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Sleep your way to a better period

I’m sure you’re already aware that getting more sleep is a great idea, but here’s something I see a lot in my nutrition and lifestyle clinic: knowing something doesn’t mean doing it. Sometimes I feel it’s because people aren’t completely sure why sleep is so important for their health and, without that vital piece of information in place, it’s hard to persuade yourself it’s something you should be doing when there are so many other things calling for your attention and your valuable time.

So today I thought I would offer up some compelling reasons why making sleep a priority really is a good idea, especially if you want to support your hormones and reduced cycle related symptoms like PMS, painful periods and anxiety or low mood before your period starts.

You will likely already know many of the things you could do to make sleep more likely to happen such as not scrolling on your phone until late into the night, making your room as pitch black as possible and adopting a relaxing evening routine to calm your mind such as taking a yoga class and having a warm bath. But there is no urgency because the concept of sleep feels too far removed from the symptoms you’re experiencing.

Here are some facts about sleep and your hormones that you may not know:

·         Fluctuating levels of oestrogen and progesterone during your menstrual cycle can affect your sleep.

·         Sleep quality, in turn, affects your period. Poor sleep quality is linked to heavier periods. 

·         Hormonal changes during pregnancy and perimenopause can also affect your sleep.

Here are some more problems you may experience if you don’t prioritise sleep.  

1.weight gain

Are those stubborn extra pounds refusing to budge? Enter sleep – a star player in your weight loss journey. Many studies point to sleep restriction leading to increased levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and decreased levels of leptin, the hormone responsible for fullness. Not only that, chemical changes inside the brain also alter the kinds of foods you fancy eating. So, by ensuring sufficient sleep, you're not just avoiding late-night snacking; you're setting the stage for a metabolism that works in your favour.

2 Creates more inflammation

Practically every cause of dis-ease in the body (and also disease) is related one way or another to inflammation. Inflammation can wreak havoc on your body, and poor sleep might be fanning the flames. Researchers found a clear link between sleep deprivation and increased inflammatory markers. So, when you prioritise sleep, you're not just easing into dreamland; you're actively reducing the risk of inflammatory conditions of all kinds.

3 Destabilises your hormones

Your body is a finely-tuned orchestra of hormones, and sleep plays the role of the conductor. Skimping on sleep can throw this delicate symphony off balance, impacting everything from stress hormones to those governing metabolism (like hunger and fullness) as well as female hormones. For women, sleeping well is not a luxury.

When you don’t sleep, what might be on the cards includes menstrual irregularities due to interruptions your body’s natural wake-sleep rhythm exacerbated PMS as well as problems conceiving, too. A harmonious hormonal dance begins with a restful night's sleep.

4 More stress on top of your existing stress

Feel like stress and anxiety are running the show? Let sleep be your backstage pass to tranquillity. Author of the book Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker, highlights the crucial role of sleep in emotional regulation. Get less sleep, expect heightened emotional reactivity, increased stress and anxiety, and symptoms of mental health disorders like depression.

So, when you're tucked in for the night, you're not just escaping reality temporarily; you're arming yourself against the stressors of tomorrow.

5 Poor memory

Ever wondered why a good night's sleep leaves you feeling mentally refreshed? It’s because sleep contributes to memory consolidation and cognitive function. When you prioritise sleep, you're not just catching up on dreams; you're enhancing your brain's ability to tackle challenges, adapt to new circumstances, make better decisions, and retain information. That sounds like a win on every level imaginable.

Ready to feel amazing?

Get more sleep, you’ll be happier

We all know everything looks better after a decent night’s sleep. There’s not a single pasture that is not greener. It’s official. A good night’s sleep means you’ll be happier and more satisfied with life. That’s enough for me!

If you are struggling with your symptoms, please click the link below to book in a FREE nutrition strategy call.

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