When you're on your period, things can be harder. Exercising, feeling positive, eating healthily; you name it, menstruation can make it more of a challenge. Team that with fatigue, mood swings and cramps, and you see why periods are dreaded by many people. One thing that can really be an annoyance (and lead to more fatigue) is disturbed sleep, often caused by period pains in the abdomen, back and thighs. If menstrual cramps wake you up in the night, here's what to do.
Adopt One Of These Sleep Positions
First things first, you should look to try a new sleeping position that'll make you feel calmer and more comfortable. Dr Lisa Mindley, MD told Glamour that sleeping in the foetal position is often best. "Sleeping in the foetal position takes pressure off the abdominal muscles,” she revealed.
Teen Vogue also reports that lying on your back can help, as it enables you to massage your stomach as you try to get to sleep. I'd recommend doing this with OHNE's Anti-Teardrops Oil, which contains 1% CBD oil to help ease cramps. You can even apply it directly onto your tampon, too.
So you've woken up in the middle of the night, and you're panicking about being able to go back to sleep. Whenever insomnia hits me (period or no period), I find it best to get up out of bed, go to the toilet and even go and make a warm drink. The act of leaving your bed can help you to feel refreshed when you get back in to try to sleep again.
One thing you can do in this time if you're suffering from cramps is to fill a hot water bottle. "Putting a heat pad or hot water bottle (wrapped in a tea towel) on your tummy may help reduce pain," the NHS confirms.
The easiest — and often most effective — way to treat midnight cramps at the source is to take some painkillers. While most of us would probably reach for paracetamol (I always do!), the NHS actually recommends trying aspirin and ibuprofen first, as they are better at treating this type of pain. Take a painkiller, lie back down, and wait for it to kick in before trying to get back to sleep.
Listen To One Of These Apps
One thing I always personally do if I wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to get back to sleep, is reach for my phone. I know this sounds bad (blue light and all), but hear me out; I actually use it for a sleeping app. Keeping the light level on low, I click on the iSleep Easy app, which features a 'Wee Hours Rescue' playlist. This uses meditation and calming sounds to help you drift off back to sleep when you're up and panicking. I'd really recommend it!
On the other hand, whatever you do, avoid scrolling through Instagram or replying to texts to keep you in a calm and sleepy state.