Did you know hormones affect your sleep? Like… a lot. For women, this means around your menstrual cycle, during and after pregnancy and around menopause, sleep is likely to be harder to reach and to stay in. But isn’t that pretty much our whole lives? Yep, unfortunately, it is. That’s why if you have trouble sleeping in general or you’re just a woman with hormones, you need these 5 tips for better sleep.
1) Ways to Sleep Better
Sleep on your back or side. In a loose fetal position, if possible.
The experts almost unanimously agree that sleeping on your back is the healthiest sleeping position for ultimate relaxation, spinal support and no pressure on your joints and bones. For those with neck problems that are worsened by sleeping on your back, snorers or those with acid reflux, sleeping on your left side is your best bet. Sorry stomach sleepers (calling myself out here,) this is the worst sleeping position for your body’s overall health as it causes strain on muscles and neck and back pain.
2) Have a nighttime routine. We know, we know. But, hear us out.
Finding and sticking to a nighttime routine can seem daunting, but know that yours doesn’t have to include 20 minutes of stretching and meditation in complete silence. Start simple with things you already do, plus maybe one or two new things. For example, your nighttime routine could look like: brush teeth, floss, clean face, spray Lavender essential oil room spray. Doing those simple steps every night (I bet you already do the first 3,) and thinking of it as your prep for a great night’s sleep can unsurprisingly greatly improve your sleep.
3) Find out what might cause underlying anxiety and squash it. The anxiety, that is.
During those extra hormonal times we talked about in the beginning, your mind may be more anxious than usual. Try to assess what you’re anxious about and work through it before you sleep. For example, if you sleep in tampons during that time of the month, you’re likely anxious about getting up in the middle of the night to change it, even if you don’t realize it. Switch to a period panty that keeps you secure all night. It could literally mean sleeping through the night, worry-free. Or maybe you have to get up earlier than usual. Your brain is probably pretty anxious about oversleeping. Set two alarm clocks and remind yourself right before bed that you have plenty of time to sleep and your body will wake you up. Bye, anxiety. Hello, restful sleep.
4) Save your bed for sleep… and other bed things.
This tip is in just about any list for improving sleep you’ll find. And that’s because it works. We’re going to keep the same tip, but with a realistic twist. The ideal would be don’t have a TV in your bedroom and don’t take your phone in your bedroom. But we know that’s not realistic for everyone or even desirable for everyone. Your favorite TV show in bed can be a fun treat. Instead, we’re going to saying save your bed for sleep, if you can’t do your whole bedroom. Want to watch a movie or show or read an article on your phone? Totally fine, but do it on top of your comforter. Once you climb in, it’s lights out and time for sleep. This rule works so well as your brain will signal your body that sleep is on the way. But it’s 2020, we know sometimes too much is going on on your phone to leave it in the living room. Just try not to take it into the bed with you.
5) Exercise regularly – but not at night.
Annoying, isn’t it? Every single thing related to health will tell you to exercise regularly. If you’re already doing that, great. Skip this part and keep at it. If you’re not someone who likes to exercise, that’s okay. Let’s brainstorm some simple ways you can incorporate exercise without dedicating an hour to the gym everyday. Try light beginner’s yoga on YouTube. Go for a walk during the day. Dance to 2 of your favorite songs in your living room. Practice a skill (like building up to doing a pull-up or a handstand.) Do some active stretching. Unfortunately, this step is even more important during those hormonal times. So, throw on your comfy period panties and stretch it out even during that time of the month. No matter what you choose to do, make sure to do it in the morning or daytime. Exercising too close to bed can keep you awake and energized. And we want the opposite of that.
Here’s to being extra tired, extra calm and extra prepared when you hit the pillow tonight. Do these 5 things and report back to us – how did it affect your sleep?
See you in the morning.