The night with its comforting veil of darkness, illuminated with twinkling stars is fittingly the best time to slip into a relaxing sleep. There are several benefits of a sound sleep: lower risk of heart diseases, greater social and emotional intelligence, stronger immunity, etc. However, unfortunately women around the globe (as many 67% as per the 2007 National Sleep Foundation poll,) complain about disturbed nights due to headaches, cramps, and mental uneasiness during their periods. When it comes to taking care of your periods at night there is a lot of stuff that you maybe are not aware of or you are just simply not practicing.
Like myself, every woman has experienced the struggles of twisting and turning in bed- not because we overthink the philosophical concerns of the world, but because of fast-fluctuating hormones, an antsy mind and an aching body. To ensure we sleep better it is crucial to maintain a consistent night routine, especially when we menstruate.
While wearing organic sanitary pads– preferably night pads– is a must, there are some additional ways to ensure healthy sleeping habits during your periods. Here are some of my suggestions on ways to coax an undisturbed slumber and also an answer to your very valid question of “how to take care of your periods at night?”
Screen Time Reduces Sleep Time.
Save yourself from the temptation to watch a gripping TV show just before bed. Most screens – phones, laptops, tablets and televisions – emit a blue light that reduces the production of melatonin (a hormone that regulates your sleep cycle and the circadian rhythm). Any form of light is a cue to your mind to “wake up.” Schedule your screen time to at least two hours before bed time and try replacing technology with a book, an old-school tape-recorder for some music or a podcast, some calming mantras for meditation or maybe just in-person time with family.
Although during your periods the last thing you want to do is exhaust your body further, certain easy and slow exercises can help ease period cramps and encourage a soothing sleep. Stretching and relaxation exercises reduce tension in muscles and is my go to solution to anybody’s concern of “how to take care of your periods at night?” Since cramps are one of the primary causes of sleep deprivation, incorporating fifteen minutes of slow exercises that reduce inflammation can pave your way to a sound night.
Make a List of What Bothers You.
And deal with it before you head to bed.
Journaling helps put thoughts to a rest and jotting them down on a piece of paper allows some clarity and eventually aids in a well-deserved repose.
Take Time out to Meditate.
Regular meditation should be a key inclusion to your night routine whether or not you are on your period. Proven to have several benefits, musings greatly reduces ailments of the mind, reduces anxiety and thus improves one’s sleep quality. Meditation helps place the mind in a serene place – think of it as internal tidying. Especially during periods when sleeping soundly is a task, meditating at night helps you attain the peaceful state of mindfulness and equilibrium. There are several apps that can help with meditation, of which, we recommend, Calm, The Mindfulness App, Headspace and Buddhify.
Don’t Get Ready to Sleep until You are Sleepy.
Forcing yourself to sleep is counter-productive as it increases anxiety and further delays sleep. If you feel like lying down, get into bed with a heating bag and a book so that your mind is relieved from the pressure to sleep and can ease into it slowly.
Draw a Warm Bath.
We need not require any convincing for this one. A warm bath works like magic for when you are tired and sore and are awaiting a good night’s sleep. One can feel the difference and experience a sense of complete relaxation minutes after stepping into a hot-tub. While soaking in warm water relaxes muscles and raises the temperature of the body, stepping out of a hot bath forces a drop in body temperature, and this eventual cooling down of the body instigates the production of the sleep hormone – melatonin. Thus incorporating a warm bath in your night routine has a two-fold benefit: relaxation of muscles in addition to the assurance of a sound sleep.
For those of you who do not have easy access to a bathtub, a cool shower is a good alternative since it also plays the role of bringing the body temperature down. It is recommended to take a bath or a shower at least two hours before actually going to bed so that we do not interrupt the body’s natural cooling process (which tends to occur just before bedtime.)
Wear Comfortable Night-Wear.
It is important to wear clothes that also cool your body down. The more comfortable, light-weight, breathable and loose your night-suit is, the better are your chances of a serene sleep. Depending on the climate of where you live, you can choose to wear nightclothes made up of natural materials like cotton, fleece, silk, or linen.
Don’t go to Bed Hangry.
While the body undergoes several physiological changes during your periods, it is natural to be hungrier than usual. Virgina Woolf says and I agree, “one cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” If you are hungry, choose to snack up on an apple, or some yoghurt instead of a sack of crisps and cookies.
Create a Calming Ambience.
If you are still wondering “how to take care of your periods at night,” consider building yourself a sleep-inducing atmosphere. Scented, aromatic candles that let out fragrances like lavender and chamomile are helpful in forging an effective sleep. Additionally, a cool room also helps prevent our body temperature from rising (which it is prone to during menstruation.) Last but not the least, drawing out the curtains to block off any leaking light, will help you fall asleep faster.
Wear Night Pads.
It is often the worry of staining your clothes and sheets, that prevents you from a good night’s sleep. To eliminate this concern, consider wearing especially designed night pads that are absorbent and equally comfortable. Since your pad is just like another layer of clothing that is in perpetual contact with your body, it is important to choose organic sanitary pads that are made with natural materials. All period products by HeyDay are organic, biodegradable and are made up of corn and bamboo. Their newly launched, night pads (also an organic sanitary pad) is the secret to a sound sleep due to its strong and long wings that hold itself steadily as you freely relax your body into an uninterrupted slumber.