The Real Reason You Get So Tired When You're On Your Period

You know the feeling: You're on your period, and you're absolutely exhausted. But why? Aside from the other fatigue-inducing symptoms most women experience (cramps, bloating, headache), something else is making you need a daytime nap or two. In the ten days leading up to your period, your body is preparing a perfect place for an egg (it hopes a fertilized one) to embed in the lining of your uterus where it can start to grow a fetus. When your body discovers there's no fertilized egg, your hormone levels plummet, and until they increase again, you're going to feel tired (via Vytal Health). 

About two weeks after your period, you'll start ovulating again, and your energy levels will be at their highest. But what should you do in the meantime when you want to collapse into bed, but you have things to do like work or school? 

How to feel less tired on your period

Doing everything to make sure your energy is at its peak — getting a good night's sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly — will help you feel less tired no matter what happens. Nicole Telfer, Science Content Producer at the period tracking app Clue, tells Cosmopolitan that many women report having disrupted sleep during their periods, which could be from cramps, headaches, increased fatigue, or insomnia. Taking a pain reliever can help you get uninterrupted sleep.

Telfer further explains that sleep disturbances like hypersomnia, fatigue, disturbing dreams, and insomnia are more likely if you have a premenstrual mood disorder. Try using light therapy to help alleviate those symptoms. If you have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you're more likely to have sleep apnea or snoring, which will also affect your sleep quality. Ask your primary care physician for a referral to a sleep specialist, so you can get some expert help.

And if you're still tired and nothing is helping, snuggle up in bed with some chocolate and your favorite book. Sometimes rest is the best medicine.