You feel tired, exhausted even, maybe a little listless, about once a month around your period. You’re not alone. Plenty of girls get PMS fatigue. Here’s a bit about what causes PMS tiredness and what to do about it.PMS Fatigue Causes
PMS – aka premenstrual syndrome – is caused by the changing hormones in our bodies leading up to menstruation. Rising progesterone and dipping oestrogen cause a range of PMS symptoms. For some girls, one of these is feeling extra tired, or fatigued. Progesterone in particular can make you feel super tired. You can learn more about PMS here.
PMS tiredness can be made worse by some common PMS habits. Like reaching for a bunch of junk food. Or not doing a lot of physical activity. (Fight through those cramps to get some moving in! You’ll feel less tired and your cramps will get some relief!)PMS Fatigue Remedies
- Take extra care to eat healthy foods during this time. Nutrition has a big effect on our energy levels. If you’re already feeling PMS fatigue, eating food that will bog you down and make you feel sleepy and low-energy won’t help. Stick to lean proteins, leafy greens, fruits, and healthy carbs.
- Get plenty of sleep. Staying up late on your phone, watching telly, or hanging with friends can feel really tempting. Offset the effects of PMS fatigue by adding some extra night-time snooze hours. Go to bed a bit earlier than you usually do. It may not entirely get rid of your PMS fatigue, but it will make it less intense.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can make us feel tired and lethargic anytime, so it’s like a double whammy when grappling with additional PMS tiredness, too. Be sure to get in 8 to 11 glasses of water daily. Added bonus: drinking water can counteract PMS bloat, which can help ease period cramps. Double win!
- Eat more frequently. Try eating 5 or more small meals a day, rather than three big ones. This will ensure that you are constantly replenishing your body with the nutrients and energy it needs to stay peppy and energetic. It also goes a long way in keeping your blood sugar stable, which can go a long way in keeping your alert.
- Avoid caffeine. Sure, saying no to a daily coffee pick-me-up can feel like the opposite of what you want when facing PMS tiredness. However, drinking caffeine throughout the day can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, which – obviously! – will make you feel more tired. So, say no to lattes during your period.
- Relax! Add some heat and wind down. Take a bath, cuddle up under a cosy blanket with a good book or your fave movie. Your period is a great time to add in some extra rest and relaxation with an emphasis on “me time.” Keeping yourself relaxed will make it easier to sleep well at night and will conserve your energy for the activities you really want to shine at.
- Exercise. Your instinct when you’re really tired may be to do just the opposite – to laze around the house in your sweats. It sounds counterintuitive, but in fact, exercise can boost your energy levels. It doesn’t need to be anything intense. Wear a TAMPAX tampon and get some exercise without giving your period a second thought.
If you feel like your PMS fatigue is extreme, reach out to your health care provider.