to friends or family about what you are going through, so they can give you advice or help when they can, or just to get it off of your chest.
- Try to cut down on any bad habits. It’s good to avoid substances such as caffeine and alcohol, especially in the later hours of the day. Alcohol may make you feel drowsy and cause you to fall asleep faster, but it is also linked to poor sleep quality and sleep disturbances during the night. It is also important that you do not eat or have any snacks in the couple hours before bedtime, as digesting the food will keep you awake and possibly cause heartburn as well. You should also avoid looking at electronic screens too much in the evening and take some time to relax and slow down before bed, such as by reading a book you like or taking a bath, rather than doing anything active or stressful. You should reserve your bed for only sleep and relaxing activities like these so that when you get in it, you associate it with rest and your body knows that it is time to wind down and relax.
- Create some good sleeping habits. An important habit to start with is to wake up and go to bed at the same times every morning and night, this helps your internal clock to stay consistent with when it wants you to wake up and go to bed, and not have a set sleep routine leads to worse sleep. Even if you have a bad night of sleep, you should keep to your schedule and avoid sleeping in. It is also a great idea to start doing some regular exercise if you don’t already, as exercise is extremely beneficial for getting better sleep, and it may help reduce the severity of some of the other symptoms you may experience during and before your period.
- Sleep with a weighted blanket. These special blankets are specifically designed to make it easier to fall asleep by quickly relaxing your body and mind. Thanks to the therapeutic effect, a weighted duvet will naturally stimulate your sleep, allowing you to get rid of PMS insomnia before period.
Having PMS insomnia during period is not an uncommon experience, and whatever the main cause of it is, there is surely treatment or natural remedy available.
Remember that sleep is an essential component of good health, and if you have been struggling with PMS insomnia for a while it is important to seek help if you need it.