Can Your Period Make You Tired?
You know that time of the month where you're on your period, and your friend calls you to go out on a Friday, and really, you just want to stay at home and chill with Netflix and wine? Then on the weekend, your other friend asks you to come out for a run with her, but really, you just can't be bothered? Yep, we've all been there. We blame it on having our period, but can your menstruation actually make you extremely tired and fatigued?
Short answer is Yes, it can! You're not just imagining it.
You are not alone with the thought "period makes me tired and weak", it is something every woman goes through. Below are a few explanations on why we can feel tired and weak before, during, and after your period, and how to combat these so you feel refreshed again!
Iron Deficiency Anaemia
If you constantly have a heavy flow, then you may have a risk of anaemia, where your blood is lower than normal in red blood cells or you don’t have enough haemoglobin in your blood. This means you are low in iron which is very important for carrying oxygen around your body so that your body has energy and can function. Your body can feel tired and lethargic if your tissues can’t recover and get the oxygen that it needs to function. This can lead to extreme fatigue right before period, during and after your period. Treatment can be as simple as incorporating more meat into your diet, or if you’re a vegetarian, then iron supplements or extra leafy greens! Of course, in more serious cases, please make sure you consult a doctor to eliminate any concerns.
About two weeks before your period starts, your body gets ready for a potential baby, by sending an egg down the fallopian tube. If no sperm goes through, therefore no pregnancy and no baby, then your hormones that were ready to create a baby won’t be needed, and their levels drop quickly. The two main hormones are oestrogen and progesterone. These usually balance each other out, but sometimes one needs to be more dominant depending on ovulation time. When these drop up and down, the energy that was ready for creating a baby, goes from high energy, to no energy, and this shift in gear can creates other changes, which will be exhausting for your body. This internal effect can make you feel like you have no energy, rundown, bloated, sluggish, and just blaaah.
The fluctuating hormones will affect your energy levels, and sometimes we’ll end up craving and reaching for those not so healthy foods. Snacking on sugary, salty foods (who doesn’t want to treat yo-self with pizza, ice-cream and chocolate?) will give you an instant energy boost, as your blood glucose spikes, but after a short while, it will crash and burn, and you’ll end up feeling fatigued and tired again.
Lack of Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation took a poll in 2007 showing that a third of women deal with disturbed sleep patterns when they're on their period, leaving them exhausted during the day. This can be caused by perhaps napping during the day (when energy levels crash) which can then mess you up for that night. Regardless, some women sleep a lot during period. Some women might also not be able to sleep throughout the night due to painful cramps, or the constant feel of a heavy flow, and potential leak. Constantly going to the bathroom to change or check your tampon or pad is not relaxing at all, and the next day you’ll probably feel the impact of not getting enough rest.
Not Exercising Enough
It’s very easy to stop your exercising routine when you have the excuse of being on your period. We know we’ve used it in school to be excused from gym class once in a while! But by actually avoiding exercise, and being up and about, you will definitely feel more lazy and lethargic. It’s proven that exercise will provide you with more energy as it gets the blood pumping, moving oxygen around your body faster, and increases your endorphin levels. Endorphins are chemicals produced in your body which when released, produced feelings of well-being, excitement, and even pain relief! By lifting up your spirits and mood, you will feel more energized and ready for anything!
At the end of the day, your body is going through some extreme changes, something that men will rarely ever experience or understand. If you feel the need to watch Netflix, drink tea, clutch a hot water bottle to your stomach, and moan about your period, then YOU CAN. Your body is working hard, and if you need to rest, then listen to your body and take it easy. If you want to experience the brief happiness that comes with eating junk food, then go for it! It’s that one week a month where you don’t have to feel guilty for treating yo-self!
Can your period make you tired? Absolutely, so have a rest!