How to Handle Premenstrual-Related Insomnia
As if bloating, cramping, breast pain, and mood swings weren't enough, the long list of symptoms that can affect women with premenstrual syndrome also includes trouble falling asleep. Here's what to do if it happens to you.
Not all women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but if you're one of them, you certainly know it. Symptoms of PMS abound, and vary from woman to woman. One of the worst is insomnia. The physical and psychological conditions associated with premenstrual syndrome, such as abdominal pain, water retention, forgetfulness, and anxiety, can prevent you from getting a good night's sleep and make an already bad situation even worse.
The first step to take if you suspect insomnia is contributing to your PMS is to keep a diary of your symptoms. Keep track of the dates when you have your period. Log in the dates when you have trouble sleeping and describe all of your PMS symptoms in detail. This can help you see if your sleep issues are actually related to your menstrual cycle. Even if you can't figure it out yourself, keeping records will help you with step two, which is consulting with your gynecologist or other health care provider to get a diagnosis or rule out other health problems. Your diary will give your health care provider a clear picture of what happens to you from month to month.
It is important to seek help for unresolved symptoms of PMS, particularly if your symptoms are severe and interfere with the quality of your life on a regular basis. It is also important to rule out other underlying mental and physical health conditions that may have similar symptoms, but that may require different treatment and in fact may be potentially more serious than PMS. If you have not recently had a routine physical or gynecological exam, schedule one soon. Use this time to discuss problems you have with PMS and insomnia.
Your health care provider may suggest any of a number of treatments for PMS-related insomnia. Birth control pills, hormonal treatments, antidepressants, diuretics, dietary supplements, and pain-relieving medications can help control PMS symptoms that can lead to insomnia. Practicing relaxation techniques, getting more physical exercise, and making dietary changes that including cutting back on caffeine, sugar and fat, can also help.
MedlinePlus: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. National Institutes of Health. 22 Dec 2010. Web. 27 Jul 2011.
The University of Chicago Medical Center: Premenstrual Syndrome. Web. 27 Jul 2011
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