How can I sleep comfortably with period cramps?
My daughter has just started her period for the first time and is having terrible difficulty sleeping at night. What can I do to make her more comfortable sleeping with period cramps?
Period cramps are hard, especially when you are having your first few periods and the sensation is new to you. When you sleep period cramps also feel worse, because of your heightened awareness of how your body feels when you settle in for sleep.
Here's our top tips on tackling the dreaded period cramps:
1. Reach for Water and Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Dehydration can make cramps worse, so getting your 8 glasses in is essential. Anti-inflammatory foods can also help to promote blood flow and relax your uterus. Think berries, leafy green veg and fatty fish.
2. Don't Ignore the Power of Exercise
A good run before bed pumps you full of endorphins which can counteract pain. Coupled with yoga which targets abdominal and lower back muscles that are most impacted by period pain, and exercise is a potent combination to reduce your period pain.
3. Take a Hot Bath Before you Go to Bed
Hot baths relax your muscles. Period cramps come from tension, so relaxing your muscles helps to reduce cramping.
4. Find Pain Medication that Works for You
Whether ibuprofen, paracetamol or CBD oil, taking pain medication to lull you to sleep with less pain can help you get through the night.
5. Try Massage
Massage therapy is very effective reducing muscular tension. Focus on the lower back muscles just before she goes to bed, with gentle movement from your thumbs.
6. Use a Hot Water Bottle
Applying heat helps with relaxing those muscles again- really the number one focus to reduce period cramps during sleep! If you don't like hot water bottles, try heat bags.
7. Adopt the Foetal Position
Sleeping in foetal position relaxes your abdominal muscles which helps alleviate the cramps in your belly.
Many of us put up with period pain when we shouldn't. It's worth seeking a doctor's advice to help alleviate period pain and ensure that there is nothing more serious at play.