We all know that having our periods come with side effects that can be challenging to handle.
Cramping, headaches, and even nausea can try to sideline us, but we’ve become experts at leaning into our cycles, honoring our bodies, and looking for holistic ways to deal with these issues.
One of the most challenging symptoms you can experience while on your period is getting quality sleep. In fact, about 30% of us feel like we don’t sleep very well when we’re on our periods, or at some point during our cycles.
If you’re feeling sleepy, we understand. Grab a cup of coffee and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how your period affects your sleep and what you can do about it.
Why Can’t I Sleep on My Period?
You sleep like a baby the rest of the month, but the days leading up to and during your period are filled with sleepless nights and big moods. What gives? It’s all due to hormones.
Your hormones change during each of the four phases of your cycle.
Menstrual phase. The menstrual phase is when you have your period. It’s technically the first phase of your cycle, but concludes your previous cycle.
During this phase of your cycle, levels of progesterone and estrogen are lower.
- Follicular phase. During the follicular phase, your ovaries begin preparing small sacks, called follicles, which each house an immature egg. During this phase of your cycle, estrogen levels rise, which causes the follicles to form.
Ovulation phase. Ovulation refers to the brief period of your cycle when one mature egg is released from a follicle, and travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus, where it can potentially be fertilized.
Estrogen levels rise at the beginning of this phase, and drop immediately after.This happens in approximately 24 hours.
Luteal phase. The luteal phase occurs after ovulation. Your body continues to prepare your uterus for possible implantation by a fertilized egg. When a fertilized egg is not implanted, the egg and the lining of the uterus are then shed, which cause your period.
During the luteal phase, progesterone levels peak and then drop.
These changes in hormones have an affect on how your monthly cycle works as well as how you sleep. Researchers aren’t certain why we experience sleep issues during our monthly cycles, but changing hormone levels seem the most likely culprit.
Sleep Issues on Your Period
What does sleeping on your period look like? Here’s a breakdown, by phase, of how your sleep may change during your cycle.
- Menstrual Phase. During this phase, you may be able to fall asleep and stay asleep, but you’ll also have to deal with cramping and the possibility of leaks, which can disrupt your sleep and make it harder for you to get quality sleep. If you’re waking up to change your period care, you won’t get a solid night of rest.
- Follicular Phase. The follicular phase overlaps with the menstrual phase, which means you could experience a disruption in your sleep during the first half, when you are menstruating.
- Ovulation Phase. Because the ovulation phase is very short, you may not notice a change in your sleep patterns. Ovulation does cause the body temperature to rise, which can make it more difficult for you to fall asleep.
Luteal Phase. Most sleep-related issues happen during the luteal phase, which also includes the week before your period.
Progesterone levels are higher during the luteal phase. Progesterone can cause your body temperature to be warmer, which can disrupt your sleep. Additionally, studies show that some women have low-quality sleep during the luteal phase.
Most of the time, you won’t have trouble falling asleep during the first half of your cycle, however you will experience issues related to sleeping while on your period. Here’s how you can get better rest all month long.
How to Get Better Sleep on Your Period
No matter what phase of your cycle you’re in, you just need to rest. When we don’t get adequate rest, our entire bodies suffer. We may feel sluggish, moody, and overall unwell. Here are 3 ways you can get better sleep on your period, and during all phases of your monthly cycle.
1. Protect Against Leaks
Part of the reason you don’t sleep during your period is because you might not be using the right period care products to handle your flow. If you have to get up numerous times throughout the night to change your tampon or pad, or clean up an accident, you’re not going to feel well rested in the morning.
Thankfully, Rael has some amazing solutions that help you handle your flow all night without risking leaks.
Overnight pads. Our organic cotton overnight pads aren’t what you’re used to. Supremely comfortable, and incredibly soft, our plush overnight pads cover you with luxurious protection that lasts all night long.
No matter your flow, our overnight pads can handle it. Combine them with our period panties for the ultimate in overnight protection.
Reusable period underwear. Have you tried period panties yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Period panties are made to look and feel just like your regular intimates, but with a twist: they absorb as much of your flow as three tampons.
Period panties work by having a super-absorbent center that pulls moisture away from your body and traps it away from your skin. Waterproofing prevents leaks and bleeding-through, so you wake up feeling dry and well-rested, and your sheets stay clean and fresh.
Disposable period underwear. An overnight pad and a pair of period undies in one, our disposable period underwear are modeled after a rising trend in Korean beauty and wellness.
Perfect for overnight, our disposable period underwear can hold the same amount of flow as four pads, while the soft, cotton underwear protects you in every direction against leaks. It’s 360 degree protection that’s completely comfortable.
When you use Rael’s organic pads and period panties, you never have to worry about waking up to change your protection or cleaning up a mess.
2. Get Relief for Cramps
Sometimes, it's cramps that keep us up at night. When cramps are strong before bedtime, it can be hard to get comfortable enough to fall asleep. Rael has the solution. Our all-natural heating patches are a holistic alternative to helping to reduce discomfort from pain from cramps.
Made to adhere to the inside of your underwear, our heating patches won’t even leave a residue on your body that could irritate your skin. Our patches instantly warm up using the heat of your body to help promote circulation and relax your muscles.
Apply a patch before bedtime to help ease cramps and relax into a comfortable position to get great sleep.
How many nights do you work on your computer or tablet until the second before you close your eyes? While it might work for you on some nights, not preparing for sleep properly can leave you feeling wired.
Especially during the luteal phase, it’s important to unplug and unwind so your body can prepare for sleep. If that’s difficult for you, schedule a self-care activity that encourages you to pay closer attention to your body.
Try a face mask. Using a face mask is great self care and skin care, and a sheet mask is a great way to shut your eyes and relax for a few moments before hitting the sack. Our hydration sheet mask is great during the luteal phase, when your skin may tend to be its driest.
Apply the mask and allow the plant extracts to fully hydrate your skin, soothe any irritation you might have, and relax your body.
- Dim the lights. Lowering your lights helps send a signal to your body that it is time to sleep. If you have neon lights or pure, white light, try dimming them or using a lamp with a soft, warm glow in the evening to promote a better night of sleep.
- Unplug. Being on a device stimulates your mind, which doesn’t help you get to sleep. The light from your devices can also keep you awake. If your device has a night setting, even using it can help you get to sleep sooner.
If you’re still having a hard time sleeping, consider using an herbal tea before bed. Avoid drinking alcohol, as it can negatively impact your sleep. It may help you fall asleep, but your body will metabolize it several hours later, which can wake you up.
Your period is empowering, but you need adequate sleep to stay well rested. When your period challenges your sleep schedule, relax. With Rael’s line of holistic period care products, you’ve got everything you need to avoid leaks and stay comfortable all night long.