It’s Real! PMS-Induced Insomnia Symptoms And The Solution
There are plenty of things that end up blamed on hormones. Mood swings, cravings for foods that wouldn’t ordinarily be consumed, and intense cramps or headaches are just some of the things that women experience around the time their menstrual period is due to appear. While legitimate, this array of symptoms often means that when women suggest a symptom that others might not recognize as a hormonal problem, they’re met with silent judgment and disbelief. PMS-induced insomnia is one example of a condition that many people, men and women alike, may believe at first glance to be a myth. How could PMS cause insomnia? It might mean a swing in hormones, but it happens to most women every month. That couldn’t affect their sleep, could it? Surely there are other explanations. It must be based on caffeine consumption, or too much alcohol, or even an overindulgence in foods that might not be eaten during the other parts of the cycle.
Scientific study, however, suggests that PMS-induced insomnia is not a myth, but rather a reality that causes many women to struggle each month. While there can certainly be outside factors that contribute to the incidence of insomnia, it is also true that hormones cause regular disruption to many women’s sleep cycles.
PMS-induced insomnia occurs as a result of hormone changes and fluctuations throughout the month. While studies that examine the relationship between exact hormones and their function in a healthy night’s sleep are inconclusive, it’s clear that it’s common for women to experience PMS-related sleep disruption. Women are more likely to sleep soundly in the first half of the cycle, then experience sleep disturbances and less dream sleep in the second half. Some women experience even more severe symptoms: they might experience highly restless nights with plenty of tossing and turning just a few days before the start of the menstrual cycle.
The treatment for PMS-induced insomnia varies from individual to individual. The first line of defense is treating it like traditional insomnia. Women with PMS-induced insomnia are encouraged to create a soothing, peaceful sleeping environment and a regular sleep schedule. Regardless of hormone balance, the body prefers a regular schedule that tells it when it should be awake and when it should be asleep. Creating a regular sleep schedule helps remind the body to fall asleep when the specified time rolls around. An erratic sleep schedule, on the other hand, makes insomnia far more likely regardless of where a woman might be in her sleep cycle. It also helps to use the bed only for sleeping. This helps trigger mind and body alike to remember that if the woman is in bed, it’s time to sleep.
Traditional insomnia is also treated by avoiding caffeine after dinner, turning off computer, phone, and television screens an hour before bed, and avoiding over the counter pain relievers that contain caffeine. All of these are sound advice no matter what time of the month it might be. To take it to the next level, it’s possible to add in a sleeping aid on the nights when a woman knows that she’ll need them most. The best way to determine these nights is to keep a sleep diary for a few months, tracking those restless nights and learning when they’re likely to occur so that treatment can be proactive.
Women struggling with PMS-induced insomnia may not even recognize, at first, that PMS is the reason for their symptoms. With time, however, they can learn to identify their symptoms and improve their quality of sleep throughout the month.