How Periods Can Affect Your Sleep Cycle

by | Nov 11, 2021 | Sexual & Reproductive Health

It’s true what that say; get your sleeping pattern right and the rest of your life will fall into place. It makes perfect sense. When you wake up well-rested, you feel better equipped, mentally and physically, to make healthier life choices. Correct? But if you’re a woman, controlling the quality of your sleep isn’t easy. You’d be familiar with the hormonal fluctuations at each point of your cycle and how they’re likely to cause a spectrum of symptoms and side effects. For some, one of those side effects is PMS-related insomnia.

So, let’s look at how PMS affects your sleep cycle, and the things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep at that time of the month.

What exactly is PMS-related insomnia?

Insomnia is a sleep condition that causes difficulty in falling and/or staying asleep. While it’s completely normal to consider sleeping a sport as you enter the week of your period, not scoring a night of shut-eye can prove to be a real problem. Well, a double whammy of a problem. Along with cramps, headaches, muscle tension, and the plethora of PMS symptoms, you’re also having to tackle those symptoms on zero-to-little sleep.

So, what causes insomnia the week before your period?

The week leading up to your period is known as the luteal phase. It’s during this phase when your body experiences a massive surge in estrogen and progesterone followed by a rapid decline in estrogen and progesterone. This sudden hormonal spike and fall generally isn’t a problem when estrogen and progesterone are balanced in relation to each other. The problem occurs when your estrogen levels are higher than your progesterone levels, causing a condition known as estrogen dominance. That’s the precise moment your body will begin to experience PMS symptoms, including insomnia.

What’s the best way to deal with PMS-related insomnia?

To improve the quality of your sleep and put insomnia to bed, it’s a good idea to implement lifestyle strategies that help to maintain a balanced level of hormones.

  • Ditch the coffee, because caffeine is never a great idea if you’re praying for a good night’s sleep
  • Supplement with magnesium, for its sleep-promoting properties
  • Tweak your nutrition, adding more cruciferous vegetables that help to flush excess estrogen from the body
  • Boost progesterone production, via high-integrity B6 supplements
  • Focus on stress management
  • Orgasm, because nothing beats some self-inflicted pleasure with benefits of relaxation and stress release
  • Avoid blue light at night – yep, that means switching off all devices early
  • Set up a pre-bed routine, 20-minutes to wind down in a hot bath, with relaxing tunes

Of course, no PMS-related insomnia advice beats the kind you can get from your trusted doctor. So, if you’re still struggling to catch a decent night’s sleep, see your doctor for personalised advice.


This blog is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your medical practitioner.

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