The tired feeling is all too familiar the week leading up to and during our period. Our hormones are fluctuating, our iron levels are dropping, we’re even struggling to get a good night’s sleep! There are multiple reasons why our energy levels will feel low, and succumbing to our sugar cravings won’t help either…
Let’s find out what causes the PMS fatigue and how we can fight it.
Is it normal to feel tired on your period?
Yes, it is completely normal to be tired during your period, and in the lead up before. During prime PMS time our progesterone levels rises and peaks, and then falls, continuing to fall through our periods. This leaves you feeling the dreaded menstrual fatigue.
Fatigue before and during period: what causes it?
The roller coaster ride that is our hormones are one of the main culprits to causing the fatigue before and during our period, but other elements come into play too.
Craving the carbs or treats topped with refined sugars can be oh so tempting, and caving in does mean you’ll feel that rush of energy. But it’ll be swiftly followed by a sugar crash and you’ll want to go grab those biscuits all over again – it’s a vicious cycle.
low iron levels can leave us a little worse for wear at this time. Whether it’s down to your period, stress or not being able to get a good sleep, it’s good to keep an eye on your iron intake.
How to overcome weakness during period
1. Use a period tracker
Firstly, we recommend using a period tracking app. Not only does it predict when your next period will be, but you can track your emotions and energy levels. If you’re recognising patterns in how you feel pre-your-period, it’ll help you prepare. You can change how you exercise, your diet or your sleep routine to adapt to where you are in your menstrual cycle. Find out which period tracker app is right for you.
2. Eat the right foods at the right times
Cravings for fast food and sweet treats are hard to resist. There are better options that won’t leave you with the mid-afternoon sugar comedown encouraging you to nap. Pack in protein-based foods like pulses and vegetables. Go for iron-rich foods like spinach too – blood loss means being low in iron, which is also a cause for fatigue. Check out these 9 foods you should eat on your period to help cramps! Check out 9 foods you should eat on your period to help cramps!
Smaller but more frequent meals throughout the day will also help stop your body from slumping. Large portions mean your body is putting more energy into digesting – contributing to your tiredness – and there’s a longer wait for your next meal. It’s an age-old trick for a reason!
Using your diet and timings to control your energy levels will help to keep you going throughout the day!
3. Get a good night’s sleep
It sounds like an obvious solution, and it really is when you sleep right! People tend to forget the ‘winding down’ part of going to sleep and as a result; don’t get those heavenly 8 hours. Ensuring you’re fully rested is crucial to fighting pre-menstrual fatigue. Here’s how:
- Avoid caffeine in the second half of the day
- Turn off all screens an hour before you to go sleep
- Hit the hay at the same time every night
- Have a sanctuary that you want to sleep in
Find out how to stop period leaks at night and sleep more soundly.
For a guaranteed boost in energy, give exercise a go. Get the blood flowing and heart racing to release those endorphins. Exercise can also help to ease menstrual cramps if they’re stopping you from sleeping. Even building in some walks in the week before your period will help if you feel you can’t manage a full workout.
Find out whether you burn more calories on your period in our blog.
5. Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol
Feeling dehydrated often goes hand in hand with feeling tired. Make sure you’re glugging down at least 2 litres of water a day and staying refreshed. Choosing water over sugary drinks or caffeine means you won’t have to deal with the crashes or any disturbed sleeps!
Alcohol is a depressant which worsens feelings of tiredness. Try and avoid having that glass of wine with dinner or those after work drinks.
Find your nearest store
When to seek medical advice
If you’ve tried everything to fight the fatigue and still feel exhausted, check in with your doctor to see if there’s other issues that could be causing the problem.
Do you have any other tips and tricks that help with your menstrual fatigue? Let us know on know in the comments below 👇
The tiredness starts couple of says before the cycle begins with a very irritable mood. I am so tired, that I even get dark under eyes and bad skin conditions. I have started taking iron and calcium suppliments, but not helping much.
Any suggestions on what else I can do?
My doctor said to try evening primrose
I started taking supplements to help balance hormones and noticed a huge difference in my mood. I’m not nearly as irritable as I used to be. I used to have just about every possible PMS symptom but the supplements really helped to alleviate most of them.
Ana, what supplements are you taking? I’d love to know bc I also suffer from almost every pms symptom. It’s tough.
I believe calcium blocks the absorption of iron. I am anemic and was told to take my iron with vitamin c as it enhances absorption.
its very hepful
Love what you said about staying hydrated. It definitely energizes you. Spring water especially, I find. We’re in southern Ontario and since we’re close to the forest terrain, there are lots of natural springs. We get our water from Cedar Springs and we love it. It’s so good when I’m feeling exhausted.
Oooh that sounds amazing! We love staying hydrated – especially on our period!
I feel lot of weakness during periods .plz give me tricks ..almost 7 day before periods I suffering with pain
Hey! We’re sorry you’re experiencing feelings of weakness. We recommend that you listen to your body and get plenty of rest. If the weakness is persistent or is concerning you, we recommending visit a doctor if you can to further investigate why this is happening.
I sleep a lot during my period. Is there a way I could avoid that because it affects my studies especially when it occurs during my exams.
He Victoria, thanks for your comment. It’s important that you get plenty of rest during your period if you feel fatigued, but if the feelings of tiredness are interfering with your day-to-day life, we recommend speaking to a healthcare professional.