Fighting PMS With Sleep
When I was a few years into dating my boyfriend, and I was on my period, he said suddenly, “You don’t really get PMS do you?” It just sort of hit him that we’d been together for three years, which means we’d been together for about 36 menstrual cycles and…I hadn’t been a total nightmare to deal with every month. He said that he never even realized I was on my period unless I mentioned it. That is a very, very good thing. But I’m not going to stand here and lie to you and tell you that it’s because I’m some sort of angel. Far from it. I have a secret weapon: sleep. I sleep my tits off when I’m on my period. It has a way of solving everything, and alleviating many PMS symptoms. When I’m on my period, I give myself the freedom to say no to evening activities so I can go to bed early, and to stop whatever I’m doing to take a nap (schedule allowing). Here is why you need more sleep on your period.
It reduces stress
Getting enough sleep can fight stress and, for some reason, everything feels ten times more stressful when you’re PMSing. Haven’t you noticed how every problem feels so much bigger and totally unbeatable when you’re on your period? Your sleep rhythms and stress symptoms are highly related.
It helps you get along with others
Do you ever notice how sensitive you are on your period? You just take everything the wrong way, right? I know that I do. But when I started sleeping more, that stopped. It could be because sleep deprivation is linked to a struggle to properly read facial expressions.
It makes you less cranky
When you don’t sleep well, you’re cranky! You know it’s true. And, when you’re on your period, you’re naturally cranky. So sleep deprivation and hormones make a recipe for disaster. Get more sleep. Stop yelling at everyone.
It fights depression
Sleep is an important part of fighting depression. In fact, those with insomnia often report more incidents of depression than those without it. Now consider the emotional roller coaster of PMS and you’ll realize you can’t afford any more depression risks during that time of the month.
It helps with cravings
Most of us already know that insufficient sleep drives you to crave fattier foods and to eat more calories. Well, your hormonal fluctuations during your period also make you want to do that. You can at least fight the cravings by clocking those zzz’s.
It can fight the breakouts
Nothing adds insult to injury like being moody and crampy on your period and waking up to a skin breakout. Research has actually found a correlation between chronic skin conditions and poor sleep, so resting more on your period could fight those breakouts.
It breaks up the fog
Have you ever noticed how foggy you feel on your period? You keep dropping things and miscalculating things. Sufficient sleep is important for problem-solving skills, so beat the fog by sleeping more during your period.
It energizes you to exercise
Exercising can help relax muscles and fight cramps. Of course, you barely have the energy to exercise when you’re on your period. But getting enough sleep can help you get the burst of energy you need to hit the pavement.
It helps you poop
Studies have found a link between poor sleep and irritable bowel syndrome flare-ups. Being constipated makes period cramps even worse, so make sure to get enough sleep to keep things moving.
It boosts your immunity
The last thing you need when you’re on your period is to also catch a cold. Getting enough sleep is important for keeping immunity high.
It’s better than drinking
If you want to relax, it’s much better to turn to extra sleep than extra wine. Wine messes with your moods more, and can even interfere with sleep, making PMS worse.
It fights inflammation
Getting enough sleep is an important part of reducing inflammation in your body, which can make all sorts of symptoms from bloating to acne to PMS-induced headaches worse.
Less time to say something mean
The more hours you’re asleep means the fewer hours you’re awake and capable of saying something mean and nasty to your partner or roommate. You know it’s true.
It boosts creativity
Quality REM cycles boost creativity. Any PMSer who has ever journaled, painted, sculpted, or done something creative while on her period knows just how cathartic it can be. So get that creativity going with a little extra sleep.
It helps with decision-making
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to make a decision when you’re on your period? Or how often you make bad decisions? (Like buying everything from that one online store). Getting enough sleep can help you make better decisions and come out of your period fog without a ton of regrets.