We’re already faced with daily stress that threatens our health and mindspace on a regular basis, so already if you’re dealing with period pains medically known as dysmenorrhea, it’s not uncommon. However, like most things in life our lifestyle habits could either mitigate or worsen our painful period (excuse the pun) so I hate to break it to you, but you could be making that time of the month even more gruelling by committing several offenses that you shouldn’t be.
Here are some ideas:
1. You work out *too* much
If you’re training for a marathon or triathlon, all the applause. However, that daily rigorous exercising and physical stress can also lead to hormonal imbalances.
But, before you write off your period as an excuse to pass off the gym, light to moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day can actually relieve your PMS struggles. Everything in moderation is the key!
2. You’re too stressed
Stress? There’s levels to this. There’s being stressed and there’s becoming synonymous with stress. If you find that you’ve been the latter lately, you might want to tone it down because it can really mess with your period and your cycle. Stress causes your body to release cortisol—the fight or flight hormone—and that constant state can change your menstrual habits, and in many cases, cause irregular or a loss of menses, says M.D., author of V Is for Vagina.
3. You don’t have a normal sleep schedule
We know, we know: Eight hours of sleep just isn’t always possible. Buuuut, one study published in the journal Health Care Women International suggests that sleep disturbances — taken from data working with nurses and their ever-changing shifts — can cause menstrual irregularities. In a nut shell—without enough sleep, you could experience longer periods.
4. You drink too much coffee
One big emotional downer to PMS is that it can cause things such as anxiety, tension, insomnia, and irritability. And when you drink nature’s answer to getting out of bed and *actually* functioning, you could the heighten these symptoms and regular anxiety could really interfere with your day-to-day activities as it has a way of almost choking you up that you’re unable to get anything done and if you’re trying to take over the world, that’s not good.
5. You’re always travelling
It all comes back to your sleep schedule—especially if you’re flying, sailing, teleporting internationally when your melatonin production levels are off their normalcy. Your body will adjust to your location, but in the meantime, expect delayed periods and possibly even more painful periods as your body like a self adjusting clock, needs to adapt.