In January I told you how I created the perfect morning routine to ensure I never experience PMS symptoms like mood swings and low energy levels, this week I’m going to let you in on my well-crafted bedtime routine that I stick to during my luteal or pre-menstrual phase to prevent the same issues and get really good quality rest.
For some women, the luteal phase actually brings about insomnia. Their hormones collide to make it impossible for them to get to sleep, which in turn makes their PMS symptoms worse – particularly that PMS depression, anxiety, and the cravings.
In my recent advice column for Yahoo Health, I explain how during your luteal phase you experience a big surge and then decline in estrogen and progesterone. And, although that shouldn’t really cause you any symptoms, the real issue comes when you have too much estrogen and not enough progesterone to keep this all balanced — and is when PMS and insomnia can get bad. As I said when discussing my morning routine, everything starts with a good night’s sleep, it is the foundation upon which you can build a healthy, happy day. And those days add up to a healthy, happy life!
A recent study showed that lack of sleep triggers in us a desire to eat more and less healthily which spells disaster at this time of the month.
When stress and a poor diet are added to the mix, you’re in trouble. This can make you put on weight – because of the cravings it will induce in you, and because of how it messes with your hormones, blood sugar and cortisol levels. Those who run on too little, poor quality sleep have been found to experience an increase in levels of hunger hormone ghrelin and decreased levels of satiety hormone leptin, causing both overeating and weight gain. Five days of bad night’s sleep can cause you to add on another 2 pounds in just that short time!
Once upon a time, before I started living in my Flo, I too struggled with sleep and fatigue for years due to my hormonal issues. I couldn’t fall asleep until 1 or 2 am and I couldn’t drag myself out of bed in the morning – and that grog-fog would not lift until after lunch. Now, I sleep so well I don’t even need an alarm to wake me up in the morning. And I do not experience PMS – it is possible, ladies, I’m telling you! I eat to support my hormones, I move my body, I outsmart my stress, plus I stick to a special bedtime routine that makes my luteal phase a breeze.
My bedtime routine to prevent PMS and insomnia
Some things could go unsaid at this time, but I’ll say them anyway! I avoid caffeine entirely (my favorite alternative is Kukicha); I always make sure to do some cortisol-flushing exercise towards the end of my working day (usually a session on my Urban Rebounder); I eat a nutrient dense, cycle-synced dinner (my favorite meal for a good night’s sleep is here). Then, after putting my baby girl to bed and spending relaxing time with my husband, I settle into my wind-down pattern, knowing I’ll start the next day fresh.
At 9pm: I take oat straw and passionflower tincture in some water.
At 9:30pm: I shut off all of my electronics (and in the few hours before that even, I make sure to use a blue light filter app on all my devices, like f.lux, which makes screens give off less blue light during the nighttime). I don’t take my phone to bed with me!
Also at 9:30pm: I do a relaxing activity like a 10-minute yin yoga sequence to unwind any physical tension that’s built up from sitting at my desk.
At 9:45pm: I take a warm bath with epsom salts and essential oils or a shower with a lovely face cleansing using my favorite face mask.
At 10pm: I get in bed and while laying in my comfy bed in the darkened bedroom, I think about three things I’m grateful for, to end the day on a positive note. A 10pm to 6am bedtime is the best possible way to get good quality, nourishing sleep.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you have trouble sleeping?
Second, do you have insomnia only during your luteal phase?
Third, everyone you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social 😉
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