Sometimes I dream about how pleasant life would be if I didn’t get my period every month. I wouldn’t have to deal with brain fog or cramps, or worry about whether or not I have any tampons in my house (or scramble when I realize I definitely do not). I also wouldn’t have to force myself to function when all I really want to do, at least for a day or two, is cozy up in bed and nap. When my period hits, my energy crashes, and I transform into a slothier version of myself—and I know I’m not alone.
Fatigue (a.k.a. extreme tiredness) consistently ranks among the most common PMS symptoms. A recent report that looked at data from the Flo period tracking app, for example, found that about 57% of users experience some degree of tiredness or fatigue right before menstruation starts.1 Another recent study found that period symptoms, like cramps and heavy bleeding, prevent many people from sleeping soundly—and if you’re not well-rested, you’re not going to be the zippiest version of yourself.2
To put it bluntly, menstruation can be a total energy suck, especially if your symptoms push you to the limit every month. Here’s why your period can be so draining—as well as a few ways to feel like less of a zombie whenever, in the iconic words of Cher Horowitz in Clueless, you’re “surfing the crimson wave.”
Why your period can make you feel so tired
In general, there is a lot going on in your body before and during your period, Lubna Pal, MBBS, a reproductive endocrinologist and professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the Yale School of Medicine, tells SELF.
Naturally, hormones are part of the problem.
A few days before your flow starts, the hormones estrogen and progesterone plummet in your body.3 This decline in estrogen, in particular, causes a dip in serotonin too—a chemical that affects your mood and energy.4 As a result, you may feel weak and worn out, Abby Eblen, MD, a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist with the Nashville Fertility Center, tells SELF. In fact, it’s well-documented that lower estrogen levels are intertwined with feeling worn out.5
Meanwhile, the tissue lining your uterus (a.k.a. the endometrium) starts to break down, triggering an inflammatory response, Dr. Pal says.6 Your uterus contracts to release the lining, causing cramps, menstrual bleeding, and, to put it in scientific terms, the blahs. All of this hard work your body is doing, along with the pain and discomfort associated with it, can be exhausting, Dr. Pal says.
Your period also messes with your sleep.
That’s not all (and why would it be!). Your period can disrupt your sleep too—especially if your flow is on the heavier side and/or you’ve got particularly awful cramps, Dr. Eblen says.7 (Good to know I’m not the only one who bolts awake with pain shooting across my lower abdomen at 3 a.m.) Basically, all of the emotional and physical turmoil that goes down during this hellish week or so can make you toss and turn, she adds.
Tony Bellew opens up on meeting Sylvester Stallone for first time
'It's a huge mess in there': Pasco dry cleaning business that abruptly closed under investigation
The Sacrifice Game Is a Gory and Fun Christmas Gift
Forest Whitaker’s ex-wife Keisha Nash-Whitaker dead at 51 after years-long anorexia battle: Daughter confirms tragic news in heartbreaking post – as source reveals she was suffering from ‘intestinal problems’ before passing
Pakistani-Canadian Horror Film ‘In Flames’ Wins Top Prize at Red Sea Film Festival Amid Calls for Peace in Palestine
Moment burned volcano survivors plead for help after getting caught in deadly eruption that claimed 11 lives and left 12 others missing
How to Take Care of Your Natural Hair If You Have Scalp Eczema
What to Know About Doing Cardio If You Have Heart Problems
From PJs to Loungewear, These Matching Sets Make the Best Holiday Gifts
Woman sues NY-based eatery chain, saying salad came with a finger in it
Europeans demand China quit aiding Putin in Ukraine
Kristaps Porzingis indicates he’ll return to Celtics’ lineup on Friday vs. Knicks
John Lennon Seemed ‘Supernaturally’ Aware of His Looming Death: ‘He Had a Feeling Something Was Coming’
Rubato is Eater Boston’s Best New Restaurant
Queen Camilla Sent the Strongest Message of ‘Resilience’ in New Photo With ‘Distracted’ King Charles and ‘Passive’ Prince William, Kate Middleton — Body Language Expert
News13 hours ago
D.C. police distribute free AirTags for vehicles as carjackings soar
Lifestyle13 hours ago
‘Hanging Gardens’ Director Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji Teases New Project, in Which a Theater Director Offends Saddam Hussein (EXCLUSIVE)
News18 hours ago
Seth Meyers Mocks Hannity’s Embarrassing Trump Town Hall
News13 hours ago
Tax Filings Reveal GOP Megadonor Dick Uihlein Has a New Giving Strategy
News16 hours ago
Christmas supplies in the UK are threatened as the vital Panama Canal shipping route suffers its worst ever drought
News15 hours ago
Tourist left red-faced after discovering the true meaning of impulsive tattoo in Arabic she got in Morocco
News13 hours ago
‘Crazy rich’ Chinese making headaches for Singapore
News17 hours ago
Where GOP candidates stand on conflicts in Israel, Ukraine, China