How To Have An Awesome Period (Part 2)
We are back for part two of How To Have An Awesome Period! In the last post we discussed foods to reduce, how to nourish your body + gut, and managing stress for hormone balance. In this post, we are covering the final two tips (plus a bonus) for having an awesome menstrual cycle.
Sleep is essential for hormone balance. When our bodies are in a state of rest, they are able to rebuild + replenish. While we are asleep, our bodies are also detoxifying, which is important for liver health and also impacts hormone health. Hormones are at their lowest during menstruation, which is why it’s normal to feel more tired at this time. Our hormones always are interacting, including neurotransmitters that control our sleep and wake cycles. So quality sleep can powerfully impact your period. Sleep deprivation can increase cortisol (our stress hormone) and deplete melatonin (our sleep hormone), which can make restful sleep difficult.
Tips For Restful Sleep:
- Establish a nighttime routine.
- Create a dark environment. Blackout shades are helpful for this.
- Sleep in a cool room. 65F is optimal.
- Avoid screen time for at least 1 hour before bed.
- Use blue light blocking glasses or apps once the sun goes down.
- Use adaptogens to your advantage. Reishi, holy basil, and passionflower tea are all helpful to help you naturally wind down. Liquid tinctures work too!
Have A Period Plan
A huge part of having an awesome period is planning for it. Like I mentioned in the last post, your period is a very special time. Your two brain hemispheres are able to communicate and you can tap into intuition more fully. It’s important to create some alone time even if it’s only 30-60 minutes a day. The first day of your period is a time of rest. Having a plan of how you will rest depending on what day of the week it falls on is really helpful. I suggest making a work day period plan and an off day period plan.
Work Day Period Plan Ideas:
- Look at your typical work day schedule and block of 30-60 minutes that you can have to yourself.
- Call in reinforcements if you have children or if they are older, communicate to them the importance of this time for you.
- Create a space for yourself. This could be in your bedroom, a nook in your living room, or wherever you can get some peace alone.
- Choose a relaxing activity you can complete without stress in the timeframe you have. This could be reading, watching a show/movie, taking a bath (epsom salt helps with relaxation and stress because of the magnesium), writing, etc.
Off Day Period Plan Ideas:
- Schedule time in your calendar for rest on the first day of your period (if possible).
- Sleep in if possible.
- Plan a good chunk of time to rest, be alone, and reflect.
- Pick out a movie, book you love, or some other relaxing activity and have the items needed on hand.
- Prep food ahead of time! This is essential. You will not want to expend energy on food prep during your period. Save your energy + prep food ahead of time and put it in the fridge or freezer. Your future self will thank you.
The more you set aside time for yourself and for reflection, the more enjoyable your period will be. Even small changes like sleeping in a half hour later or retreating to have alone time after you put the kids to bed can make all of the difference and allow you to enjoy your period.
As you continue to practice this you will come to know your period as a time of rejuvenation, rest, and enjoyment. This practice alone can completely change how you view your cycle.
BONUS: Get To Know Your Cycle
In order to have an awesome period and prioritize a period plan, you need to know when it is coming! Your period also gives you a lot information about your health. It truly is your 6th vital sign and worth getting to know.
One of the best ways to get started with this is to start tracking your cycle. There are a ton of apps out there. For example, MyFLO is an amazing app that also gives you tips for different times in your cycle. I like using the Flo app because you can also track your temperature, cervical fluid, and list a ton of different symptoms. If you prefer pen and paper, you can do that as well.
Tracking your cycle lets you plan ahead for some me time during your period and also allows you to adjust your workout and sleep schedule during certain times. Learn more about specific tips for nutrition and lifestyle throughout your cycle here.