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5 Surprising Things You Should Never Do Right Before Your Period

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You already know that you have to make some adjustments to your routine once your period arrives — maybe you reserve your least attractive underwear for this time of the month, stock up on pain medicine, and set aside some time to tend to your cramps. But you may not realize that there are some surprising things you should never do right before your period that could make that time of the month a whole lot worse.

To understand your period, you need to understand your menstrual cycle, which can vary widely from woman to woman. According to the Mayo Clinic, a typical cycle can last anywhere from 21 to 35 days, with bleeding on the first two to seven days. The day you first notice bleeding from your period marks the beginning of a new cycle. The Mayo Clinic also noted that you can expect to ovulate about 14 days after your period begins. If you don't fertilize that egg (i.e., get pregnant), your next period will arrive.

While this is all going down in your uterus, the rest of your body is going to feel the effects in ways you would't even imagine. With that in mind, here are five things you might want to avoid when you're awaiting your period' arrival.

1Stock Up On Unhealthy Food

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When your period is just a couple of days away and PMS is in full swing, you might suddenly find yourself wanting to chow down on salty or sweet foods. But this can be more than just a harmless craving. Healthline noted that some women deal with compulsive eating right before their periods. If your kitchen is stocked with healthy foods like fruits and veggies, the urge to eat less nutritious stuff may be easier to overcome.

2Skimp On Sleep

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Have you ever noticed that you don't sleep as well during the nights leading up to your period? If so, you're not alone. Reader's Digest noted that many women deal with menstrual insomnia. Changing hormones levels play a role, as do shifts in your body temperature. If you know you're going to spend some time tossing and turning before you finally fall asleep, you may want to make sure you get to bed earlier to make up the difference.

3Drink Too Much Alcohol

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When you're waiting for your period to arrive and even once it's underway, Gurl noted that you might want to lay off of alcohol. The site noted that alcohol dehydrates you, which can make your PMS symptoms even worse.

4Skip The Sunscreen

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Protecting your skin from sun damage is important at any time of the month, but it becomes even more vital around your period. According to Women's Health, your skin is more sensitive when you're dealing with PMS, so don't forget to slather on the sunblock.

5Say No To Protection

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You may think that during the days just before you get your period, you can't get pregnant. If you're tempted to skip using protection during this time, the American Pregnancy Association noted that while your chances of getting pregnant during your period might be low there's never a guarantee. That's especially true if you have inconsistent cycles or you don't know when you ovulated. If you're not interested in a baby, your best bet is to keep on using your preferred form of birth control regardless of the calendar.