During the phase that follows ovulation and precedes the period (called the luteal phase), many women have reported having sleep troubles, from insomnia, to frequently waking, to nightmares. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “this is especially common in women who have premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a more severe type of premenstrual syndrome.” 

While sleep quality may improve at the onset of the period, that’s when other more common period symptoms may strike, such as bloat, weight gain, and brain fog—all of which might just be exacerbated by that lack of sleep, Cabeca explains. 

Think about it: poor sleep interferes with gut health, which could lead to the ever-dreaded gas, bloating, and diarrhea that all too often coincides with your period. And if your period makes you feel foggy or forgetful, it could be the hormones, but it might also be in part to missing out on sleep. 

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