sleepingThink menstrual cramps, backaches or other cycle-related pains are the reason you can’t fall asleep during your period? The real culprit could be the Advil, Motrin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) you’re taking to treat the ache.

Turns out, NSAIDs thwart sleep two key ways: They reduce your body’s output of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, plus they prevent your body temperature from dipping low enough to trigger drowsiness by blocking the production of temperature-regulating prostaglandins, according to research from Bowling Green State University and research from the University of Leeds.

The result: You may have trouble drifting off, you could wake up in the middle of the night and you might not be reaching the deep, restorative stages of sleep that make you feel refreshed when you wake up.

The easy fix: Switch to acetaminophen (Tylenol), which doesn’t have this effect, or use another menstrual cramp remedy–and not only will you nix the bothersome pain, you’ll be more likely to fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper asleep all night.

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[Photo: romaryka]

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