There are lots of benefits to having a monthly cycle that’s the same length month after month: It allows you to better predict your moods, energy and other facets of your life in future cycles, it improves fertility, and you always know when you can wear white without worry.
But, what if your cycle frequently varies in length–getting shorter, then longer–so you’re not quite sure how long your next cycle will be?
Try getting to sleep earlier or setting your alarm later.
More sleep = a more regular menstrual cycle
In a 2017 study in the journal Sleep Medicine, researchers discovered that teen girls who clocked five hours or less of sleep nightly were significantly more likely to have irregular cycles than those who got the recommended seven to eight hours of shut-eye.
And, this still held true after the researchers accounted for other factors that can impact cycle regularity, such as stress, dieting, smoking, alcohol consumption and age.
Why would sleep be a factor in your cycle?
Researchers say it’s because a certain amount of sleep is needed to help regulate your body’s inner circadian clock–which, in turn, helps regulate your menstrual cycle.
When you sleep too little or too much, it throws off this inner clock, which then throws off your cycle.
Need help getting more sleep?
If you’re skimping on sleep because you’re finding it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, use this Hormonology Cheat Sheet to identify what could be causing your sleep trouble–and use the study-proven tips to fix it!
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