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Female Health Tracking May Help Keep Your Health Goals on Track.

18 min read

Woman looking at her Fitbit period tracker

You already know Fitbit might help you keep your health, sleep, and healthy-eating objectives on monitor. But did you know that utilizing the brand new feminine health tracking function to log your durations may give you further insights into enhancing all these areas of well-being and more?

“Knowledge is power,” says Kate White, MD, MPH, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University. “You ought to be taught concerning the menstrual cycle in high school but no one gets that, so until you take pleasure in going to medical faculty, it’s onerous to study these things. And there are such a lot of other issues going on throughout your gynecological visits that you simply’re in all probability not considering to ask questions on how your body works. It’s great that know-how may also help pull again the curtain.”

While every lady is totally different, many expertise modifications in their moods, power ranges, sleep patterns, and more over the course of every menstrual cycle. Understanding how your cycle can have an effect on totally different features of your life might help you make knowledgeable decisions round every little thing from your exercises to your grocery listing that will help you feel your greatest all month long.

Sleep and Your Cycle

Check your sleep log. Does it take you longer to go to sleep throughout your period? Do you wake up more ceaselessly throughout the night time? You’re not alone. Thirty-three % of women report experiencing disturbed sleep round their interval, in response to a 2007 National Sleep Foundation poll.

There are a number of explanation why it might be slightly more durable to get a superb night time’s relaxation at totally different factors in your cycle:

  • Hormonal modifications may cause your core physique temperature to rise barely at numerous occasions through the month. For some women, this happens after ovulation and lasts till their next period. This could make it harder to fall asleep because a pure drop in body temperature sometimes triggers the feeling of sleepiness and helps you sleep extra restfully.
  • Some women get much less speedy eye motion (REM) sleep in the luteal part of their cycles, leading up to menstruation; REM sleep is when goals happen and is taken into account a time to consolidate reminiscences.
  • Studies present that during their luteal part, some women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) secrete less melatonin, a pure hormone produced within the mind that plays an essential position in sleep.

“Some women may experience a decrease in sleep quantity with sleep onset difficulties and/or sleep fragmentation relative to what’s typical and others may note an increase in sleep duration during certain weeks surrounding their cycle,” says Allison Siebern, PhD, consulting assistant professor at The Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine and director of Sleep Health Integrative Program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fayetteville, NC. “Fitbit tracking allows you to explore the trends in your sleep pattern as it relates to your cycle along with the impact nutrition and exercise have.”

Whether or not you expertise specific sleep disturbances throughout your cycle, working towards good sleep awareness will help your general health. Here are some tips to getting a superb night time’s relaxation:

  • Maintain a constant sleep schedule. Aim to hit the sheets across the similar time each night time and set the alarm for the same time each morning—weekends included. If that sounds unimaginable, here’s some excellent news: You can set a sleep objective, sleep schedule, and bedtime reminder right in your Fitbit app. Using those tools will assist practice your physique’s circadian rhythm (i.e. its inner clock) to stay on monitor, making falling asleep and waking up a lot simpler.
  • Adjust your thermostat. If you’re having hassle catching Zs, attempt decreasing the thermostat in your bed room so the temperature is between 60 and 67 levels Fahrenheit. A lower physique temperature helps provoke sleep.
  • Exercise extra. Research exhibits that three to four 30-minute periods of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week (assume: brisk walking, jogging, biking, and so on.) might aid you sleep extra soundly. Need workout concepts? Become a Fitbit Coach Premium subscriber for access to personalised packages, audio and video exercises, and more.
  • Avoid caffeine. It might look like a no brainer, however should you’re actually tossing and turning, coffee shouldn’t be your good friend. Even a mid-afternoon caffeine buzz can disrupt your rest late at night time, so try to maintain all of your espresso consumption to the morning hours, or remove it solely.

Nutrition and Your Cycle

For some women, hormonal fluctuations before, throughout, or after menstruation may be accompanied by food cravings. Try logging your consuming habits in your Fitbit app to find patterns in your food regimen. If you’re finding your self notably drawn to the kitchen at any point in your cycle, attempt the following pointers for managing starvation:

  • Pick fiber and protein-packed snacks. The combination will aid you really feel full longer, so you’ll be much less tempted to go back for seconds (or thirds). Try pairing one piece of fruit or a serving of uncooked veggies with nuts, plain yogurt, hummus, onerous boiled eggs, or a part-skim mozzarella stick.
  • Arm yourself with wholesome choices. Stock your refrigerator with recent fruits and veggies, and maintain wholesome options on hand for if a snack assault hits.
  • Take a walk. Sometimes food cravings indicate real starvation, and typically they’re only a signal of boredom, stress, or restlessness. If you are feeling compelled to eat additional helpings, take a couple of minutes to walk outdoors and get some recent air. The craving may move when you log some steps.
  • Track your food and your mood. If hunger pangs have gotten a real drawback, attempt holding a food log, however moderately than tracking calories, think about journaling about your feelings. This may help you begin to make connections between your food decisions and your emotions and empower you to make healthy decisions.
  • Consider adding iron-rich foods to your weight-reduction plan. For some women, heavy bleeding or extra-long durations may end up in fatigue (and in excessive instances, a situation referred to as anemia). Talk to your physician in the event you feel weak or fatigued. They might recommend including iron-rich meals like meat, poultry, spinach, or beans to your eating regimen, and/or taking an iron supplement.

Exercise and Your Cycle

The bottom line in relation to understanding: Every physique is totally different. Your power degree might differ at totally different factors in your cycle, or you may really feel robust all month long. Be positive to take heed to your body and take note of any alerts it’s sending you to either slow down or ramp things up.

“Not only is every physique totally different, but each cycle is totally different, so take heed to what your physique is telling you,” says White. “Granted, if it’s telling you way too often to lie on the couch with ice cream, you may have to go against that. But in general, if you’re not feeling up for something strenuous, that’s OK”.

If you are feeling bodily prepared for some movement but are missing motivation, know this: Aerobic exercise has been proven to help scale back the symptoms of PMS, so incorporating some cardio (brisk walking, jogging, biking, dancing, and so forth.) on a daily basis all through your cycle may actually assist you to feel better.

An essential word: While wholesome consuming and train might help enhance interval symptoms, excessive dieting and way-too-strenuous workouts can negatively affect your cycle too. Amenorrhea (missing durations) is likely one of the hallmark indicators of an consuming dysfunction, and super strenuous physical exercise may end up in menstrual irregularities too.

Extreme weight achieve and loss can have an effect on your interval, however disordered eating and train (even when not recognized as an eating disorder) might trigger interval problems, regardless of the number on the size. If you’re battling food or train otherwise you experience irregular or lacking durations for 3 months or extra, contact your physician immediately.

Stress and Your Cycle

Stress can have an effect on your health in myriad methods, and in some instances, it will probably influence your cycle. Experts have lengthy linked traumatic events like struggle and famine to amenorrhea (lacking durations), and bodily, sexual, and emotional abuse have all been tied to the development of PMS and PMDD. While these are excessive situations, some women might experience menstrual irregularities because of on a regular basis stressors like work or family problems too.

One of one of the simplest ways to protect towards stress-induced period issues is to track your signs and implement rest methods. If you’ve gotten a Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit Charge 2, Fitbit Ionic, or Fitbit Versa, you can start busting stress now with the Relax app. Or, use silent alarms to remind your self to do some simple deep-breathing workouts—you’ll be able to set up to eight on all Fitbit units except Zip.

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