Do You Need More Sleep During Your Period?

Is Your Period Affecting Your Sleep?

Feeling worn out when you’re on your period but can’t sleep? Don’t worry, it’s more common than you think.

Even though we know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, research shows that women aren’t getting enough ZZZ’s – and they suffer from lack of sleep more often than men.1,2

In fact, in a sleep poll surveying 1,003 women, 67% of women on their period reported having trouble sleeping a few nights a week. Out of these women, about one-quarter reported disturbed sleep in the days leading up to their period and one-third reported trouble sleeping during their period.1

So, what’s the issue?

The culprit is our hormones. Throughout our menstrual cycle, various hormones like estrogen and progesterone fluctuate, which affects our quality of sleep.3

During the second half of the menstrual cycle, hormone levels tend to drop, causing our body temperature to spike, which can mess with our circadian rhythm—the body’s internal clock that tells us when to sleep and when to stay awake.3

Research suggests when our circadian rhythms become irregular, so can other bodily mechanisms like the amount of melatonin we produce, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. 3 One study revealed that women who suffer from PMS have a decreased level of melatonin at night which could explain the difficulties in sleeping.4

What can I do?

If you’re having sleep problems, particularly around the time of your period, here are some tips that may help5:

  • Try to set up a daily bedtime routine so you’re able to stick with a regular sleep schedule.
  • Keep your bedroom dark, cool and quiet. That includes shutting off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed.
  • Make sure you have a comfortable mattress, pillows and sheets.
  • Avoid foods and drinks high in caffeine (coffee, soda, tea and chocolate) and alcohol a few hours before sleep.
  • Before you hit the pillow, practice deep breathing techniques or doing yoga to help you relax.
  • If you have low melatonin levels, talk with your doctor about possibly taking melatonin supplements to help with your sleep symptoms.

If you have other concerns around your monthly cycle, talk to your doctor to see if you might suffer from abnormal uterine bleeding.



  1. National Sleep Foundation. 2007 Sleep in America poll. Accessed January 26, 2018.
  2. Shecter A, Boivin DB. Sleep, hormones and circadian rhythms throughout the menstrual cycle in healthy women and women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Int J Endrocrinol. 2010; doi:1155/2010/259345
  3. Jehan S, Auguste E, Hussain M, et al. Sleep and premenstrual syndrome. J Sleep Med Disord. 2016;3(5): Accessed January 29, 2018.
  4. Shecter, Lesperance P, Ng Ying Kin NMK, Boivin DB. Pilot investigation of the circadian plasma melatonin rhythm across the menstrual cycle in a small group of women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder. PLoS ONE. 7(12): e51929. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051929 Accessed January 29, 2018.
  5. National Sleep Foundation. Healthy sleep tips. Accessed January 29, 2018.


In-text references:

  1. National Sleep Foundation. 2007 Sleep in America poll. Accessed January 26, 2018.