If you're someone who tracks your cycle and is aware of differences in your emotional and physical needs throughout the month, you might have noticed some particular changes. Maybe your weight or skin or mood fluctuates, or maybe you're more energetic at a certain time during your cycle. Many women swear they sleep differently throughout various points of their cycle and wonder why that is. Does ovulation make you sleepy? Where is all this fatigue coming from?
"No, ovulation doesn't make you feel sleepy," Dr. Lakeisha Richardson, OB-GYN, tells Romper simply. Most of the scientific evidence and research surrounds insomnia during your premenstrual time, which, incidentally, begins right after ovulation. At this point, your progesterone levels are rising, and you'll have drops in your melatonin and cortisol levels. That change in the regulation of your hormones is one of the reasons you might be struggling to sleep, according to Refinery29.
Melatonin and cortisol both play big roles in your sleep-wake cycle — melatonin has sleep-inducing qualities, while cortisol is largely responsible for keeping you awake. So drops in both of these hormones can lead to extra fatigue and inability to sleep. Your internal body temperature is also slightly higher at this point in your cycle, which could be causing additional restlessness, according to The Cut.
While this fatigue and sleeplessness period might seem to hit you right around ovulation, it's more likely that it's affecting you directly after ovulation and before your period.
Once your period hits, though, don't count on your sleep going back on track. As Refinery 29 noted, your period brings a drop in estrogen and progesterone levels, and that can mess with your sleep as well. One theory for this is that estrogen contributes to your restful sleep — so even though you may not have trouble falling asleep due to fatigue, you still may not feel rested when you wake up.
After your period, things in your body will settle down a bit, but not for long. Estrogen levels will rise the closer you get to your next ovulation period, which can then start to make you feel out of sorts again.
Ovulation itself can bring about a slew of different symptoms in different women, so it may not be unusual for you to feel sleepy during ovulation. Many women experience breat tenderness, cramps, or additional discharge among other things, mentioned Parents. Woman's Day also noted that some women can even feel themselves ovulating. Just before ovulation a follicle develops within the tissue of the ovary. When you ovulate, the follicle ruptures, causing fluid to be released into your abdominal cavity, which can be irritating or painful for some women.
There's a good amount of evidence that points to the fact that women have a harder time getting healthy, restful sleep than men, and a lot has to do with our monthly hormonal changes. But, even so, fatigue and insomnia shouldn't be so problematic that they are affecting your daily life. Many times, sleep issues can be a symptom of other physical or mental health challenges.
If you are having continuous trouble sleeping or experiencing excess fatigue, be sure to bring it up with your doctor in order to rule out any additional health or wellness issues that could be impacting your hormones or cycle. It might be better to bring it up sooner than later, as many times, health concerns like sleep get pushed to the wayside — but sleep is a major part of your health, and good sleep allows you and your body to function better overall.
Tracking and charting your cycle will help you understand symptoms and signs of how your changes throughout your own specific menstrual cycle. Creating good sleep habits can also help significantly during the periods of your cycle where sleep might be a bit more elusive.
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