Managing PMS Symptoms for Better Sleep

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported, which means we earn commissions from links on thisgoodnight.
Commissions do not affect our editorial evaluations or opinions.

When it comes to managing your sleep, it’s important to understand the connection between premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and sleep. 

PMS refers to a range of physical and emotional symptoms that many women experience in the days leading up to their menstrual period. 

These symptoms can vary from mild to severe and often impact various aspects of daily life, including sleep.

The Link Between PMS and Sleep

Many women with PMS report experiencing sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and poor sleep quality. 

The hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle can disrupt the normal sleep patterns and make it challenging to get a restful night’s sleep. 

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, sleep disturbances commonly occur during the postovulatory luteal phase in healthy women and reach a higher severity in women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) (Source).

Impact of Hormonal Changes on Sleep

The hormonal fluctuations that occur during the menstrual cycle can directly impact sleep. 

Women report poorer sleep quality and have a higher risk for insomnia than men, with sleep difficulties and a diagnosis of insomnia occurring more frequently in women, particularly during times of hormonal fluctuation such as menstruation, pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause (Source).

During the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which occurs after ovulation and before menstruation, there is an increase in progesterone levels. 

This rise in progesterone can have a sedating effect, making you feel more tired than usual. However, it can also lead to increased awakenings during the night, leading to fragmented sleep.

In addition to progesterone, other hormonal changes, such as a decrease in estrogen levels, can also contribute to sleep disturbances. 

These hormonal fluctuations can disrupt the normal sleep-wake cycle and affect the overall quality of sleep.

Understanding the link between PMS and sleep is the first step towards finding effective strategies to manage sleep problems during this time. 

By implementing appropriate sleep hygiene practices and exploring relaxation techniques, you can optimize your sleep and minimize the impact of PMS-related sleep disturbances. 

We are now going to go deeper into the common sleep problems experienced during PMS and the factors contributing to these disruptions.

Common Sleep Problems During PMS

Sleep disturbances are a common occurrence during the premenstrual phase, affecting many women. 

The hormonal changes that take place during this time can have a significant impact on your sleep. Understanding the specific sleep problems associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) can help you find effective solutions. 

Here are three common sleep problems experienced during PMS:

Difficulty Falling Asleep

Difficulty falling asleep, also known as sleep onset insomnia, is a prevalent sleep problem during PMS. 

You may find yourself lying awake in bed, unable to drift off into a restful slumber. This can be frustrating and can further exacerbate other PMS symptoms.

To address this issue, it’s important to establish a relaxing bedtime routine and create a conducive sleep environment. 

Engaging in calming activities before bed, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath, can help signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. Additionally, ensuring your bedroom is cool, quiet, and free from distractions can promote better sleep onset.

Frequent Nighttime Awakenings

Another common sleep problem during PMS is frequent nighttime awakenings. You may find yourself waking up multiple times throughout the night, disrupting your sleep continuity. 

These awakenings can leave you feeling groggy and tired the next day.

To improve sleep continuity, it’s helpful to practice good sleep hygiene. This includes avoiding stimulants like caffeine and electronics before bed, as well as establishing a consistent sleep schedule. 

Creating a relaxing sleep environment with proper lighting and temperature can also contribute to better sleep quality.

Poor Sleep Quality

Poor sleep quality is a pervasive issue for women experiencing PMS. Even if you manage to fall asleep and stay asleep, you may wake up feeling unrefreshed and fatigued. 

This can impact your overall well-being and make it challenging to function optimally during the day.

To enhance sleep quality, it’s essential to prioritize sleep hygiene practices. This includes maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding heavy meals and stimulating activities close to bedtime, and creating a comfortable sleep environment. 

Investing in a supportive mattress and pillows can also contribute to better sleep quality.

It’s important to note that these sleep problems can be more severe in women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) Source

If your sleep disruptions significantly impact your daily life and persist beyond your menstrual cycle, it may be beneficial to consult with a healthcare professional for further evaluation and guidance.

Managing sleep problems during PMS requires a multifaceted approach that addresses both the physical and psychological aspects. 

By implementing effective sleep hygiene practices, utilizing relaxation techniques, and seeking professional help when necessary, you can improve your sleep and better manage the symptoms of PMS. For specific remedies and strategies to alleviate PMS-related insomnia, take a look at our post on pms insomnia remedies.

Factors Contributing to PMS-Related Sleep Disturbances

When it comes to PMS symptoms and sleep, several factors can contribute to sleep disturbances during this time. 

Understanding these factors can help you better manage your sleep and improve your overall well-being.

Hormonal Fluctuations

Hormonal changes play a significant role in sleep disturbances during PMS. The postovulatory luteal phase, which occurs after ovulation and before menstruation, is particularly susceptible to sleep disruptions (Source). 

During this phase, there is a drop in progesterone levels, which can impact your sleep patterns. 

Progesterone helps promote sleep and relaxation, so a decrease in its levels can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep (WebMD).

PMS Symptoms and Sleep

The symptoms associated with PMS can directly affect your sleep quality. Physical discomfort, such as breast tenderness, bloating, and cramps, can make it difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in. 

Additionally, mood swings, anxiety, and irritability can contribute to restlessness and racing thoughts, making it challenging to relax and fall asleep (PMC).

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors can also contribute to sleep disturbances during PMS. The emotional changes that often accompany PMS, such as increased stress, anxiety, and irritability, can impact your ability to unwind and achieve a restful state of mind. 

Heightened emotional sensitivity can make it more challenging to relax and fall asleep (WebMD).

Understanding these factors can help you develop strategies to manage sleep disturbances during PMS. 

By addressing hormonal fluctuations, managing PMS symptoms, and addressing psychological factors, you can improve your sleep quality and overall well-being. 

In the rest of this post, we’ll discuss various techniques and practices to help you manage sleep problems during PMS, including sleep hygiene practices, relaxation techniques, and seeking professional help.

Managing Sleep Problems During PMS

When it comes to managing sleep problems during PMS, there are several strategies you can try to improve the quality of your sleep. 

By incorporating sleep hygiene practices, relaxation techniques, and seeking professional help when needed, you can effectively address the sleep disturbances associated with PMS.

Sleep Hygiene Practices

Practicing good sleep hygiene is essential for promoting better sleep during PMS. Consider implementing the following practices:

  • Stick to a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine that includes activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or practicing gentle stretching exercises.
  • Make your bedroom a sleep-friendly environment by ensuring it is cool, dark, and quiet. Consider using earplugs, an eye mask, or white noise machines if necessary.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, especially in the evening, as they can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Limit exposure to electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, before bedtime as the blue light emitted can disrupt your sleep patterns.

By incorporating these sleep hygiene practices into your daily routine, you can create an environment and routine that promotes restful sleep, even during PMS.

Relaxation Techniques

Engaging in relaxation techniques can help calm your mind and prepare your body for sleep. Consider trying the following techniques:

  • Deep breathing exercises: Practice slow, deep breaths to help relax your body and reduce stress.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: Tense and then relax each muscle group in your body, starting from your toes and working your way up to your head.
  • Meditation or mindfulness: Clear your mind and focus on the present moment, allowing any racing thoughts to gently fade away.
  • Guided imagery: Visualize a calm and peaceful place, engaging your senses to create a soothing mental environment.

Experiment with different relaxation techniques to find what works best for you. 

Incorporating these practices into your bedtime routine can help promote a sense of relaxation and prepare your mind and body for a restful night’s sleep.

Seeking Professional Help

If sleep problems persist despite trying sleep hygiene practices and relaxation techniques, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. 

A healthcare provider, such as a gynecologist or sleep specialist, can provide guidance and recommend appropriate treatments for managing sleep disturbances during PMS.

They may suggest therapeutic interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), which can help address any underlying thoughts, behaviors, or anxieties that may be contributing to your sleep difficulties. 

In some cases, medication options may be considered to alleviate sleep problems associated with PMS.

Remember that seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a proactive step towards improving your sleep and overall well-being. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out for support if you find that your sleep problems are significantly impacting your quality of life.

By incorporating sleep hygiene practices, relaxation techniques, and seeking professional help when needed, you can effectively manage sleep problems during PMS. 

Remember that everyone’s experience with PMS is unique, so it may take time to find the strategies that work best for you. Stay patient and persistent, and prioritize your sleep for a better overall sense of well-being.

Coping with PMS Symptoms and Sleep Issues

Dealing with PMS symptoms can be challenging, especially when they disrupt your sleep. 

However, there are strategies you can implement to manage both your mood swings, anxiety, and physical discomfort, while establishing a supportive sleep environment.

Managing Mood Swings and Anxiety

Mood swings and anxiety are common symptoms experienced during PMS. 

These emotional fluctuations can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep. Here are some techniques to help manage mood swings and anxiety:

  • Practice relaxation exercises such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation. These techniques can help calm your mind and ease anxiety before bedtime.
  • Engage in stress-reducing activities like yoga, gentle stretching, or taking a warm bath. These activities can promote relaxation and help alleviate mood swings.
  • Consider using stress management techniques such as journaling or talking to a trusted friend or therapist. Expressing your feelings and thoughts can provide emotional release and improve your overall well-being.

By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can effectively manage mood swings and anxiety, allowing for a more peaceful and restful sleep.

Addressing Physical Discomfort

Physical discomfort, such as cramps, breast tenderness, or bloating, can make it challenging to find a comfortable position for sleep. 

Here are some tips to address physical discomfort during PMS:

  • Apply a heating pad or take a warm bath to help alleviate menstrual cramps and relax your muscles.
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers, following the recommended dosage, to help reduce pain and discomfort.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing to minimize any pressure on sensitive areas and promote better blood circulation.
  • Experiment with different sleeping positions or use pillows for extra support to find the most comfortable position for your body.

Remember to consult with your healthcare provider if you have severe or persistent physical discomfort during PMS. 

They can provide personalized advice and recommend suitable treatments or medications.

Establishing a Supportive Sleep Environment

Creating a supportive sleep environment can contribute to better sleep quality, even during PMS. Here are some tips to establish a sleep-friendly atmosphere:

  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet to promote optimal sleep conditions.
  • Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows that align with your preferred sleeping position and provide adequate support.
  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including weekends.
  • Limit exposure to electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, before bedtime. The blue light emitted by these devices can interfere with your sleep-wake cycle.

Additionally, you can enhance your sleep environment by incorporating relaxing bedtime routines. 

Engage in activities such as reading a book, listening to calming music, or practicing gentle stretching to signal your body that it’s time to wind down.

By implementing these strategies and creating a sleep-friendly environment, you can significantly improve your sleep quality and effectively manage PMS symptoms that may be affecting your rest. 

Remember, consistency and self-care are key in achieving better sleep during this time.

Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get notified about new posts