Menstrual cramps are common among women. However, excessive cramps can interfere with daily activities and make sleeping difficult.
Gladly, there are some sleeping positions that can help you to reduce cramps and other period symptoms. Let us learn more about them.
- The fetal position
The fetal position is a natural and most recommended posture to sleep when experiencing period symptoms like cramps and pain.
In addition to relieving period pains and promoting deep sleep, the fetal position can help prevent leakage. However, if you toss and turn while sleeping, use period protection overnight because you may not stay in this position the entire night.
How to do:
- Begin by lying on your side.
- Curl your legs up and tuck your knees into your chest like a fetus in the womb. This will help relieve stress in your abdominal muscles and thus alleviate period cramps and pain.
- However, if you feel bloated during your period, try relaxing your legs instead of tucking them tightly against your chest.
- The recovery position
The recovery position is another great posture to try if you have trouble sleeping during periods. Usually used by first responders to promote better oxygen levels in the airways, the posture can offer the same abdominal relief as the fetal position.
This posture reduces menstrual pain and cramps by relieving stress from the abdominal muscles and helps to relax your nervous system and initiate sleep. Additionally, the recovery position lowers the risk of leakage. However, remember to get up gently in the morning and use suitable period protection overnight.
How to do:
- Lie on your side.
- Keep your bottom leg straight and the top one bowed toward your belly. This posture will help you breathe better, allowing you to take in more oxygen and sleep better.
- If you feel uncomfortable, keep a pillow between your knees or behind your back for extra support.
- Avoid putting too much strain on your shoulder.
- Child pose
The child pose is an excellent yoga pose to adopt during periods to relieve period cramps and pain. It helps stretch out the hips, thighs, and ankles, as well as reduces fatigue, stress, and headaches.
This posture is known to relax both your body and mind, so while it may seem strange to adopt it for sleep, give it a try and see if it works for you.
How to do:
- Begin on all fours and spread your knees to hip distance apart.
- Then, either stretch your arms out or keep them by your sides, palms facing up.
- Sit back and relax your torso over your thighs, resting your forehead on the bed or pillow.
- Breathe deeply and relax your lower back.
Since sleeping on your front can increase blood flow, there is always the possibility of leakage while sleeping in this position. Make sure you have proper period protection so that you can sleep worry-free.
- Lying on your back
If you prefer to sleep on your back, this is a good position because it puts little pressure on the uterus and abdominal muscles. Additionally, this posture allows you to massage your abdomen before falling asleep, which can help relieve period symptoms such as cramps and pain.
However, if you have menorrhagia or heavy flow, there is a chance of leakage while sleeping in this position. Consider using better period protection, such as overnight period panties or sanitary pads for heavy flows, or place a towel underneath to catch any leaks.
- Sleeping with a pillow underneath your knees
Using a pillow, regardless of your sleeping position, may help relax the muscles in your abdomen, relieving some of your period pain and allowing you to sleep.
How to do:
- If you sleep on your side, place a pillow (not too high) between your knees to help align your pelvis and relieve pressure on your abdomen.
- If you sleep on your back, lie down, and place a pillow under your knees. Ensure the pillow isn’t too high and keep your legs straight. They should not be higher or lower in height, as this will affect your overall blood flow.
If you don’t have a pillow, simply roll up a towel and place it between your legs.
Sleeping on your back with a pillow beneath your knees will likely encourage blood flow, so use some extra backup and, if necessary, lay a towel down.
In addition to finding the best sleeping position, there are other period hacks you can use to create the perfect bedtime environment. For instance, you can regulate the temperature of your room, take a warm bath before bed, use a hot bottle, or drink a cup of ginger-infused tea. All of them can help relieve severe period symptoms and improve sleep.
If you are concerned or want to learn more, consult your doctor.