Sleep disruption

Young women are more likely to experience sleep disruption in the days leading up to their menstrual period; according to a new study that will be presented Saturday at ENDO 2019, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in New Orleans, La. “Sleep is more disrupted in the several days directly prior to menses in young healthy women. “Increasing sleep disruption was  in the late luteal phase; which corresponds with the days directly prior to menses.”
Menstrual phase affected sleep efficiency; wake after sleep onset (WASO); number of awakenings per night, and sleep fragmentation index, in keeping with increased sleep disruption in the late luteal phase. Compared with the early follicular phase, sleep efficiency decreased by 3.3 %, WASO increased by 15 minutes, and the number of awakenings per night increased by three in the late luteal phase.

Regular menstrual cycles

Kim and her colleagues collected daily sleep data from 10 healthy women between the ages of 18 and 28 who had regular menstrual cycles. The researchers tracked the women’s sleep during two of their cycles. The women wore actigraphic sensors on their wrist to record patterns of activity and rest over 578 sleep episodes and they provided morning urine samples for measurement of concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH); estrone-3-glucuronide (E1G), and pregnanediol-3-glucuronide (PDG).
All participants ovulated in both cycles. The women also completed five-day diets during the early follicular phases of each cycle. The diet during one cycle contained neutral energy availability, and the diet during the other cycle contained 55 % fewer calories. Menstrual cycle lengths were standardized to 14-day follicular and 14-day luteal phases; centered on the day of ovulation.

The ovarian hormones

It is likely these effects are mediate by the dynamic changes in ovarian hormones across the menstrual cycle. Their study that E1G was linked with more awakenings; PDG was linked with a trend toward higher sleep fragmentation index. According to the National Sleep Foundation; 25 % to 33 % of menstruating women in the United States have reported more disrupted sleep during the weeks before and/or during menses.
This study by Kim and colleagues validates these perceptions using objective measures; further documents the negative impact of dieting on sleep. “These findings suggest that women need to be particularly cognizant of practicing good sleep hygiene in the week before menses and with decreased caloric intake.