During And After Your Period
Treatment for PMS may be continued during menstruation if the symptoms continue, but many women find that their symptoms decrease or go away within a day or two after their period starts.
For women with heavy periods or who worry about bleeding at night, absorbent pads designed for nighttime use may be helpful. A mattress pad or protector can offer peace of mind for women concerned about staining their mattress.
Once PMS symptoms have reduced, it provides an opportunity to refocus on healthy sleep habits that can contribute to regular, restorative sleep with the goal of reducing disruptions before and during your period.
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Diet And Lifestyle Factors
There are some simple home remedies you can implement to give you the boost of energy you need around the time of your period.
- Diet is crucial Its really important to include lots of nutrient-packed fresh ingredients in your diet. Eat little and often to keep your blood sugar stable, generally 3 meals a day and healthy snacks in between work well for most people and ensure you include protein in every meal which can help keep you fuller for longer. Include plenty of iron-rich foods including dark green leafy vegetables, beetroot and beans. Ensure you are drinking enough water and avoid alcohol, refined sugar and caffeine too which will only upset your blood sugar levels
- Sleep Getting enough sleep is important to support your energy around this time. Aim to get 8 hours of sleep a night on average in order to feel refreshed and ready to take on the day ahead. This is especially when you are most likely to be feeling extra tired such as in the lead up to your menstrual period
- Do some exercise This might be the last thing you think would help if you are feeling tired but actually, exercise can provide you with the energy you need. Exercise gets your blood pumping and allows you to better utilise your energy stores. Exercise can also help you get a better nights sleep.
Not Getting Enough Of Good Nights Sleep
Just like with everything, lack of sleep can lead to several bad health conditions. One of them is heavy, painful, and tiring periods. Sleep helps our muscles and bones regenerate, prepares us for the next day, and balances various hormones.
Not getting enough sleep, which for adults should last anywhere from 7 to 9 hours a night can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and headache. Daytime sleepiness caused by sleep deprivation can lead to accidents, while prolonged sleep deprivation can lead to insomnia.
For periods, lack of sleep can be just as defeating and result in drowsiness, heavier periods. A study found that lack of sleep can affect the premenstrual period.
How to Fix It
Induce lifestyle changes that will allow you to get more sleep and maximize your nights rest.
- Avoid large meals and exercising before bed
- Make a bedtime routine that you will stick to, including sleep and wake up times. On our website, you can find a sleep calculator that will help you calculate the necessary time of sleep to maximize your nights rest.
- Make sure to sleep in a calm and cool environment where theres no artificial light or too much noise. If making noise is difficult, make sure to use a white noise machine.
Note: We also recommend you do a sleep cycle test to know the best time to sleep and wake up.
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What Are The Stages Of The Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle has four stages:
Some resources classify the menstrual cycle as having only three phases and consider the days of menstruation to be a component of the follicular phase.
Drink Green Tea Instead Of Caffeine
You might be hitting the coffee and espresso hard because you’re so tired, but Bartos suggests opting for green tea instead. Higher levels of caffeine can make breast pain or tenderness worseâand you know your boobs can get pretty sore when you’re PMS’ing. This is especially true if you have fibrocystic breasts, when your breasts are tender and lumpy. It’s considered normal but can get worse before your period.
“Go low and slow on the caffeine don’t try to do a Red Bull or a Monster energy drink, but just nice and slow,” Bartos recommends. “Have a green tea in the morning, maybe one around lunch. Just try not to go big balls out.”
“Typically, women don’t know about the fact that their metabolism changes in the second half of the cycle,” explains Alisa Vitti, functional nutritionist, author, and founder of Flo Living. “In the first half of the cycle, your metabolism is slower, so you can live on fewer calories and you have more sustained energy, so you can do an intense workout and you’ll be okay. In the second half of the cycle after ovulation, your calorie needs actually go up, so your metabolism speeds up.” So it might help to eat more during this time to boost your energy levels.
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What Is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding is when your periods are extremely heavy or prolonged. “Heavy” means that your period lasts longer than seven days or that you lose more blood than is typical during menstruation. You may bleed so much that you have to change your tampon or pad every hour for several hours back-to-back. You may pass blood clots the size of a quarter or even larger.
Menstrual bleeding that’s so heavy that it interferes with your daily life is never normal. Your provider can recommend treatments to manage heavy blood flow.
Menstrual Fatigue: Why Am I So Tired On My Period
Do you find yourself dragging to get out of bed while on your period, only to collapse back into it as soon as possible?
Menstrual fatigue is totally normal, and it doesnt mean anything is wrong with you.
Menstrual fatigue can happen before or during your period or both.
The sheer exhaustion of it can make it difficult to carry on with work and everyday tasks.
Even though its normal, you still may be wondering why it happens, and if theres anything you can do to combat it.
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Is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Serious
Heavy menstrual bleeding can be serious if you lose so much blood that you show signs of anemia. Anemia is a condition arising from having too little iron in your body. Anemia can be life-threatening without treatment.
Also, some of the conditions that can cause heavy period bleeding, like cancer, require early medical intervention. Speak with your healthcare provider to discuss any risks related to your period bleeding.
Why Am I So Tired During My Period
Why Am I So Tired During My Period?
Periods tend to bring on a slew of unwanted symptoms, outside of the obviously unwelcome bleeding. Lower energy levels are one of them, and when paired with cramps, they can really put a damper on your day. Period fatigue can make you want to crawl back into bed, turn on Netflix and reach for your favorite comfort food but thats not necessarily the best plan to help you get through it. Lets talk about why your energy levels tank during your time of the month, and how you can learn to combat fatigue and power through.
Whats the Deal?
During the second half of the menstrual cycle, around the time women start experiencing symptoms of PMS, estrogen levels peak and then fall quickly causing you to feel tired or sluggish. In the last week , estrogen levels will continue to fall, carrying this unpleasant feeling through the end of your cycle.1
Other culprits could be iron deficiency related to your period, stress, unhealthy eating habits, or the obvious answer, lack of sleep. The CDC recommends more than 7 hours of sleep each night2 so if youre getting less than that, more sleep might be the key to a more manageable time of the month.
What Can I Do?
What if its Not That Easy?
How Do My Hormones Change Across The Different Menstrual Cycle Phases
There are some distinctive changes in hormone levels across your cycle:
- At the beginning of the menstrual phase, all your hormones are at a low level this is what encourages your uterus lining to begin shedding.
- During the follicular phase, your pituitary gland releases Follicle Stimulating Hormone to encourage your ovaries to prepare an egg. At this time, your oestrogen levels begin to rise.
- At ovulation, your oestrogen levels peak.
- At the beginning of the luteal phase your progesterone levels peak. However, they will fall towards the end of the luteal phase if the egg has not been fertilised.
Physical Activity Is A Great Fatigue Fighter
Physical activity is a great energy boost for the body. Generally, the more active you are, the more energy you have.
Playing sports helps strengthen your health, get in good shape, and boost your energy and mood. Even if you seem to be very exhausted, try to find some time for exercise. It can recharge your energy and help you cope with the difficulties of everyday life. Plus, it can help you stay in a good mood.
Try to use every opportunity to be on the move. Walk when you are talking on the phone, or get up from your desk and walk whenever you can.
Live a healthy life, stay active, and enjoy the results!
Iron. NHS Choices, NHS, 3 Mar. 2017, www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Iron.aspx.Mayo Clinic Staff. Fatigue Causes. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 11 Jan. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/fatigue/basics/causes/sym-20050894.Mayo Clinic Staff. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 5 Jan. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360490.What Is ME/CFS? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 July 2018, www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/about/index.html.Chronic Fatigue Syndrome . NHS Choices, NHS, 16 May 2017, www.nhs.uk/conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-cfs/.
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How Do Hormones Affect Energy Levels
Hormones are natural chemical messengers inside the body that tell your cells what to do, how to function and what kinds of things to prioritise.
Naturally, hormones are a pretty big deal when it comes to telling our cells where to focus their energy. A few key hormones worth noting are:
- Oestrogen: which contributes towards our get up and go drive, and is beneficial for our energy levels in the right amounts. Oestrogen is at its lowest in the few days before your period begins , but begins to rise shortly after.
- Testosterone: its not just the muscle-inducing Popeye hormone, and its not just for dudes. This hormone plays a key role in strength, energy, sex drive, bone health and cognitive function for all humans.
- Cortisol: As well as being a stress hormone, cortisol is also our primary daytime hormone, keeping us awake and energised during the day. Low cortisol can result in a deep, relentless fatigue that feels as though no amount of sleep will fix, a weaker immune system and a tendency towards low blood sugar levels.
How To Combat Period Fatigue
Period fatigue can make you want to crawl back into bed and binge-eat crisps in front of Netflix but with salty snacks increasing the dehydration we mentioned earlier, thats not exactly the best strategy.
Instead, help your energy levels by limiting diuretics like coffee and alcohol and opt for the 6 to 8 glasses of water per day instead. When youre drinking it, sip regularly throughout the day for consistent hydration, rather than chugging whole pints. This will mean you benefit from the healing powers of H20, rather than simply weeing it straight out.
If Im feeling really tired, I try the 10-minute rule, where I basically commit to moving for 10 minutes, then see how I feel
Rather than fuelling solely on Ben and Jerrys, make sure youre plating-up energy-boosting foods like oats , bananas and lentils .
Although it may sound counterintuitive, says Jennis CycleMapping founder, Jess Ennis-Hill, some light movement may restore energy levels and give you a boost. If Im feeling really tired, I try the 10-minute rule, where I basically commit to moving for 10 minutes, then see how I feel. It might be a gentle yoga, stretch session or a few weights. But once I get started I feel much better and often carry on for at least 20 minutes.
If your energy levels are really bad and you suspect you might have an iron deficiency, its always worth chatting to your GP who can test your levels and prescribe supplements if necessary.
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Tampons And Pads Arent Your Only Choices
You have more options to help you manage that time of the month.
A menstrual cup is a flexible cup that fits inside your vagina and collects blood during your period. Period panties are super-absorbent, and you can wear them on their own on your lighter days or with a tampon during heavier times. Reusable cloth pads can be washed and worn again.
These products can be cost-savers, since you can reuse them, and they also create less waste. In some cases, they give you more time between changes. For example, you need to change a tampon every 4 to 8 hours, but you may be able to go up to 12 hours with a menstrual cup before you empty it.
There are pros and cons to all these options, just as there are with tampons and pads. But you can find one that works best for you with some trial and error.