Menstrual insomnia is a common problem that many women experience during their time of the month, whether it’s before, during, or after their cycle.
Dealing with this particular side effect of menstruation can be frustrating in addition to the other unpleasant issues of PMS, including irritability, menstrual pain, and bloating, to name but a few.
In order to observe how to properly treat and help with menstruation induced insomnia, it is important to understand how the menstrual cycle affects the sleep cycle, and common symptoms and causes reduced sleep.
So what causes insomnia during a woman’s period?
Insomnia during the menstrual cycle is caused by increased production of hormones as well as a significant drop in the hormone progesterone, which creates a hormonal imbalance and causes sleep disturbances.
It is also likely that the general symptoms of PMS can negatively affect a woman’s sleeping pattern.
The negative symptoms of PMS which can include hot flashes, nightmares, night sweats, frequent bathroom breaks, cramping and bloating, heavy bleeding, and tender breasts, can disrupt sleep and make it difficult to stay asleep for a long period of time.
Treatments and Remedies
There are plenty of different treatments and remedies women suffering from menstrual insomnia can try, most of which you can find right in your home or buy from a local store.
Treating menstrual insomnia can be as simple as treating PMS symptoms themselves. To do this, you can try using over the counter or prescription medicines, herbs, vitamins, or supplements.
There are many different types of medications that are also prescribed to treat insomnia, although these are mostly intended for long term use.
It is important that you do not use over the counter medications that contain caffeine. Appropriate prescription medications that can help you fall asleep easier include:
- Benzodiazepine: Benzodiazepine group includes several medications that work as sedatives
- Nonbenzodiazepine sedatives
- Ramelteon: which stimulates the melatonin receptors
Other medications have antihistamines which include sedative properties that can help reduce insomnia; these can be found in medicines such as Benadryl, Advil PM and Tylenol PM.
Teas and Herbs
In addition to over-the-counter medication, there are plenty of natural remedies that can be effective in treating menstrual insomnia. Herbs and natural remedies can relieve PMS symptoms, help relaxation, and cause sleepiness.
Teas are effective remedies that are great for relaxation and causing sleepiness, such effective teas include Chamomile Tea and Green Tea.
There are many herbs that can relieve the uncomfortableness of bloating and cramps, and treat insomnia by having a relaxing effect.
Valerian is an effective herb used to treat menstrual insomnia, as well as the dandelion root and Tribulus Terrestris.
Vitamins and Supplements
There are plenty of vitamins and supplements that can aid in treating menstrual insomnia as well. As previously stated, one of the causes of menstrual insomnia is the reduction of progesterone.
Additional progesterone can be prescribed to help counteract the excessive estrogen being produced during a menstrual cycle.
Also, vitamins such as Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Calcium, and Vitamin B, all play a role in helping to treat PMS and relieve insomnia by having a number of effects on the menstrual cycle and its symptoms.
Often, our menstrual cycles are dictated by our lifestyle choices and diets. What we do and eat can have a considerable effect on how our cycles affect us and our bodies, which means that sticking to a healthier lifestyle can have positive effects on treating menstrual insomnia.
Staying hydrated, as well as consuming more of the essential nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vitamins and minerals is essential for making sure that our body is getting everything it needs as our hormones change during our menstrual cycles.
Additionally, maintaining a healthier diet can help relieve uncomfortable menstrual symptoms and make your menstrual cycle less unpleasant overall.
- Shechter, A., & Boivin, D. B. (2010). Sleep, Hormones, and Circadian Rhythms throughout the Menstrual Cycle in Healthy Women and Women with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. International journal of endocrinology, 2010, 259345. doi:10.1155/2010/259345
- Unno, K., Noda, S., Kawasaki, Y., Yamada, H., Morita, A., Iguchi, K., & Nakamura, Y. (2017). Ingestion of green tea with lowered caffeine improves sleep quality of the elderly via suppression of stress. Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition, 61(3), 210–216. doi:10.3164/jcbn.17-6
- Jehan, S., Masters-Isarilov, A., Salifu, I., Zizi, F., Jean-Louis, G., Pandi-Perumal, S. R., … McFarlane, S. I. (2015). Sleep Disorders in Postmenopausal Women. Journal of sleep disorders & therapy, 4(5), 1000212. doi:10.4172/2167-0277.1000212