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Women's Health
Here are a few reasons why women with PCOS may have sleep concerns, and 5 strategies to manage this common pcos symptom.

Good quality sleep is key for overall health and wellness, but it’s especially important for women with PCOS. Sleep plays a major role in helping women manage symptoms of PCOS. This article shares information about PCOS and sleep and provides five helpful strategies to get a healthy night’s sleep with PCOS.

How important is sleep?

Experts believe that women with PCOS may not be sleeping as well as they could because of metabolic changes they experience, especially glucose (sugar) metabolism. Also, women with PCOS may experience hormonal imbalances which can also impact their sleep.

Bottom line: sleep is essential for women with PCOS and its vital to have some strategies in place to ensure you get good quality sleep.

Strategies for Women with PCOS to Support Healthy Sleep

Restful sleep is vital for your well-being, especially with PCOS. Healthy sleep patterns can help support mental health, immune health, healthy blood sugar levels, and may even make it easier to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Improving sleep quality can help women with PCOS manage their symptoms, so explore ways you can achieve quality sleep.

1. Check out online resources for help. 

There are a variety of great resources online to help manage PCOS and sleep. Check out this blog article for guidelines on how much sleep you need and strategies for getting better, more restful sleep.  

2. Maintain healthy sleep hygiene habits.   

Healthy sleep hygiene habits can support healthy sleep patterns and help you feel well-rested each morning. Some suggestions for how to naturally improve your sleep hygiene include:

  • Limit alcohol, food, and drink close to bedtime 
  • Avoid caffeine after your morning cup of coffee 
  • Sleep in a cool, dark room 
  • Limit screen time at bedtime 

3. Participate in regular exercise. 

Those who exercise regularly tend to have a more restful sleep.

Most healthcare experts recommend moderate intensity level exercise, which is an intensity effort of 5 to 6 on a scale of 0 to 10.

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommends getting started with activities that you like to do and finding ways to make them a part of your routine. Including friends and family and tracking your progress with a fitness app can be great motivators to get moving. 

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4. Have a healthy bedtime snack. 

Did you know that certain dietary patterns can have an impact on your sleep? Research shows that certain foods, and combinations of foods, may affect your daytime alertness and your sleep quality.

Angela Grassi of PCOS Nutrition Center recommends consuming a small protein-rich snack or beverage close to bedtime to help support healthy blood sugar levels throughout the night. 

Some great protein-rich bedtime snacks include nuts such as almonds and walnuts, sliced turkey, and cheese. You might also consider drinking some caffeine-free, herbal tea such as chamomile or passionflower. A cup of warm tea before bed can help relax your nerves and settle your mind.

5. Seek treatment from a health professional. 

If you have sleep concerns, schedule a visit with your healthcare provider. Come prepared with a list of your symptoms and the number of hours you have been sleeping. Your physician may order a sleep study, which can help identify any sleep problems. The sleep study involves an overnight stay at a clinic where your healthcare team will evaluate your sleep state, eye movements, respiratory efforts, muscle activity, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels.

Make sure you follow any recommendations provided by your physician.

Sleep is so important for your overall health and well-being. For many, it’s the missing piece of the puzzle. If you have sleep concerns, keep these sleep strategies handy and consult with your healthcare provider to help you achieve the restful sleep you deserve. 

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