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How does menstruation affect sleep quality?

Ben Kaminsky
Dermatology

Comprehensive studies demonstrate that women have more sleep disruptions, including difficulty getting to sleep, awakenings, sleep disturbances, and vivid dreams, during the premenstrual and menstrual time than the rest of the month.

Although the hormone estrogen increases rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (the deep stage of sleep when dreams occur), the female hormone progesterone, which rises mid cycle after ovulation, causes feelings of fatigue or drowsiness. When menstruation begins and progesterone levels begin to fall, women usually have difficulty falling asleep and often experience the lowest quality of sleep for a few days. As the woman’s cycle begins again, normal sleep (which is not always good sleep) usually returns.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.