Men and women have different experiences when it comes to sleeping. For instance, females tend to experience more sleep disturbances than males. In fact, about two-thirds experience a sleep problem a few nights each week and about half report they wake up feeling un-refreshed. This is why the following list of sleep tips is so important.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool
You’ll sleep better if your bedroom is kept cool – between 60 – 67 °F. This is important because your core body temperature increases when you’re sleeping, especially during the time of your menstrual cycle.
Take a Warm Bath or Shower Before Going to Bed
Besides a cool sleeping environment, another important sleep tip is meant to help your body feel sleepy. When your body temperature drops, you’ll notice this happens, which is why women should take a warm bath or shower before climbing into bed at night. This works well when coupled with the right sleeping environment because you’ll climb out of your warm bath and enter your cool bedroom causing the onset of sleep.
Avoid Stimulants Around Bedtime
Any stimulants (e.g. caffeine, alcohol, nicotine) will make it hard for you to fall asleep and stay that way. Most women find it beneficial to avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening because of the way their body absorbs this “chemical.”
Keep Your Bedroom Dark and Quiet
One of the little-known sleep tips has to do with getting exposure to sunlight throughout the daytime as this helps you regulate your sleep/wake cycle. Once you understand this, you’ll also understand why exposure to nighttime light (even dim light) disrupts your sleep. This is why you should hang blackout curtains and remove electronic devices from your bedroom. You should also limit any noise in your bedroom, exchanging them for “white noise” (noise that contains many frequencies with equal intensities; e.g. fans) instead.
Engage in Relaxing Exercises
There are many women who grow even more anxious or depressed around the time of their menstrual cycle. You can alleviate these symptoms through things like deep breathing and creating a “worry log” (essentially a written list of things you’re worried about and want to let go of) before going to sleep at night.
Avoid Heavy Meals Near Bedtime
Other things that can disrupt your sleep during the time of your menstruation include indigestion, nausea, and diarrhea. This is why it’s important to have a light snack instead of a heavy meal if you must eat around bedtime. Doing so will make it easier for you to digest your food.
Keep Your Bedtimes Routine
Make sure you go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. This will help your body be prepared and fall asleep quickly. A routine filled with relaxing activities will help you relax and transition.
Choose a sleeping position that’s comfortable. This sleep tip is especially important when you’re cramping, aching, and nauseated because of menstruation. Try to find a position that minimizes pressure on your tender areas (e.g. sleeping on your back or side instead of on your stomach).
Picture Credit: C_Scott