6 Tips on How to Relieve Period Cramps in Bed
Every time life hurls you a three-speed curveball, you always get to dodge it in time. And whenever the universe throws you some lemons, you make some lemonade—or add tequila and salt. Aren’t you just Little Miss Sunshine who deals with most things in life with a wink and a smile? But when it comes to that time of the month, and you’re having your menstrual cramps, you can’t help but feel more ballistic than optimistic. You’ll need more than just a cheerful disposition to get you from Day 0 to Day 7 of your period—and then some. Stay all carefree and lighthearted—even on your period—with these easy-to-do pro tips on how to relieve period cramps in bed.
But first, the lowdown on period cramps
Although they can be painful and bothersome, menstrual cramps are all too common. Typically, 80% of women experience throbbing and aching pains in their lower abdomen, together with one or several PMS symptoms, such as spotty skin, some bloating, and headaches. However, when the pain makes you double over or if you experience heavier bleeding than you’re used to, it’d be best to give your doctor a call.
The Stress Connection
The extra shots of hormones and hormone-like substances that regulate your menstrual cycle can work up both your body and emotions. Now, if you’re anxious over other things in addition to your PMS symptoms, imagine how stressed your body can get.
Research shows that lifestyle stress can worsen or even partially cause menstrual cramps. The findings report that dysmenorrhea or pain associated with menstruation, such as abdominal and lower back pain, is more common in women who are highly stressed. If you’re tense, your muscles tend to get all tight and tense, which worsens the pain from uterine contractions.
How to Relieve Period Cramps in Bed
This is one matter you can actually take lying down. Whether you’re sleeping or simply relaxing in bed, giving yourself time to rest can help you unwind not just physically but also emotionally and psychologically. When your mind and body receive some TLC through rest, your brain releases endorphins that act as natural painkillers. Your pelvic muscles become more relaxed and hurt less. Here are some of the best ways that will enable you to destress and help you with how to relieve period cramps in bed.
#1. But first, some prepping
Prepping for bed is important to condition your body and mind to slow down and ensure a good night’s rest. When you sleep, the stress hormone cortisol goes down. At the same time, your growth hormone, which your body needs to repair itself, goes up. With better sleep, you wake up feeling more energized and relaxed.
To create a good bedtime routine, decide when you should be in dreamland, so you can estimate the time your whole ritual will take. Start by soaking in a warm bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil. Wind down with a good book or relaxing music. Get rid of your electronic gadgets an hour or so before bedtime. Don’t forget to set up your bedroom for sleep. Turn your thermostat down to 60 to 71 Fahrenheit and bring down your blackout curtains.
#2. Sip some tea
Sipping a cuppa in bed can also be a great part of your bedtime routine. The warmth from the tea can further relax you and your muscles to help ease you into bedtime.
A 2019 review revealed that chamomile tea has therapeutic properties that can treat PMS. Chamomile is anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and anti-anxiety as well. Fennel extract from fennel tea, on the other hand, has also been found to possibly relieve menstrual pain or, at the very least, reduce heavy bleeding.
Other kinds of tea that can provide relief are ginger, dill, cinnamon, and turmeric. If you’re taking any meds, see a doc first before getting your herbal stock.
#3. Pose while in repose
Studies show that yoga poses can ease menstrual pain. If there’s one pose you should try in bed, it’s the fetal position. Curling up like a fetus is the best sleeping position to get relief from menstrual cramps.
Lying on your stomach can put pressure on your abdominal muscles. With the fetal pose, you can relieve the abdominal muscles from the tension of being pressed down. The nearby pelvic muscles also become more relaxed when their neighboring muscles are more chill. And this allows contractions to hurt less.
To do the fetal pose, roll to your side and draw your knees to your chest. Rest your head on your lower arm with your upper arm wrapped around your legs.
#4. Raise the temp with heat therapy
According to one research, using a heat wrap can actually be more effective than OTC meds, like acetaminophen, in relieving menstrual cramps. There is also that bonus of less fatigue and fewer mood swings when you use heat therapy.
Abdominal heat patches are convenient to use and are even available at your local drugstores. You can also use electric heating pads or hot water bottles.
#5. Get “deep” with breathing exercises
Exercise has plenty of benefits regardless of where you do them. But there’s no doubt that deep breathing in bed is one of the more popular exercises. Deep breathing exercises help offset the effects of oxygen deprivation on the tissues (which can worsen menstrual cramps) by increasing blood flow. Controlled and consistent breathing also calms the nerves and muscles.
One deep breathing exercise that anyone can do is the 4-7-8 breathing technique, where you breathe through your nose. Begin by relaxing your jaw. This should cause your lips to slightly be apart. Exhale in a whooshing sound. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7, and exhale for 8. Try this for at least five minutes, or you can keep doing this until you fall off to sleep.
#6. Go worry-free with period underwear
When you’re always worried about leakages, it will definitely not help in your “destressing campaign.” Also, when you’re deep into your REM sleep patterns, and they suddenly get disrupted because of that super uncomfortable wet feeling from leaks, you can get even more stressed. Take out the leakages, and you’ll be less anxious and more likely to get relief from menstrual cramps.
Do away with the anxiety over leakages by using period wear. Ruby Love’s period hipster or high-waist underwear, for instance, has Dri-Tech Mesh technology that helps stop all front, side, and back leaks to help ensure maximum peace of mind.
Ruby Love period apparel can give you the brilliant solution to help address both anxiety and menstrual cramps. It features a discreet, built-in absorbent, and organic cotton liner that is perfectly angled from all sides to collect your flow. Whether you’re a “mover” or a log-like sleeper, Ruby Love period apparel can give you maximum protection against leaks and stains, even as you toss and turn. Shop here for our collection of period sleepwear, underwear, and activewear, and have the time of your month!