mapNeed to put together a bookshelf, remember where the Home Depot is located or read a map? You’ll excel at these and other tasks that require you to use spatial skills—the ability to picture objects or patterns, then move them around in your head—during Week 1 of your cycle, the week of your period, according to a study from Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany. In their study, women did best on mental rotation tests when they had their period and did worse during their mid-cycle when estrogen was high. Why? Testosterone is the hormone that enables the brain to think abstractly, yet rising estrogen dampens that ability. When estrogen is bottomed-out during Week 1, testosterone is allowed to work without being hampered by estrogen, the researchers explain.

[photo: Kai Hendry]