When we are in pain, exhausted or in a bad mood, the last thing we need is a bad night’s sleep. Unfortunately, things like headaches, cramps, a heightened body temperature, anxiety and even fatigue can prove getting a good night’s sleep to be extremely challenging.² In fact, the more tired we are, the harder we might find it to fall asleep.¹ Sleep is an extremely important contributor to both our physical and mental health.³ Therefore, we need to learn to manage it well.
Lying in the fetal position
If you are experiencing a lot of pain in your pelvic area or lower back, then you might benefit from sleeping in a fetal position.¹,⁴
This position takes some pressure off your pelvis, and might therefore help to alleviate some of the pain.²
This position is also perfect for hugging a cuddly hot-water bottle.
Using a hot-water bottle or heating pad
Applying heat to the painful area with a hot-water bottle or heating pad can also help to alleviate pain by bringing down inflammation, as well as providing a sense of comfort and security.¹
If you are planning on sleeping with a heat source, then opt for a hot-water bottle as sleeping with a heating pad can be dangerous.
Furthermore, be sure not to place them directly on your skin to avoid any burning or scars later on.
Eating a healthy diet
Another important factor that might be contributing to you feeling heavy and bloated could be your diet. During your menstrual cycle, you’ll benefit largely from sticking to a diet high in fresh vegetables and low in sugar, alcohol, fatty foods, caffeine and dairy.³ Not only will these foods make you feel less bloated, but they can also directly influence your pain and sleep quality. In addition to eating lighter foods, try eating smaller portions before bed.⁵
Keeping a consistent sleep schedule
Keeping a consistent sleep schedule can be challenging to achieve if you struggle with insomnia, especially during your period when your hormones and temperatures are fluctuating. You might not have as much control over your sleep patterns as you’d like, but getting in and out of bed at the same time each day would be a good start.² Avoiding any screens with blue light will help your melatonin do its job more easily. You might even want to take supplements like melatonin an hour before bed to further encourage it.³
Managing stress and pain
If anxiety is the one responsible for keeping your mind up and running at night, then you might want to focus on lowering your stress levels.² You can do this through journaling your thoughts before bed, doing some bed yoga - yes it’s a thing - or even exercising during the day to pump those endorphins. Not only can stress and anxiety negatively affect your sleep quality, but it’s also been directly linked to further pain during your period.
As mentioned briefly before, your temperature fluctuates a lot more during your period because of hormonal changes.
When your body is too hot, you might find it more difficult to fall into a deep sleep. An ideal environment for quality sleep is one that is cool.
For this reason, if you live in a warmer climate you might want to lower the temperature of your air conditioner, add a fan to your room, open a window or take a shower before bed.¹
Comfortable and reliable sanitary options
When you do finally drift off, you’ll want to make sure you sleep through the night as far as possible.
For this reason, wearing a comfortable, leak-proof sanitary option is imperative for a peaceful night’s rest during your period. Nobody wants to or has the energy to wake up to bed stains in the middle of a deep sleep, nor should anyone have to.
So, make sure you sleep with something reliable like a Bodyfit Stayfree Ultra Night pad, specially designed to be wider and longer to protect you from leaks at night.
FAQ: Should you sleep with a tampon in?
Tampons are perfectly safe to sleep with, granted that you stick to quality products and read the instructions on the tampon package insert carefully. Never leave your tampon in for longer than what’s recommended, as this can lead to toxic shock syndrome.
If you’d like to read about more ways to manage your pain during your period, you can read about them here.
-  https://www.sleepscore.com/7-ways-to-get-better-sleep-while-on-your-period/
-  https://www.sleep.org/how-to-sleep-better-during-period/
-  https://www.sleepfoundation.org/insomnia/pms-and-insomnia
-  https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/best-sleeping-position-for-lower-back-pain#pillow-under-your-knees
-  https://www.verywellhealth.com/is-diet-important-during-my-period-2507136