02 Sep Study reveals key way to lessen premenstrual problems
A new study shows that poor sleep can worsen premenstrual irritability, depression, pain, cravings and other bothersome symptoms.(1)
That’s because too little shut-eye or a lack of deep. high-quality slumber can create an imbalance in brain chemicals responsible for mood, pain sensitivity, appetite and other issues.
Unfortunately, plunging estrogen on premenstrual days can cause tossing and turning at night by dragging down levels of sleep-regulating serotonin in the brain and making you more sensitive to sleep-robbers, such as noise and smells.
So, what can you do?
Try as many proven, healthy sleep-enhancing techniques as you can until you figure out which remedy or constellation of remedies works best for you.
Some study-backed sleep-boosting methods include…
- Daily exercise
- Eating healthier, more nutritious foods and less junk food
- Reducing stress through yoga, meditation, tai chi and cognitive behavior therapy
- Increasing the amount of time you socialize
- Increasing the amount of time you do favorite hobbies
- Having a sleep regimen where you wind down your body and mind before bed, for example, by reading or knitting
- Listening to soothing music before bed
- Turning down the lights before bed
- Having a set bed time and wake time every day
- Writing a list of reasons you’re grateful
- Picturing non-emotional items (like a shoe, boat and pen) to help distract your mind so you can drift off
- Recalling a favorite scene of a TV show or movie, which also helps distract your mind so you can drift off
- Listening to guided progressive muscle relaxation
- Ditching caffeine in the afternoon
- Avoiding alcohol at night
Start trying a few tonight to get started on finding out which ones help you get longer, deeper sleep so you can enjoy a happier premenstrual phase.
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(1) Jessica M. Meers, Joanne L. Bower, Candice A. Alfano, “Poor sleep and emotion dysregulation mediate the association between depressive and premenstrual symptoms in young adult women,” Archives of Women’s Mental Health, June 19, 2019.