Women Lose Out on 7 Days of Sleep Every Year Due to their Menstrual Cycles

Women Lose Out on 7 Days of Sleep Every Year Due to their Menstrual Cycles

New research conducted by Silentnight has found that women wake up three and a half times a night while on a menstrual cycle, and it is costing women approximately one week’s sleep over the course of a year. To help, Hannah Shore, the company’s sleep expert, has shared her top three tips on how to get a good night’s sleep while menstruating.

Silentnight has conducted a new survey, which has revealed that women lose over two and a half hours of sleep per night while on their period – which adds up to around a week of sleep a year. Just one in 100 British women rarely or never experience sleep issues while menstruating, with the most common night-time problems including irritability and overheating.

A woman struggling to sleep

To help women fight night-time sweats and the countless early-hour trips to the bathroom, Silentnight’s resident sleep expert Hannah Shore has shared three excellent tips to help women get some sound sleep while on their period.

Temperature Control
Your body temperature will fluctuate at different rates depending on which part of your menstrual cycle you are on. Days 14-28 (the luteal phase) of the cycle tend to be where the body temperature will fluctuate most due to the decrease of Oestrogen during this stage.

Wearing loose pyjamas made from materials that wick away moisture, such as bamboo, can help, while a lower tog duvet topped with a blanket can give you easy options for warmth or cooling.

The mattress can also play a key role in regulating body temperature. Foam tends to hold onto a little more heat than fibres such as wool or polyester. Why not try Silentnight’s Eco Comfort Breathe, which contains fibres proven to keep you cooler while you sleep?

Food for Thought
Women can often suffer from Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) during the luteal phase of the cycle; this is when we see a greater change in hormones. One of the symptoms of PMS is sudden cravings for food. It is thought that a reduction in serotonin levels leaves you craving foods that you enjoy, often ones high in sugar and fats.

Eating large amounts of these foods before bed can have a negative effect on your sleep. We’re not saying don’t eat these foods; go ahead, let’s face it, you deserve it! But try to reduce the intake of these foods 2-3 hours before bedtime so they do not impact your sleep.

Understand your Environment
Waking up throughout the night is normal, so if you’re rising because you need to change, try to ensure you don’t disrupt your sleeping environment too much. Avoid turning on the main light in your room or bathroom, as this can prompt the body to wake up further.

Darker bedding, a towel, and period knickers are all ways to help reduce the impact should a leak happen. Don’t be afraid to sleep in a different bed to your partner if that makes you feel more comfortable; this happens more than you think and doesn’t mean you don’t love each other – just that you’re prioritising vital sleep.

Everyone has different ways to relieve pain when they are on their period; ensuring this relief is next to your bed means you don’t have to go into the bathroom rummaging around to find it in the middle of the night.

Hannah said, “Oestrogen plays a significant role in regulating body temperature, so as oestrogen levels drop while women are on their period, overheating becomes a major issue, which is reflected by nine in ten (92%) women reporting body temperature issues while on their period.

“On top of this, decreasing progesterone levels result in a lack of Non-Rapid Eye Movement sleep, also known as deep sleep, meaning even if women manage to sleep for a normal number of hours, they will still be left fatigued, sluggish, and perhaps grumpy due to a lack of NREM sleep.

“Women also face further issues such as stress and discomfort when experiencing their menstrual cycle. Stress increases hormones such as cortisol at night, meaning we will find it difficult to sleep as our bodies struggle to produce sleep hormones, like melatonin, whilst part of our body is telling us to stay awake.”

For further information, please visit the Silentnight website here.

Read more health guides, news and features here.

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