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The Best Sleeping Positions for Period Cramp Relief

Find out which position you should be sleeping in to help relieve cramps during your period.

Has your period ever kept you from sleeping?

Mine sure has. I’m an adult and still cry because of cramps, and sometimes they hurt so much that I use my dachshund as a heating pad. Not to mention, I don’t particularly enjoy waking in pools of my own blood, and neither does my dachshund. Your period may be gentle and easy to sleep on, but in my case, sleeping with my period deserves its own season of American Horror Story — and I know I’m not the only one.

“Sleep quality tends to be poorer during your period, so you are not alone in the plight to ease nighttime cramping,” Jessica Grossman, MD.

Don’t fret, my sleep enthusiasts, there is good news for all who menstruate. It turns out certain sleeping positions may help solve our period-sleep problem.

The Fetal Position

Glamour spoke with Lisa Mindley, MD, who told the mag that “sleeping in the fetal position takes pressure off the abdominal muscles,” as it causes the “the skeletal muscles around your abdomen” to relax. Basically, the less strain there is on your abdomen, the less pain and cramping you will experience. Jennifer Wider, MD, concurred, telling Glamour, “Many women report that the fetal position can help relieve cramps.”

But that’s not all: Sleeping in fetal position can help prevent leakage, too! According to research conducted by the period-tracking app Clue, sleeping in fetal position — with your legs pressed together — makes you less likely to leak, even on your heaviest of days.

But what if you don’t like sleeping on your side? Well, that’s fine, too — but if you’re worried about leakage, try to avoid sleeping face-down. Lying on your stomach can put pressure on your abdomen, which causes more blood to come out, Dr. Wider told Glamour. So, if you’re prone to leakage or just really like your sheets, stick to sleeping on your side.

Child’s Pose

OK, so this is similar to the fetal position, but a bit different. According to Dr. Grossman, sleeping in child’s pose, which involves folding forward and putting your head on your mattress with your knees curled beneath you, can relieve cramps.

In fact, yoga in general can be an effective way to fight cramps, particularly in poses that involve folding in a way that releases your lower back, according to Krissy Jones of Sky Ting Yoga. Krissy previously told Teen Vogue that forward folds, supine twists, bound angle pose, and legs up the wall can all help ease cramps. You may not be able to sleep in all those positions, but they can help reduce cramping before bed.

On Your Back

Sleeping on your back allows you to massage your abdomen before you fall asleep, which Grossman said can help ease cramps. Using aroma therapy with your massage, she said, can also help the pain go down.

According to Healthline, lavender and cinnamon oil may help ease your cramps if you use them during an abdomen massage, though there’s not a ton of clinically significant evidence to back up the effectiveness.

Take Steps Before Bed

Before you actually get into bed, Dr. Grossman suggested taking time for a little self-care to help ease cramps in general. Things like taking a bath or working out can both ease period cramps before you get into bed, she said, allowing you a restful night’s sleep.

There’s still no definite cure for PMS, but at least we now know a way to sleep a little bit sounder. So, until PMS medicine makes itself known, you can find me in fetal position — hopefully fast asleep this time. –THE MALAYA POST

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