Do you often sleep on your back? Do you get period cramps at night? Do you often find yourself needing to change your pajamas and bedsheets most of the time when you are on your period? Well, you are not alone.
Red days. We, girls, are always on alert mode whenever we are on our period. Most of the time, it is hard for us to move around, sit comfortably and sleep soundly. Why? Because we are always self-conscious:
Is there a spot on my pants?
Oh no, I sneezed!
How do I sleep without my period leaking?
I can’t sleep…period cramps!
All girls experience these things. No exception at all! Our period is like the antagonist in our lives, the Freddie Krueger of our dreams and the vampire who sips all the blood from our body. Our cycle deserves its own series of Walking Dead and we, as the Walkers in the story.
I am not being emotional here, this is the truth. When we are on our period — one day, we look like a princess, then the next day, we look like a zombie. Our emotion changes often, our cravings make us bloated and our overall appearance… well, never mind. No comment. Let’s just leave it like that.
Why is it really difficult to sleep during my menstruation?
We often get tired easily when we are on our period, which means aside from pizza, sleep is our best friend during this time. But, the sad part is, our cycle won’t let us have a good night’s sleep.
Sleepless nights? Well, I am not going to lie. Women are experts on that, thanks to our menstruation.
Based on the research of the National Sleep Foundation, it is harder for women to sleep before their period starts and during menstruation. Not surprising for some, but for others who still do not have any idea about the reasons for their sleepless nights, the following might help you understand it.
Our menstrual cycle causes insomnia because the soporific hormone that helps us feel sleepy drops dramatically. This hormone is called progesterone and it drops during our period.
Our body’s temperature increases over the course of our menstruation cycle. This can be an issue because one of the things that make us feel drowsy is an evening drop in our body temperature.
Note: Based on the study of the National Sleep Foundation, changes in hormones during our period can influence how well and how much we sleep.
Mood swings during our menstrual cycle are very normal. No need to feel so pressured about this. We all experience this.
The estrogen and progesterone hormones in our body drop right before our menstruation. This can cause changes in our emotions, making us feel depressed and/or anxious. These negative feelings make it harder for us to fall asleep.
Headaches, cramps, and body pain
These are the most common reasons why it is harder for us to sleep during our menstruation. It is always like a battlefield when these things hit us all at the same time.
Just like me and for most women, period means pain and pain is equal to sleepless nights.
The best girls sleeping positions to ease period pain
Some women are lucky to not experience period cramps. Unlike me. I am already in my late 20s and I still cry whenever period cramps hit me — I can’t walk straight, sit properly, eat peacefully, and sleep soundly.
For a career woman like me, sleep is my best way to relax… to escape from all the papers and meetings that I had to deal with the whole day. But, period cramps (and period leaks) can surely ruin everything that I plan for a good night’s sleep.
On some occasions and for some women, period cramps are bearable. Thank goodness, right? But for others, like me, sleeping with my menstruation while dealing with cramps is like a bloody horror story.
I know we are all dying to know how we could sleep with period cramps. Good thing there is a way to ease it. It turns out there are sleeping positions that may help us solve our painful problem.
Since this is the most common issue when we are on our period, various studies have already been published about this. With all that research, sometimes we get confused about which one we should follow. But, no worries, I have compiled the best of the best sleeping positions for girls.
- Child’s pose
- On your back
- Fetal position
No, this is not the fetal sleeping position. The child’s pose sleeping position is a bit different from that one.
A child’s pose sleeping position involves folding forward your body and putting your head on your cushion with your knees curled underneath you. In short, you will sleep like how a toddler usually sleeps.
This pose is also used in yoga. It is effective in relieving period cramps because the pose relaxes your back and soothes your nervous system. According to Sky Ting Yogas Krissy Jones, poses that include folding forward loosens your lower back and reduces period cramps. But, overall, yoga, in general, can be useful to relieve cramps.
On Your Back
Some of us are not used to sleeping on our back. We usually prefer sleeping sideways or sleeping on our stomachs. But, when you are on your period, it is better to train yourself to sleep in this position because it helps relieve period pain. Sleep experts have been saying that sleeping on your back is the best position to fall asleep because it relaxes your body.
You can massage your abdomen or you can put a warm compress on it while lying on your back. Using aromatherapy while relaxing on your back or massaging your abdomen can also help ease your period cramp.
Note: Did you know that sleeping on your back has a lot of benefits?
- It reduces tension headaches
- It can relieve sinus pressure
- It relaxes your shoulders and back
- It helps relieve chronic pains
- It avoids facial skin irritation, wrinkles, and creases
Last but definitely not the least, the fetal sleeping position. Sleep experts have agreed that this is considered the best sleeping position for girls who are on their period.
The Fetal sleeping position involves resting on one side with your legs tucked up next to your abdomen. — just like a fetus! According to Gynecologist Jennifer Wider, sleeping in a fetal position reduces pain because it relaxes the skeletal muscles around your stomach. Take note, less body tensions mean fewer and less period cramps.
Another benefit of sleeping in a fetal position is that it lowers the possibility that your period could leak out because your legs are pressed together — in short, no more pool of blood every time you wake up.
How to stop your period from leaking when you are sleeping?
Sleeping on your period without leaking is the best morning gift a woman could ever have. But, the sad reality is, it only happens once in a blue moon.
Leaking at night is very common… and it is a pain. Feeling that trickle of blood while laying on our bed and seeing that wet blood stains on our pajamas and bedsheets are by far, the worst scenarios during our menstrual cycle. Imagine, waking up in a puddle of blood after having period cramps and a disrupted sleep — it is a nightmare! There is nothing worse than needing to change or wash your pajamas and sheets almost every day because of bloodstains.
In short, period leak is a curse. A curse that we always need to break every month but fails over and over again.
I know most of you are frustrated every time you have to deal with period leaks. Same as me. But, the thing is, I am sure we are all aware of the reasons but we ignore it most of the time. Maybe we are too lazy to move around or read the description of the pads that we buy. No worries, you are not alone! Guilty here!
Here are the usual reasons:
- Wrong sleeping position
- Wrong pad
- Your pad is not positioned properly
- Your pad is already at its maximum absorption
- Gladly, there is a way to prevent this and it is very easy!
Choose the right period product
There are many period products in the market. Those brands offer comfort and period leak-free on your red days. I get that it is sometimes confusing but choosing the right product is the best choice to avoid leaking.
There are overnight pads, which are totally different from pads for heavy flow and regular flow. If your menstruation is really heavy, there are even adult pads or diapers available in the market.
If you feel uncomfortable wearing period pads or you feel like buying different kinds of period products for different kinds of period flow is too expensive for you, there are other options in the market — tampons and menstrual cups.
Choose the right sleeping position
As mentioned above, there are three best sleeping positions for girls during their period: the child’s pose, on your back, and the fetal position.
Note: I know some of us love sleeping on our stomach, guilty here! But during our menstrual cycle, avoid it… I repeat avoid it. Do not sleep on your stomach no matter how relaxing it makes you feel. Why? Because it can squeeze your uterus, resulting in more blood coming out –hello, period leakage!
Track your period
Tracking your period cycle is a must. This could help you prepare the things you need. There are plenty of apps online that could help you know when your next period will start and when it will end.
Wear the right pants
Wear something comfy but not too large. Giving too much space for your underwear to move will only result in leakage. We do not want that. So, wear something that is not too fit, but not too large.
What are the ways to get better sleep during your period?
- Keep it cool
Remember what we have discussed above? Evening drop in body temperature makes us feel sleepy. So, one of the ways to get better sleep is keeping your bedroom cool.
- Sleep hygiene is a must
Have a nighttime routine. Before going to bed, clean your room, take a bath, reduce your screen time, etcetera. It is up to you what kind of night routine works for you. Make sure to follow it consistently so, at the end of the day it will become your habit.
Yes, it will not be easy, but training yourself to maintain good sleep hygiene is worth it.
- Yoga… meditate, stretch that body
We all know that yoga is a helpful tool to feel at peace and relaxed. Doing a breathing exercise and doing a few movements like stretching can ease your body pain, as it relaxes your muscles.
Through yoga, you can de-stress yourself before going to bed. If your mind and body are free from negative thoughts, your whole body will be relaxed. Feeling at ease can help you from having mood swings that can affect your sleep.
Sleeping on your period can be a real challenge for many women but always remember, you are not alone.
Period leaks? That’s common… even supermodels suffer from that.
Period cramps? It is every woman’s nightmare… there is no need to cover it up with a smile.
We are all experiencing these things, so we hope the tips above can help you during your cycle. Sharing is caring, girls!