*yawn* Do you experience PMS fatigue for several days each month? How about for a whole week? If that’s you, you’re probably sick of just riding it out and going about the same activities you normally would, but with only a quarter of the energy you had before.
PMS and its causes are still somewhat of a mystery, but it is believed to be a result of hormone fluctuations; hormones go haywire, iron levels dip due to heavy bleeding, food cravings cause spikes in blood sugar, and sleep becomes disrupted… a recipe for PMS fatigue. This could mean a few days of yawning at your desk, or even an inability to get off the sofa due to extreme physical weakness. Whatever your PMS fatigue looks like, there are steps you can take to boost your energy. Here we go...
In many cases, lack of energy is directly caused by lack of sleep. PMS not only disrupts sleep, it can give some people full-blown insomnia, as fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels tend to affect the ability to fall and stay asleep, and the quality of sleep you get. A 2007 National Sleep Foundation poll found that 33% said they felt their sleep was disturbed during their menstrual cycle.
If you’re one of a third of people who experience this, having a sleep routine could help. This includes screen-free time beforehand, similar bedtimes and waking times, and a cool temperature in the bedroom to regulate your slumber. Even if it’s disturbed, taking these steps can maximise the sleep you do get. And if all else fails, don’t be afraid to enjoy a midday nap. Catch any Zs you can, no matter the time of day.
Food is so important for our energy levels. You’ve heard it a hundred times before, but when you’re experiencing that PMS this advice becomes all the more relevant. This means eating healthy, whole foods, upping your vegetable intake, reducing your junk food intake, avoiding alcohol, and saying no to added sugar, like fizzy drinks. Yes, even those marketed as energy drinks - they may provide a quick boost of energy but won’t solve the issue at hand. The same goes for caffeinated drinks like coffee. Drinking more water is always going to give you more benefits, so stick with the H2O.
Any foods that cause your blood sugar to spike are likely to be followed by an energy crash, which will make you feel more fatigued in the long-run. If there’s ever a good time to improve your diet, it's when your PMS is at its worst. You probably won’t feel like it, but it’s going to make one of the biggest differences to your energy levels.
Already eating healthily, but still having energy problems? There are lots of supplements and superfood powders out there that may help. Some exist specifically for pre-workout energy, some are for getting through that 3pm slump, and some are made specially for PMS symptoms - our very own Hormone Hero supplement is the one we’d always recommend to give you the sustained energy levels you need to get through your time of the month.
This daily supplement contains 12 key, natural ingredients to support the hormonal symptoms of PMS, including bloating, digestion issues, and of course... fatigue. With powerful essentials like Iron, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12, this supplement is designed with your tiredness and fatigue in mind, and promises to kick it to the kerb.
You’d be forgiven for thinking exercise is only going to make you more tired, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Firstly, a 2015 study found that a moderate amount of aerobic exercise during PMS symptoms can boost energy levels and improve concentration, so it’s already a useful tool for improving how you feel.
Not only that, exercise in general tends to give people more energy, rather than depleting it. Sure, it can feel like a chore to get your leggings on and drag yourself to the gym, but once you’re there and smashing out some cardio (or going for a walk or doing yoga - any exercise can do the trick) you’ll notice your energy increases, even if your muscles feel a bit achy and tired. This improves focus, overall health, and knackers us out for better sleep.
If you’re feeling tired and lethargic, it’s probably your body’s way of telling you to rest. If you’re tracking your menstrual cycle, plan ahead to make sure that during your most tired PMS-y days you’re doing the bare minimum and taking time to yourself instead. This will ensure you emerge from your period cocoon with more energy to do the things you love.
Remember, if fatigue persists even after you try the above tips, or it’s so severe that it interferes with daily life, speak to your GP to find out if anything else is affecting this, like an iron deficiency or thyroid disorder. Whatever the case, your GP may recommend medication (such as birth control) to regulate and manage PMS symptoms, and help boost your energy.
Do you experience fatigue when you have PMS? How do you manage this? Tell us about your experience and ask any questions you have in our private Facebook group or drop us a note on Insta @itsyoppie. Don't forget that our personalised period box can get organic tampons, PMS supplements and much more delivered easily and regularly through your letterbox, which leaves more time each month for coordinating those energy boosting breaks.
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