Sleeplessness During Menstrual Period – What causes Sleeplessness during Menstrual Period ?

The hormones, estrogen and progesterone play a vital role in the regulation of the menstrual cycles. These affect the brain and influence several bodily processes like circadian rhythm, body temperature and sleep. Besides the

hormonal factors

, several other factors like stress, illness, medication, mood swings, environment and diet can also interfere with the sleep ability. But indirectly, all these factor contribute to the change in the hormonal levels.

Doing a

shift job

can also disrupt circadian rhythms in the production of the hormones. Such jobs affects the reproductive sex hormones resulting in irregular menstrual cycles, longer cycles of menstruation, painful menstruation and many such complications.

Sex and Sleep patterns

  • Women are two times more prone to suffer from poor sleep than men.
  • They demand a greater need of sleep than men.
  • Women face more trouble maintaining sleep than men.
  • Women are found to consume more sleeping tablets than men.
  • Women blame psychological factors as the culprit to their sleep disorders, while men blame their work related issues.

According to the National Sleep Foundation,

  • 67% of fertile women (who menstruate), experience toss and turn for the first 2-3 days of their menstrual cycle each time.
  • Anxiety related to backaches, body aches, breast tenderness, bloating, pelvic aches or other pains during menstrual period can cause severe sleep disorders. But sleeplessness is also observed before 1-2 days of menstruation.
  • A sleep log is necessary to keep a log of your sleep patterns and then you can work to turn it right.
  • Most doctors believe that premenstrual insomnia is associated with a rapid drop in the progesterone level.
  • Progesterone is a naturally occurring drug, which our body releases every month during ovulation, which then trickles dramatically just before the menstruation.
  • When there is a gradual drop in the hormonal level, a little discomfort is felt with the sleep patterns.
  • Premenstrual insomnia is not about your loss in ability to sleep, but the quality of sleep is also affected.
  • We take around 90 minutes to enter the REM sleep after we fall asleep. But during ovulation, rise in the body temperature reduces the time significantly to a 60 minutes. Thus, the deep-sleep stage which is followed by the REM sleep also lessens or skipped over.

According to a poll conducted in the year 1998, 1,000 women between the age 30-60 were considered.

  • Out of which, 25-50% of women suffered from sleep disturbances due to menstruation symptoms like breast tenderness, bloating, pain and cramps.
  • 70% of those had a hard time sleeping before the menstrual period.

All the above facts mentioned have been scientifically researched by Kathryn Lee, Ph.D., a researcher (sleep), the University of California, San Francisco.

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