Living life can be tiring, amirite? But if the week of your period leaves you feeling exhausted, it’s worth knowing that there’s a real, scientific reason behind your sleepiness.
Aside from dealing with the cramps, headaches, and bloating that’s standard for many women on their period, there’s plenty of science stuff at play that will take it out of you, too.
Good Housekeeping spoke to pediatrician Dr. Molly O’Shea, who explained that it’s normal to feel totally tired for a week of every month:
“In the 10 days or so before your period, your body is geared up in the hopes that the egg you sent down the old fallopian tube met some sperm there and landed in a plush uterus ready to grow a baby. When your uterine lining isn’t invaded by a fertilized egg, the hormones sustaining the environment aren’t needed anymore and the hormone levels plummet. When this happens, your body goes from high alert to nothing hormonally and that shift causes other changes too and all of those changes are exhausting. Until your hormone levels increase again, you are really tired.”
There’s not much you can do about your body’s natural cycle, but the good news is that your energy levels tend to peak during ovulation, which is generally about two weeks after the start of your period.
There are natural ways of helping your body out when it’s feeling tired though; drinking water, getting at least eight hours sleep, and exercising will all do the trick.
And if you’re really feeling low? Remember that a day in bed, a bar of chocolate, and Netflix can work wonders.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.