It’s a festival we can all get into the celebratory spirit for. The Festival of Sleep Day was created for those of us that would like to get some “shut eye” and last minute relaxation after a gruelling few weeks of festivities. After the Christmas shopping and present opening, sorting through allll of that recycling and the New Year celebrations, it’s time to celebrate some more — in “Sleep Land”. Observe this wacky and unofficial holiday on January 3rd.
Living with reproductive/ hormonal health problems such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibroids and even thyroiditis can be stressful. Managing at home, work, with friends and family as well as many juggling the difficult holiday season can be a challenge. At times you can feel as if you have no control over the pain, bloating, inflammation and hot flushes that can plague you and don’t always feel able to cope with it.
We’ve been there…. some days we still are there! We know it’s important for you to rest properly before your body forces you to so how can you optimise your restful celebrations for the Festival of Sleep?
Why is Sleep So Important?
Experiencing pain can lead to feelings of anxiety, fear and exhaustion especially where there is no obvious cause which is the case for millions of women suffering with unexplained pelvic area pain.
While we sleep, our bodies are busy repairing cells and regulating our hormones, among other processes. Leptin is a key hormone which has been identified as an important link between sleep and fertility.
Leptin affects ovulation, and women need adequate sleep to promote the production of leptin. When leptin production is compromised due to lack of quality sleep you menstrual cycle can be disrupted.
Dr. Tracy Latz, a psychiatrist in North Carolina notes that insomnia affects our hormones and potentially triggers premature ageing. Your sleeping pattern affects your fertility hormones including progesterone, estrogen, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
Getting in our 8 hours a night is crucial to promoting good hormonal balance and promoting positive reproductive health particularly in women suffering with inflammatory diseases such as endometriosis and adenomyosis.
Sleeping through the Pain
Some days you may feel pain almost all the time; it is there in the background like a mosquito lurking in the dark waiting to pounce. When it gets worse and flares up it can be difficult to cope. It is important that you learn to spot the things that are making your pain worse and one of those things can be lack of quality rest. When we don’t get enough sleep it make us irritable, short tempered and can lead to hormonal fluctuations making us feel more sensitive than usual. Try getting in some chamomile, ginger or turmeric tea 30 minutes before bed this will help to fight any inflammation and boost your lymphatic system to help drain any excess toxins from the body while you rest.
Tip! Make sure your heat pad is ready to go when you’re preparing for your bed time or duvet day routine.
All Plumped Up and Nowhere To Go
We cannot stress the importance of a decent pillow! Make sure your pillow game is strong in 2017 to maximise your sleep potential! We recommend using a c shaped pillow or a pregnancy pillow. You can find these around the internet for fairly good prices! They can help to support your back, and help to elevate your legs and support your stomach if you’re lying on your side. They’re great for those days when endo belly take hold or if you’re struggling with prominent fibroids which cause a lot of distention and discomfort.
- Timing is everything! Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Don’t sleep in on the weekends for longer than an hour if you can help it.
- Don’t be too nap happy! You may be getting too much sleep during the day, upsetting your sleep cycle if you’re napping regularly throughout the day. Sometime it’s unavoidable but if you can power through then keep it going even if you do a restful activity such as meditation or reading a book to keep your mind active.
- Try to exercise daily, but not too close to bedtime as this can create a surge in adrenaline which will keep you up at night!
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes. Talk to your doctor to see if any of your medications interfere with your sleep.
- Start a relaxing bedtime routine. Take a warm bath and have a light snack an hour or two before bedtime. Dim the lights and keep your bedroom cool.
- If you still have trouble sleeping, see a sleep expert.
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