Period Guide

What’s the Deal with Being So Sleepy On Your Period?

Sleepy on your period

YAWN! It is a day or two before Eve’s Curse comes crashing down on you and you are quickly morphing into Sleepy Smurf. For most women, being sleepy on your period is due to one of two reasons: restless sleep or bad food choices. For a small number, the reason is anemia. Find out which category you fall in and fix it fast!

Tossing and Turning in Bed (and we don’t mean in the good way)

All of those premenstrual gears are churning and you may be getting sleep, but just not good sleep. While you’re snoozing the recommended seven and a half hours per night, you’re waking up due to cramping, heading to the bathroom for change of the guard, or popping some Pamprin. This isn’t good, deep sleep; instead it’s fragmented or interrupted sleep. Thus, you drag into work the next morning like a zombie after an all-nighter.

How do you fix it? The best way to fight restless nights is to add activities to your day like exercise and deep breathing or stretching. Exercising for 30 minutes or more (the last thing anyone wants to do with Flo, we know) reduces PMS and promotes deep sleep. Deep sleep is restorative, giving you that “bounce out of bed” happy feeling. A side benefit of deep sleep is a reduction in fat. The surest way to relax into sleep is with deep breathing or some Yoga Nidra. These are great habits to keep while you are off your cycle too!

Blame the Mac-N-Cheese…and the Ice Cream…and the Cookies…

Your indulgence into the wide-world of comfort food is taking its toll and it is actually your digestion making you feel overtired and sluggish. It’s understandable, this is the time every month you halt your healthy, kale-and-chia diet for carb-laden, rich foods to give you a temporary, happy feeling. It is emotional eating, and there is nothing wrong with a small, moderate bit of it. However, too much and your digestion gets overloaded. Your body retaliates by making you sleepy so it can put all of its energy into digestion. You wake up the next morning still tired. What do you do – head out for a venti extra caffeinated anything and a chocolate croissant, and the cycle continues.

Fixing this issue is surprisingly easy. Eat small, frequent meals during the day to boost energy levels. Eat more protein to balance blood sugar levels to avoid the 3 pm crash. While a glass (or three) of vino sounds just like what the doctor ordered, pass on alcohol during your period because it actually aggravates progesterone levels which increase sleepiness and fatigue.


Iron-deficiency anemia is basically a lack of iron in the blood. If you are feeling beyond exhausted during your period and nearly all of the time before or after it, you maybe be anemic. Very heavy periods can be a potential clue, as can extreme weakness and paleness.

If you think you may be anemic, head over to your doctor for a quick blood test. If you are anemic, you will be encouraged to eat iron rich foods, and possibly prescribed an iron supplement.

No matter what turns you into Rip Van Winkle, add a few helpful hints and get your oomph back!

  • Reply
    December 28, 2017 at 1:26 am

    This is bs. There are more hormonal reasons that come into play. This article tries to oversimplify a symptom that still stupefies the medical community. Fatigue does not occur simply due to lack of sleep or eating comfort food.

    • Reply
      Monthly Gift
      December 29, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      Hey Stephanie, Thanks for your comment. We definitely never want to oversimplify or undervalue how crucial hormonal balance is to our health. As someone who experiences fatigue, not just during my period but all month long, I’ve explored all sorts of possible causes with my doctor and we still are searching. It’s always best to speak with a medical professional if you experience irregularities during your cycle, or have any concerns about your mental and physical wellbeing. -Jessica Xx

  • Reply
    January 30, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Yes… this article oversimplifies things greatly and is like many medical pieces that are pretty much insulting. I have horrible pain and get so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. It isn’t related to a lack of sleep (though as a mother it isn’t as if I get any of that anyway). I also count calories and make healthy food choices, so it isn’t related to diet. Something else is going on. Hormones can do all sorts of things, and we are understanding more and more about them every day. It bothers me that women are just dismissed so easily with complaints related to our periods.

    • Reply
      Monthly Gift
      January 31, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      Hi Anna, We most definitely never want to oversimplify or undervalue the crucial role hormones play. While for some, lifestyle changes can help with feeling tired during our periods, others may require the assistance of a doctor. As women who most certainly have (and share) many complaints related to our periods, we take all period problems, concerns, etc. VERY seriously and are trying to spread awareness on ways to help, from simple solutions to more in-depth treatment courses. Thank you for your sharing your feedback and your experience; open conversation is key. -MG

    • Reply
      May 1, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      Hi, I do understand what you’ve been through for mine was worse. 8 years ago I often took a day off for unbearable pain, was once fainted during my activity.
      Then I tried yoga. Gradually I felt better, the pain reduced a lot, but still there. For the past 6 months I didn’t feel pain. Just like butterflies in my belly several times.
      In addition my mood’s were stable most of the time, feel peaceful during my period.
      Please try forward bend poses, they are effective in reducing pain. It won’t be an overnight solution, but worth it. Good luck 😉😇💪

  • Reply
    February 19, 2018 at 3:08 am

    I exercise all the time and eat as clean as I can. When I am PMSing I get cravings just like the rest of the girls. I am so utterly exhausted during my period and always have been, but the older I get, the worse it gets. So when someone tells me that you shouldn’t get tired during a period unless you are anemic, I just can’t wrap my head around that. It is hormones!

    • Reply
      Monthly Gift
      February 19, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      Yes! Hormonal fluctuations are hugely impactful – beyond what we try to do for ourselves during our periods, sometimes you just need to rest <3

  • Reply
    Kelli Ann
    May 16, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    After years of battling PMDD I decided to do some research, have aome blood tests run and figure out why I suffer so much during my period (and for 10 days or so before) I am 38 years old, im an athlete, exercise 7 days a week, i eat relatively clean but also binge eat about once a week. (I take Vyvanse to help with that)All of my hormone tests are normal for my age…EXCEPT my cortisol. It is extremely high. I do not have cushings or addisons. I do have hashimotos disease. My tsh,free t levels ect are normal on armour thyroid.i take a multivitamin with 18g iron and B12 shots weekly. I also take vitamin D. Aside from that, my periods come on time, last 7-10 days, i use ultra tampons (18-20g of blood) about 1 every hour the first 3 days then can switch to super and then regular. I become a sack of potatoes before my period and during it. A study i found concentrated on collecting 24hr urine cortisol samples from women over the course of their cycles. Normal cycling women (28 day cycle, 3-5 day periods, light-med flow) had no significant changes in cortisol levels. Wonen with longer luteal and follicular phases suffered effects of major fluctuations in cortisol levels. This could explain why some if us have major salt (low cortisol) or sugar/fat (high cortisol)cravings, feel exhausted (low) insomnia (high) and irritable or even rage (high) among other things. Add our every day stresses to the body ie;caffeine, work, kids, ect. And it really is a nightmare.
    2. You may not be estrogen or progesterone dominant, it may be that your brain processes these hormones differently…kind of like people who have regular seratonin levels but need a drug to help it cross into the blood/brain barrier.
    Solutions? Take a liver detox supplement like milk thistle. The liver is partly responsible for how you process sex hormones.
    Anything hard on the liver, including a high fat diet (skinny people can have high body fat) youd be suprised whats in and what ur choices are doing to ur liver, like ur salad dressing, wine, beer, liquor, tylenol ect.
    Then work with your doctor to see whats up with ur cortisol. I dont work, have stress very little in my life but am riddled with anxiety. Dont let them tell u to do yoga to fix it either….its a long drawn out battle to find doctors that know how to truly lower the stress of the every day menstrauting woman!

    • Reply
      Monthly Gift
      May 17, 2018 at 2:32 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Kelli! It’s crucial for us to have these conversations and we so appreciate your candor. Xx

  • Reply
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