What is the reason for being sleepy before menstruation (menstruation)? Introducing the causes and characteristics of drowsiness due to PMS

"I'm too sleepy to do anything during the day"

"Is my sleepiness caused by PMS?"

"I want to know how to control sleepiness"

Are you having this kind of problem?

In this article, we will explain in detail about PMS and how to deal with daytime sleepiness. As you read on, you'll learn:

  • What is PMS drowsiness?
  • Possibility of drowsiness due to non-PMS
  • How to deal with painful sleepiness

If you are interested in how to relieve PMS symptoms such as irritation, please read it.

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What is PMS drowsiness?


Are you troubled by premenstrual sleepiness and worried that this sleepiness is abnormal? That drowsiness could be a symptom of PMS.

This section describes the following items.

  • Causes of drowsiness before menstruation
  • Characteristics of drowsiness due to PMS

Let's take a closer look at each.

Causes of drowsiness before menstruation

Excessive premenstrual sleepiness is one of the symptoms of PMS. PMS refers to symptoms such as drowsiness, irritability, headaches, and stomach bloating that occur about a week before menstruation. Sleepiness due to PMS is mainly affected by female hormones, body temperature, and autonomic nerves.

Here are some of the causes of sleepiness before menstruation (menstruation).

changes in female hormones

PMS sleepiness is related to the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

After ovulation, the rapidly increasing female hormone (progesterone) is broken down to produce a substance that causes sleepiness (alloprogesterone).

Therefore, it causes severe sleepiness before menstruation.

change in body temperature

In addition, the human body is designed to become sleepy when the body temperature drops.

Since progesterone has the effect of raising the body temperature, the body temperature is high before menstruation, which makes it difficult to fall asleep at night and the quality of sleep tends to deteriorate, resulting in feeling sleepy during the day.

disorder of the autonomic nervous system

While sleeping, the parasympathetic nerves that work to rest the body are dominant.

However, before menstruation, the secretion of estrogen, which dominates the parasympathetic nervous system, decreases, so the mind and body continue to be active.

As a result, it becomes difficult to sleep.

Characteristics of drowsiness due to PMS

Excessive daytime sleepiness before your monthly period may be a symptom of PMS. It is very difficult to endure intense sleepiness that interferes with work and housework.

Some people feel as sleepy during the day as if they were taking sleeping pills.

The timing of daytime sleepiness is limited to before and during menstruation, and if you feel tired, headache, irritated, etc., it may be a symptom of PMS. If you are sleepy due to PMS, you can use a low-dose pill to balance your hormones and alleviate daytime sleepiness.

There are also treatments that use Chinese herbal medicines that are effective for PMS symptoms to improve the constitution and improve sleepiness.

If daytime sleepiness does not accompany your menstrual cycle, it is possible that you have another disease, so it is recommended that you consult an internal medicine or psychiatrist as soon as possible .

Also read the following articles
5 ways to improve your sleep during menopause

When sleepiness is caused by something other than PMS

If sleepiness isn't caused by PMS, it may be related to sleep deprivation or other medical conditions.

For example, stress can make you sleepy during the day if the quality of your sleep at night is low. Other illnesses include sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and depression.

Lack of sleep

Lack of sleep at night is one of the causes of daytime sleepiness. Even if you think you're getting enough sleep, poor sleep quality can lead to sleep deprivation.

One of the causes of poor sleep quality and lack of sleep is stress.

When you live a stressful life, the balance of the autonomic nerve is disturbed and it becomes difficult to fall asleep. For example, even if the sympathetic nervous system is dominant at night, it will not be possible to switch to the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows the body to rest. As a result, the body is not ready for sleep and the quality of sleep is reduced.

possible illness

Diseases that can cause daytime sleepiness are sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and depression.

Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes repeated episodes of apnea during sleep. Because the symptoms occur during sleep, it is rare for people to notice the disease themselves, and it is believed that there are as many as 3 million potential patients.

Narcolepsy is a disorder characterized by sudden, recurring attacks of unbearable sleepiness that interfere with schoolwork and work. It is a rare sleep disorder with a higher prevalence in men than in women. The cause of this disease has not yet been clarified, and no cure has been established.

Depression is a medium to long-term condition in which a person feels extremely depressed and has a loss of interest and pleasure, which interferes with daily life and work. Depression is thought to be likely to cause impaired secretion of melatonin (sleep hormone) and serotonin (wakefulness hormone), which can make you suddenly feel sleepy during the day.

How to deal with severe sleepiness that interferes with work

When you feel abnormally sleepy enough to interfere with your work, there are simple things you can do yourself to take a nap or push a key point.

If you're feeling unbearably sleepy, take a nap and you'll be refreshed.

Let's take a closer look at each solution.

take a nap

If you are very sleepy during the day, one way to do it is to take the plunge and take a nap.

If you sleep deeply for a long time, you will feel dizzy after waking up, so a nap of no more than 30 minutes is a guideline. Instead of lying down, sleep on your back at your desk or leaning back in your chair to wake up refreshed.

The best time to take a nap is between noon and 2:00 pm. Getting into the habit of taking a 30-minute nap during your lunch break will help alleviate sleepiness in the afternoon.

Avoid napping after 4pm, as napping too late can make it difficult to fall asleep at night.

push the pressure point

Daytime sleepiness can also be treated with pressure points. There is an acupuncture point called gokoku, which can suppress drowsiness. The acupuncture point is the depression on the back of the hand where the bones of the thumb and index finger meet.

To press the points, spread your thumb and forefinger wide apart and pinch them between the thumb and forefinger of your other hand.

At that time, if I feel the pain so much that I can't stand it at that moment, I can press the point. Give it a try if you feel unbearably sleepy during the day.

Drowsiness measures and prevention methods

person in the morning sun

Here are three things you can do on a daily basis to deal with PMS sleepiness.

  • When I wake up in the morning, I bathe in the morning sun
  • Review your behavior before going to bed
  • Improve your sleep environment

Let’s take a closer look at each of the ways to deal with PMS sleepiness.

When I wake up in the morning, I bathe in the morning sun

As a countermeasure against daytime sleepiness, let's be conscious of waking up at a regular time in the morning and bathing in sunlight.

Exposure to the morning sun resets the body clock and suppresses the secretion of melatonin (sleep hormone) 1) .

Melatonin is suppressed by light stimulation such as the morning sun, so it can alleviate daytime sleepiness.

When melatonin secretion is suppressed during the day, more melatonin is secreted at night, making it easier to fall asleep at night. When you wake up in the morning, open the curtains and get ready in the morning sun to help alleviate daytime sleepiness and improve the quality of your sleep at night.

Review your behavior before going to bed

Daytime sleepiness is also related to what you do at night before going to bed. No matter how long you sleep, if the quality of sleep is low, you cannot say that you slept well. Here are some things to keep in mind about what you do before going to bed:

Stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime

If you eat just before going to bed, your gastrointestinal movements will be active for digestion, making it difficult to fall asleep.

Finish bathing 1.5 to 2 hours before going to bed

Drowsiness occurs when the internal temperature of the body drops. Take a bath 1.5 to 2 hours before going to bed so that your body temperature cools down just before you go to bed.

easy yoga before bed

Stretching, including yoga, has the function of lowering the deep body temperature and improving sleep . Do it in bed before going to bed.

Avoid using your smartphone or computer before going to bed

Exposure to blue light from smartphones and computers suppresses the secretion of melatonin (sleep hormone) 2) .

If you have to look at your smartphone before going to bed, try adjusting the brightness and color of the screen in the settings of your smartphone .

Improve your sleep environment

In order to improve the quality of sleep, there are conditions such as light, sound, temperature and humidity in the bedroom that are suitable for a good night's sleep. Let's check what kind of environment is suitable for sleeping specifically for each item.


When you go to bed, be careful not to expose yourself to blue light from your smartphone or computer. It is said that exposure to blue light promotes the secretion of melatonin (sleep hormone), making it difficult to fall asleep .


Before going to bed at night, try to reduce the stimulus that wakes you up by blocking out the TV or other sounds as much as possible.

temperature humidity

The environment in the bedding during sleep should be around 33°C in temperature and around 50% in humidity . The temperature and humidity change depending on the season, so use an air conditioner or other device to set the temperature and humidity that you feel comfortable with.

Encourage nighttime sleep with herbal medicines that are effective for sleep

Herbal prescriptions for sleep don't have immediate effect, but they slowly improve your constitution. Since the body environment is changed in the direction of use and the constitution gradually changes to sleep, it is possible to continue without feeling discomfort even before menstruation, which changes the body significantly. Here are some recommended herbal remedies that will help you get a good night's sleep.

  • Kamishoyosan: Effective for cold sensitivity, fatigue, irregular menstruation, and insomnia such as PMS.
  • Saikokaryukotsuboreito: effective for stress-induced insomnia
  • Keishibukuryogan: Effective for insomnia due to age such as hot flashes and menopause

The necessary ingredients for Chinese herbal medicine change depending on the constitution and physical condition of each individual. Therefore, please consult a pharmacist before purchasing. It is safest to go to the hospital to receive a prescription, but for those who are too busy to go to the hospital, it is also recommended to receive a service that allows you to consult a pharmacist online.


It's so hard to endure the abnormal sleepiness before your period every month.

Even though you have work and housework to do, if you are too sleepy to move your hands, you will fall into self-loathing.

This time, I explained the following contents.

  • If you have headaches, drowsiness, and irritability along with strong daytime sleepiness before menstruation, you may have PMS symptoms.
  • Let's take measures against daytime sleepiness with naps and pressure points
  • Improve your sleep environment at night to reduce daytime sleepiness

Let's devise daily life and actions and environment before going to bed to alleviate daytime sleepiness.

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1) Zizhen Xie 1, Fei Chen 1, William A Li 2, Xiaokun Geng 3, Changhong Li 1, Xiaomei Meng 1, Yan Feng 1, Wei Liu 1, Fengchun Yu, A review of sleep disorders and melatonin effect of melatonin on circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders 561,1 2017 Jun https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28460563/

2) Jing-Wen He 1, Zhi-Hao Tu 2, Lei Xiao 1, Tong Su 1, Yun-Xiang Tang, Effect of restricting bedtime mobile phone use on sleep, arousal, mood, and working memory: A randomized pilot trial Discussion7 , 1 Feb 2020 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32040492/