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Insomnia & PMS: Why PMS Can Give You Insomnia
by Dr. Daniel J. Heller
You’ve probably been woken up in the night many times by the beginning of your period—whether it’s from the pain of cramps or tender breasts, or a flash of anxiety, or another PMS or PMDD symptom that rouses you out of your sleep. While premenstrual insomnia is not the most common PMS symptom, it can be an unfortunate normal part of PMS and PMDD. During your menstrual cycle, and especially before your period, your sleep pattern is definitely influenced by your estrogen and progesterone levels.
This means that if, a few nights or even weeks before your period starts, you toss and turn, wake in the night periodically, or are unable to sleep at all, then you have company: a substantial portion of women experience sleep disturbance associated with their cycle, and most women with PMS or PMDD do find that their symptoms effect their sleep.
Insomnia is stressful and frustrating enough, even without all the other possible symptoms of PMS on top of it. It increases your stress level, so insomnia could well increase the intensity of your PMS and PMDD symptoms, making you feel overwhelmed, depressed or unreasonably angry; as well as contributing to fatigue and tiredness, and poor concentration. This can have a negative impact on your work performance, your efficiency at home, and your safety, whether at work or in your home, or even while driving. This is yet another reason why PMS and PMDD have a real, concrete effect on your health, not to mention the health of those around you. Unfortunately, since insomnia often not recognized as a symptom caused by PMS, you may not realize the connection between your hormones and your sleeping difficulties.
You can take control of your sleep, naturally, by applying some simple principles and remedies:
Neutral bath with Epsom
Add a cup of Epsom salts to your regular bath, or a neutral bath, for a more relaxing and nutrifying effect. Just make sure you don’t have any cuts or scrapes: Epsom salts are a type of salt available in the first aid section of the drug store, and will burn like regular salt if you have any open skin. Epsom salts are a great source of essential and healthy magnesium, and you’ll actually absorb some of it through your skin. Magnesium is a key mineral for relaxation and rest, making it a natural stress reliever.
The best approach to any PMS and PMDD symptom is a holistic one that addresses the underlying causes, including a hormone-balancing diet, stress management; and natural supplements that help balance your cycle. These and other natural approaches to PMS can help with sleep and other premenstrual symptoms.