There are a whole lot of problems that your period brings with it and Insomnia is one of them. Compared to the cramps and other period health issues, insomnia doesn’t seem like it is a huge problem, but we sure know how a good night’s sleep can make the whole ordeal of the periods much more bearable.
While some people begin their sleeplessness during PMS and experience it through the whole of the menses, some people only get sleepless during the periods. How do we deal with this seemingly simple and yet extremely annoying problem of period insomnia? Natural remedies such as some foods and some herbal remedies are always of great help along with medication in the case of more serious insomnia.
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Why Do We Get Premenstrual and Menstrual Insomnia?
Menstrual Insomnia could be caused due to many reasons that vary from person to person. While many of these reasons directly affect sleep, some of them cause cramps or other problems that in turn lead to insomnia. Here are a few reasons that could be the culprit for your sleeplessness during periods.
- Hormonal changes : Radical hormonal changes occur before and through the length of the periods in your body. These changes on estrogen and progesterone can lead to insomnia by interfering with the activity of the brain.
- Cramps : The menstrual cramps can be causing you to stay up. If the cramps don’t go down by the time you get to sleep, it is very likely that they would interfere with your sleep. Taking pain meds might be of help in this case.
- Restless legs : Sometimes we get a feeling of twitchy-ness in our legs which is usually termed as RLS (restless legs syndrome). Since it occurs during sleep, it could be the reason behind your lack of sleep. Making sure that the Iron stores of the body don’t go down by taking supplements is one way you can deal with this problem along with taking pain meds.
10 Natural Foods to Beat PMS Insomnia
Attending the actual cause can always be helpful, yet there are many remedies that can help deal with PMS and menstrual insomnia right at your home. They work by healing the insomnia as well as the other period problems that could be exaggerating it. Read on and try them out.
Chamomile tea has been of great use in inducing sleep when we have insomnia and works even better in healing PMS insomnia because of the other effects that it shows against period symptoms. Not only is it a sedative but it also works against period cramps thereby helping us in getting a night of sleep and rest. It helps us not feel as much pain in the lower abdomen and the legs by acting on the nervous system as well and gives us an undisrupted sleep. Here’s how you make this simple tea
- Take some water and bring it to boil.
- Add the chamomile herb to it and continue with the boiling.
- Once the water turns golden yellow in color, strain the tea out.
- Add honey to it if you’d like and drink it.
Milk + Honey before bed
Unless you have a particular aversion to milk (because of the nausea milk products cause in some people), milk can be of great help during menses. It helps in giving you the necessary calcium and this restores a proper nervous system functioning helping us get good sleep. When we drink it with honey which happens to be a natural sedative it works in getting us a good rest as well as in reducing the spasms that we usually have during periods. Here’s the simple means in which you can make and drink it.
- Take some milk and heat it till it gets warm.
- Add the honey (of about two teaspoons) to it and then drink it.
- We would recommend that you drink this before you go to sleep (say about 15 minutes before you get to bed) so that the sleep inducing effects are at their best.
The root of Valerian is used in many herbal medicines for its stress relieving properties. It can also reduce our ability to fell pain by numbing the pain down. This helps us get some good amount of sleep during periods. It also helps us fall asleep quicker and retain a good night’s sleep. While finding Valerian root is not easy, it is very likely that you will find it in an organic or a herbal drug store near your home. Here’s how you make a tea out of Valerian root for use against PMS insomnia.
- Take some water and bring it to boil.
- Add the Valerian root powder to it and continue with the boiling.
- After the colour of the water changes, strain the tea out.
- Add honey to this tea and drink it before you go to sleep.
Instead of looking out for exotic herbs and foods to heal your insomnia due to periods, we have a wonderful cure that can be very easily found and used at home – bananas! Yes, Bananas are known to be of great help in any kind of insomnia and more so when you menstrual insomnia.
They are rich in Magnesium and this helps them cause and retain sleep for a very long time. They are also muscle relaxants which helps them soothe your pelvic muscles and thereby lessen the pain. Being loaded with fibre, Bananas also help in healing bloating and other gastric-system-related problems. Here’s how you make a banana smoothie that’s great for drinking during your period.
- Take a few bananas and mash them into a paste.
- Add milk and honey to this and grind the three of them into a drink.
- Drink this milkshake before you go to sleep every day of your period and you’ll find out for yourself just how magically healing it can be.
Flax seeds are one of those really helpful kitchen ingredients that can be healing in many ways. It can be a great remedy to fight PMS and period related problems including insomnia. Flax seeds are known to increase the content of serotonin – the sleep inducing chemical that is present in our body. This helps in causing sleep.
Along with that, flax seeds are also known to help heal inflammation and bloating that usually occur along with the periods. They are also rich in Calcium that helps them heal stress and depression that comes with the menstrual cycle. Here’s a way in which you can have them.
- Grind the flaxseeds that you’ve bought into a fine powder.
- Add this powder to some yogurt and consume it before you go to sleep.
- You can use this remedy throughout your period days to help heal the symptoms.
Raspberries are known as the women’s herb especially for its uses in healing PMS and menstrual cramps. In addition, it also calms down the nervous system and brings a relief from stress and anxiety during periods relieving us from insomnia and giving us that much needed sleep. The tannins that are present in the raspberries are known to induce sleep for some people.
Along with that, it deals with hormonal changes that may have caused you the insomnia and thereby bring about a relief. The vitamin C which is present in this plant also helps boost the immune system which naturally weakens due to hormones around the menses. The leaves of raspberries can be used to make a tea which shows all of these healing properties. We make a tea out of these leaves in the following simple steps.
- Take some water and bring it to boil.
- Add the raspberry leaves to it and continue with the boiling until the colour of the water changes.
- Once the colour changes, strain this water out into a cup.
- Add honey or a few drops of lemon to it and then drink the tea.
Chocolate is usually not the first food that is recommended to bring upon sleep but it can be helpful in dealing with PMS insomnia. This is because of all the tremendous benefits it has in dealing with other problematic symptoms of period such as stress, cramps, anxiety and other pains along with fatigue.
It is these problems that cause the sleeplessness most of the time so dealing with them can directly be linked to giving you more sleep. Eating a lot of dark chocolate can definitely help you deal with PMS and periods with much less stress. In addition, it is rich in Iron which helps cause sleep. However, avoid eating it right before you sleep as it releases endorphins. Eating dark chocolate much earlier in the day is recommended. Here are a few ways in which you can eat it.
- A few bars of dark chocolate
- Dark chocolate milk shake
- Desserts made out of dark chocolate (without too much sugar).
Eating yogurt right before you sleep can also work really well in healing insomnia which comes through periods. Yogurt has got plenty of tryptophan which in turn produces melatonin that induces sleep. It can therefore cause an undisturbed sleep for a long time despite your discomfort and cramps.
In addition to that, yogurt is rich in Calcium and this makes it great for healing cramps and stress that is caused due to calcium deficiency around the time we get periods. A few cups of (unsweetened, flavoured) yogurt right before you sleep is a great way to beat period insomnia.
Lavender oil massage
A lavender oil massage right before you go to sleep is yet another remedy to beating insomnia, especially that which is caused by periods. The Lavender oil is regarded as a sedative and is used in aroma therapy to induce sleep. We can use it in our bath as well and make a tea out of it too but using it as a massage oil is definitely a great way to beat insomnia.
Lavender oil is also known to relieve pain the pelvic muscles which tend cause cramps leading to a lack of sleep during the periods. Here’s how you use it as a massage oil for period insomnia.
- Take some Lavender oil and heat it so that it becomes slightly warm.
- Pour a few drops of this over your pelvic muscles and your legs.
- Massage it gently all over the area and your back as well if you would like to.
- Doing this before you go to sleep can cause your muscles to relaxing and inhaling the scent can give you a good night’s sleep.
Walnuts are a great food to eat during your periods to fight many menstrual symptoms which includes insomnia. Walnuts have a lot of tryptophan, the element that causes sleep. This helps you go to sleep easy and quick despite all the pain
In addition, walnuts also fight pain and inflammation because of the omega3 fatty acids that they are loaded with. Here are a few ways in which you can eat walnuts during your periods.
- Eating walnuts raw
- Making walnut butter (roasting and grinding them to a fine paste) and using this as a mix in any one of your pre-bed drinks or desserts.
- Adding raw walnuts to your dinner by sprinkling them all over it or mixing them along with it.
Additional tips for dealing with period insomnia
Getting enough sleep during your menses will also need you to take some additional care so that you get the shut-eye that you need to keep yourself free from fatigue and crankiness.
- Attending to the pain that is causing you to stay up, like the usual period cramps or the restless leg syndrome pains (which are caused due to less iron in your body) by taking pain meds may be a good way to make sure that the pain does not come in the way of your sleep.
- Make sure that the ambience of the bedroom in which you sleep is not distracting or noisy so that you get into bed on time and stay asleep to finish your entire night’s sleep.
- Get some exercise as this can definitely increase the chances of you getting your usual dose of sleep. If you have too much cramps, just try out walking or something light when the pain is gone and just before the onset of period, when there is no pain, you get a god work out so that it helps you sleep better during your period and before it as well.
- Make sure you don’t eat anything that could keep you up just before you go to sleep like foods with a high sugar content or anything very heavy. Stick to a light diet with fruits, nuts, flax seeds, healthy spices and vegetables during and before your period so that the food you eat does not interfere with sleep.
- Avoid drinking too much caffeine or teas during and the days that lead up to your periods so that you are free of anxiety and stress.
Insomnia during your periods is an easy condition to deal with most of the time. However, if your insomnia is causing you a whole lot of discomfort and not allowing your body to function properly, you should probably visit a doctor along with trying herbal remedies and other medication.
While you follow these remedies, make sure that you don’t over-do any of them. In case you notice some side effects after you start using them, make sure that these aren’t related to them by consulting a physician before you go ahead and use them. Insomnia isn’t one of the biggest problems that come with periods and while definitely very annoying, can be healed with some de-stressing and some remedies. Let us know if you’ve got more to share about remedies for period insomnia with us!