1 in 10 women of reproductive age in the UK has endometriosis, a chronic illness that causes the uterus lining to grow outside of the uterus.
Getting quality sleep is essential but even more so when you suffer from a chronic illness such as endometriosis. Unfortunately, many women who suffer from this condition end up with sleeping problems – otherwise known as painsomnia.
How to stop the most common side effects from keeping you awake at night
It’s a catch 22 situation – endometriosis interrupts sleep, but sleep deprivation can exacerbate the symptoms of endometriosis. So to help, MattressNextDay has shared how you can change your sleep routine to alleviate some of the most frequent symptoms of endometriosis that can flare up if you don’t get enough sleep.
Hot flashes & night sweats
Placing the body into pseudo-menopause is a common treatment for endometriosis. While it does have its benefits, a clear downside is that you may begin experiencing common symptoms of menopause – including hot flashes. Waking up in the middle of the night with soaked nightwear can be extremely uncomfortable and make it difficult to go back to sleep.
Making small adjustments to your sleep environment can help alleviate the effects of night sweats in particular. Create a cool environment in the bedroom and instead of sleeping with one thick duvet, consider multiple thin layers that can be removed or added as necessary. Choose breathable nightwear and keep a spare set close to hand if you would benefit from a quick change in the night, and keep a bottle of cool water on your bedside table.
The hormonal imbalances caused by endometriosis can result in migraines. Notorious for being painful and causing side effects such as nausea and light sensitivity, sleep is often recommended for those that suffer from them. However, those very symptoms can make finding sleep difficult.
If you suffer from migraines, maintaining a good sleep hygiene schedule is often key to combating its effect on your sleep quality. Things like keeping to a routine, light exercise, and avoiding screen time before bed are important factors in reducing the impact of migraines.
Frequent bathroom trips
Endometrial adhesions can cause painful urination and bowel movements, making it difficult to relieve yourself in a single trip to the bathroom fully. Repeat trips and irritation through the night can make a restful night’s sleep tricky to achieve.
Keeping a diary to track any problematic patterns can help you understand your body’s routine while in discomfort from endometrial adhesions. Following standard advice for reducing night-time bathroom trips, such as limiting fluid intake, can help reduce the frequency of the trips.
Heavy menstrual flows
Endometriosis often means a heavy menstrual flow as standard. It redefines what a heavy flow truly is for many, with some women complaining that even a thick pad can be rendered useless in under an hour. It stands to reason that having to change your pad or tampon multiple times a night will interrupt your sleep.
To combat this, perhaps the most significant change is your mindset. Follow standard advice for sleeping with a heavy flow, such as wearing the thickest pad possible and doubling up with a pair of period pants, but consider this – leak truly a problem if you expect them?
Running sheets under cold water before a normal wash won’t leave a stain, so swapping your bottom sheet out for a few nights could be a better solution than repeatedly waking to change.
MattressNextDay also has a guide on removing blood stains from your mattress.