Best Sleeping Position to Help Relieve Period Cramps

Periods are the absolute worst! Sure, you don’t need me to tell you that, you already know.


One of the things I find most annoying about that time of the month is how it ruins my sleep. I’m one of those people who needs at least eight hours a night to feel human and my period simply takes a wrecking ball to that.


This missed sleep then further feeds my lack of emotional control the following day. That makes me irritable which I think then affects my sleep again. It’s a whole cruel cycle thing!


There are a number of reasons periods ruin my sleep. Firstly pads are just too uncomfortable; then tampons require you to get your thinking cap on and work out the exact timings you’re going to fall asleep. Which is often impossible. Then there's the risk of leaks. Nobody likes waking up in a puddle of their own blood. Nobody!  


That’s not even the worst thing which seems amazing to say because waking up in a puddle of your own blood should always be the worst thing. But, no. The worst thing is the dreaded cramps. Yep, the cramps are by far the biggest problem. At least for me. If your period is of the mild variety you might not have experienced the joy of cramps keeping you awake all night. Believe me, it’s not fun.


So what can we do? Apart from just weep that is. Well, adjusting your sleeping position can help quite a lot. Read on below and I’ll get into it a little further




The Fetal Position


Ah, the good old fetal position. You may remember this one from that time you spent nine months as a fetus growing inside your mother bear. Glamour asked a bunch of experts what they would recommend as the best position to relieve period cramps, and they all agreed that the fetal position was the one to go with.


If the name isn’t ringing a bell, the fetal position is basically when you curl into a ball on your side, with your knees pulled up to your chest.


Gynecologist Lisa Lindley, M.D., stated that "sleeping in the fetal position takes pressure off the abdominal muscles." Fellow doctor Jennifer Wider, M.D., agreed, adding that, "many women report that the fetal position can help relieve cramps."


Dr. Wider believe the fetal position helps because it allows the skeletal muscles around the abdomen to loosen up and relax completely, a reduction in tension means less pain, fewer cramps and voila, more sleep.


Less leakage


The good news doesn’t end there for the fetal position at least according to research conducted by the period tracking app Clue. They claim that sleeping in the fetal position, with your legs pressed together, means you are much less likely to experience leakage, even on your heavy flow days. You hear that sheets? Good news!


If leaking is a big problem for you and you find it too uncomfortable to sleep in pads or tampons, then there is another option in the form of menstrual cups or specially designed period panties.


Another thing to think about if you are prone to leaking a lot is your sheets. Choosing bedding that is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and simply easier to clean and can take a load off your mind. Not sure where to start? Well, have a quick look at this handy guide.