Young women are more likely to experience sleep interruption in the days leading up to their menstrual period, according to a new study presented Saturday at ENDO 2019, the annual session of the Endocrine Society.
” Sleep is more disrupted in the several days immediately prior to menses in young healthy girls, ” says Anne E. Kim, a medical student at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, in a release. “Increased sleep interruption was found in the late luteal stage, 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 indicator, in keeping with increased sleep interruption in the late luteal stage. Compared with the early follicular phase, sleep efficiency decreased by 3.3%, WASO increased by 15 minutes, and number of arouses per night increased by three in the late luteal phase.
Kim and her colleagues collected daily sleep data from 10 healthy girls between the ages of 18 and 28 who had regular menstrual cycle. The researchers tracked the women’s sleep during two of their cycles. The girls wore actigraphic sensors on their wrist to record patterns of activity and rest over 578 sleep episodes and they 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 females 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 durations were standardized to 14 -day follicular and 14 -day luteal stages, centered on the day of ovulation.
” Short-term caloric restriction had negative effects on sleep in both the late follicular phase, just before ovulation, and in the late luteal stage, just before the onset of menses ,” says Kim, who performed this study at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences( NIEHS ). Lessened energy availability increased sleep interruption, with less sleep efficiency, greater WASO, and higher sleep fragmentation indicator in the late follicular stage in addition to the effects noted above in the late luteal phase.
It is likely these effects are mediated by the dynamic changes in ovarian hormones across the menstrual cycle. Their study found that E1G was linked with more awakes, and 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, and further documents the negative impact of dieting on sleep.
” These findings suggest that girls need to be particularly cognizant of practising good sleep hygiene in the week before menses and with reduced caloric uptake ,” Kim says.
NIEHS funded the study in collaboration with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
Read more: sleepreviewmag.com