Does Taking Birth Control Affect Your Sleep?

Birth control has several benefits beyond pregnancy prevention, says WebMD. It can regulate periods, relieve painful cramps and PMS, reduce the risk of anemia, clear acne, relieve endometriosis, prevent ovarian cysts, and even reduce the risk of certain cancers.

However, it can also cause certain undesirable side effects. BWell lists nausea, breast tenderness or enlargement, headaches, spotting, missed periods, weight gain, mood changes, decreased sex drive, vaginal discharge, and contact lens intolerance among the minor side effects associated with birth control use. Rarely, people might also experience certain serious side effects, including blood clots, high blood pressure, liver tumors, breast cancer, and cervical cancer.

But, what about sleep? Can birth control cause any issues with how well you rest or how tired you might feel the next day? The answer is maybe. "Some hormonal birth control options have stated that fatigue is a possible side effect," said OB-GYN, Dr. Heather Irobunda, who spoke with Healthline

Why hormonal birth control can make you feel tired

Dr. Heather Irobunda told Healthline that vaginal rings, subdermal implants, and birth control pills all list fatigue as a potential side effect. Another board-certified OB-GYN, Dr. Idries Abdur-Rahman, further noted in the article that it's the hormones in these that can make you feel tired. Higher-dose birth control pills and Depo-Provera shots are the worst offenders since they have a greater amount of hormones in them, Abdur-Rahman explained. 

Verywell Health reported that hormonal birth control is also linked to problems with sleep. In fact, they cited a 2020 study that showed women taking hormonal contraceptives reported having worse sleep, insomnia, and daytime sleepiness. Progestogen birth control seemed to have a greater effect than combined hormonal birth control. Although it is unconfirmed, the study authors suggested that progesterone might be the culprit behind these issues. They further speculated that taking birth control early in the day could lead to daytime sleepiness while taking it at night might be beneficial in helping women sleep.