Easy sleep hack that gets you better premenstrual sleep

My Hormonology

Easy sleep hack that gets you better premenstrual sleep


Notice it’s more difficult to stay asleep or get deep sleep at certain points in your menstrual cycle? For example, one problem spot could your Week 2 (the days leading up to and including ovulation) due to higher arousal from peaking estrogen. Another bad-sleep phase could be your premenstrual Week 4 when plunging estrogen drags down the level of sleep-promoting serotonin in your brain.

Well, what can you do to get better sleep on these cycle days? Try using a sleep mask to block out light and ear plugs to block out noise.

I know this advice sounds too simple to work, but consider this: One key reason you’re kept awake when estrogen is spiking or falling is that you become more sensitive to light and noise that can rouse you from your slumber.

Now listen to this: A sleep mask and ear plugs have been shown to be so effective at countering light and noise that numerous studies show they help patients in bright and loud hospitals get better sleep.(1)

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(1) Alexandre Demoule, et al., “Impact of earplugs and eye mask on sleep in critically ill patients: a prospective randomized study,” Critical Care, 21 (2017): 284.
M. Le Guen, et al., “Earplugs and eye masks vs routine care prevent sleep impairment in post-anaesthesia care unit: a randomized study,” British Journal of Anesthesia, 112 (2014): 89-95.
Catherine Jones, Deborah Dawson, “Eye masks and earplugs improve patient’s perception of sleep,” Nursing in Critical Care, 17 (2012): 247-254.

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