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Getting a good night's sleep during your period is important for both your physical and mental health. It can be super difficult to sleep well when you're on your period, whether it’s that your period cramps are so bad that you can’t sleep, or you're waking up to change your period product. Tricky periods and lack of sleep seem to go hand in hand. In fact, there is a period sleep gap that you learn more about here. Below is advice from sleep experts and many tips and tricks that you can use to ensure that you get the rest you need.
Advice from Sleep Experts:
What does sleep deprivation do to your mind and body?
"Menstruating women may experience anxiety, mood swings and irritability during or in the lead up to their periods - these things can all have an effect on our sleep, as well as as a result of lack of sleep. So it's a bit of a chicken and egg situation! Was it the change in hormones, or the lack of sleep that came first? Looking after yourself, and planning your diary around when you know you might be due on your period can help." - Rosey Davidson, Sleep Consultant, Founder & CEO, Just Chill Baby Sleep
How does losing sleep affect your periods?
"We know that women who menstruate and who sleep less than six hours per night are more likely to have heavy or irregular periods. Menstruating women who get less than 6 hours of sleep per night are 44% more likely to have irregular periods, than those who got 7-9 hours of sleep at night. Changes in our body clocks such as jet lag or night shifts can also have an effect on our hormones - this can affect ovulation and therefore menstruation. Sleep can certainly be linked to irregular periods, but you should always get checked out by your doctor if you are experiencing unusual changes in your cycle." - Rosey Davidson, Sleep Consultant, Founder & CEO, Just Chill Baby Sleep
How do periods affect sleep?
"We know that lack of sleep can increase pain, so it stands to reason that those who are experiencing painful periods, may feel more pain when they have less sleep. Hormones also play a part - an increase of progesterone in the lead up to your period can affect your body temperature, along with your melatonin production (our sleep hormone). This can cause disturbed sleep. Keep your room on the cool side to aid sleep - we find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep when it's a little cooler. Of course having heavy periods when you have to get up and change your pads, underwear or bedding can have an effect on sleep. Tracking your period may be useful to predict when you need to refocus on healthy habits to support your sleep." - Rosey Davidson, Sleep Consultant, Founder & CEO, Just Chill Baby Sleep
How can you sleep better during your period?
"Start by implementing good sleep hygiene, make your bedroom a dark cosy space, but keep it cool for better sleep. Don’t look at blue light devices for 2 hours before bed, such as phones or ipads. Have a warm bath to encourage sleep and add Epsom salts to it to relax your muscles. Have a chamomile, lavender or lemon balm tea to help you wind down. Don’t look at the news or get into a box set before bed which will stimulate you into a stressed condition. Create a routine for yourself with these suggestions so that your body knows it bedtime. Have your last caffeinated drink before midday. When you wake, look at some natural light and try to get outside in the daytime to help your circadian rhythm. Do some breathwork or restorative yoga to get your body into its parasympathetic nervous state, its rest and digest phase, to help reduce cortisol and stimulate melatonin, your sleep hormone. Having a good source of Magnesium in your diet will help too, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and dark chocolate." - Hannah Hope, Women’s Health Nutritionist, Hannah Hope Nutrition
Top Tips To Sleep Better:
Wear WUKA Overnight Period Pants
We created WUKA Ultimate Overnight Period Pants to make sleeping on your period much easier. WUKA Ultimate Overnight Period Pants are designed with comfort and protection in mind. These reusable period pants are made from a soft, breathable, eco-friendly Tencel™ fabric that helps keep you cool and comfortable throughout the night. They also feature a leak-proof lining that goes all the way up to the back waistline, providing protection against any messes, so you don’t have to worry about waking up to a stained mattress.
WUKA Overnight Period Pants are perfect for heavier flow nights, PCOS symptom relief, post-partum bleeding and light incontinence. 1 pair of WUKA Ultimate Overnight Period Pants will keep you secure and comfy all night long, letting you dream in peace. They are available in high-waist and midi brief styles, so whatever you fancy - WUKA has got you covered. Simply, wear, wash and reuse - learn more about taking care of your period pants here. Get 10% OFF WUKA Ultimate Overnight Period Pants here!
Create a comfortable, clean place to sleep
In order to get some proper shut eye, you need a comfortable place to sleep. This means creating a relaxing, uncluttered environment in your bedroom. Firstly, try your best to make your bed a place just for rest/sleep and well, sex. When we work or scroll social media in bed our brains begin to link these things together. On the topic of social media, avoid using electronic devices like phones or laptops before bed, as the blue light from these devices can interfere with your body's natural sleep patterns.
Also, make sure that your bed and pillows are supportive and clean. You can find out more about the best eco-friendly mattresses here. It can be easy to forget to clean your bed sheets but it's so important to! WUKA loves Ecover’s laundry collection because it is vegan friendly, plant-based and makes our bed sheets and period pants fresh as ever. Don't forget to make your room dark, quiet, and a comfortable temperature. If there are a lot of distractions out of your control try using a white noise machine or earplugs to block them out.
Soothe your period cramps
Sometimes, period pain can be so bad that you can’t sleep. Consider using a hot water bottle to help alleviate cramps, or try taking a warm bath before bed to relax your muscles and help you drift off to sleep. To really relax your body and soothe period pain, we recommend applying Forage Botanicals’ Moon Time Belly Balm wherever you have cramps after a hot bath, and then placing a WUKA Wearable Hot Water Bottle on top. For a limited time, get 20% OFF at Forage Botanicals with the code: WINTER22.
Use a sleep routine
Creating a sleep routine can improve your sleep and overall well-being. By choosing activities that help you relax and unwind, and establishing a consistent routine, you can set yourself up to sleep better and easier every night, even when you're on your period. You can learn more about how sleep routines work and what to include in your own here. Also, set yourself up to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night by keeping a consistent bedtime.
Be mindful of food, drink and exercise
In addition to all of these tips, you also need to pay attention to your diet and exercise. Eating healthy, balanced meals and staying active can help regulate your hormones and improve your overall health, which can in turn help you sleep better during your period. Learn more about exercising during your period here. Also, WUKA have an amazing range of period absorbing specially designed workout clothes - including squat proof leggings - perfect for a bedtime yoga session!
Follow these tips to say goodbye to period nightmares and hello to restful, cosy nights. Sweet dreams.
READ MORE ABOUT SLEEPING ON YOUR PERIOD:
CAN A BAD SLEEP SCHEDULE AFFECT YOUR PERIOD?
Yes. Having a bad sleep schedule can make it more difficult for you to sleep and this can then have an effect on your period.
HOW TO GET A BEDTIME ROUTINE?
Establish a bedtime routine by choosing what relaxing activities you will do in the evening to ease your mind into sleeping. Read the article above to learn more.
HOW TO SLEEP COMFORTABLY ON PERIODS?
To sleep comfortably on your period, you should wear leakproof protection, that doesn't need readjusting and is comfortable, like WUKA Overnight Period Pants. Also to soothe period pain, we recommend applying heat to your tummy using a WUKA Wearable Hot Water Bottle and sleeping in the fetal position which takes pressure off of your abdominal muscles.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE OVERNIGHT PERIOD PANTS OVER TAMPONS AND PADS?
WUKA Overnight Period Pants are designed specifically for sleeping on your period, even if you have a heavy flow. They absorb the equivalent of 6 disposable pads and provide the extra coverage, comfort and leakproof protection that you need at bedtime. Also, each pair of WUKA period pants saves 200 single-use plastic-riddled disposables (aka plastic pads and tampons) from polluting our ocean or going to landfill!
HOW TO SLEEP ON YOUR PERIOD TO PREVENT LEAKING?
With WUKA Overnight, you can sleep easy knowing that you are fully protected from leaks. There is no need to sleep in certain positions or readjust.
WHAT ARE COMFORTABLE POSITIONS TO SLEEP IN ON YOUR PERIOD?
When wearing WUKA Overnight Period Pants, you are protected from leaks no matter the position you sleep in. Sleeping in the fetal position can help to take pressure off of your abdominal muscles, helping to relieve period cramps.