Why you have trouble sleeping during menstruation and menopause


Periods and the Menopause journey are like the Mercury retrogrades of the body—they’re a time when a lot of not-fun shit happens. Add insomnia to the list of period-related troubles, because our time of the month can also make it hard to sleep. As if any of that needed to be more difficult.

Hormones; The menopausal decline of estrogen contributes to disrupted sleep by causing menopausal symptoms from hot flushes and sweats (vasomotor symptoms) to anxiety and depressed mood; anxiety leading to difficulty getting to sleep, and depression leading to non-restorative sleep and early morning wakening.

Typically, period insomnia happens during the luteal phase,. The luteal phase happens between ovulation and menstruation, and is associated with PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). Both PMS and PMDD are associated with period insomnia. Basically, if you experience either one of those, you are more likely to experience insomnia during your flow.

Another contributing factor is that our body has a reduced level of melatonin during the luteal phase. Not producing enough of the hormone progesterone could be another one. Women who have a tendency to suffer from a progesterone deficiency (and by proxy, an increase in cortisol) during the luteal phase are more likely to experience this. In simpler terms, progesterone is a natural sedative, and cortisol depletes progesterone levels. 

Therefore, anything we can do to improve our body’s natural production of progesterone, reduce our cortisol level, and support our adrenal glands will help with this symptomatology.

Managing PMS symptoms in general can also help with better sleep. Consuming foods like oats, beans, lentils and salmon, satisfying cravings with high-fiber carbs instead of processed ones, taking a supplement like Lions mane is a natural support for your body as an anti inflammatory, loaded with vitamin B and D. Drinking lots of water can also help during the luteal phase. 

There is plenty of research showing that inflammation can increase during menopause due to declining estrogen, menstruation has many of the features of an inflammatory process especially during the follicular phase.


Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published