Daylight Savings Time is coming at us quickly: this Sunday, March 14th, to be exact.
And though we're probably all happy to see an extra hour of daylight – most people hate the sleep disruption that comes along with it.
Not only does losing an hour of sleep make you feel groggy (and maybe even a little grumpy), but it can also affect your overall health – which includes your menstrual cycle.
How does losing just one hour of sleep make such a big difference?
In this article, we’ll launch into a quick explanation of how Daylight Savings Time can affect your period. And because we don’t want to leave you hanging, we’re going to offer up some helpful solutions that might be able to ease the impact.
How Daylight Savings Time Affects Your Menstrual Cycle
When you set your clock forward in spring or backward in the fall, your body's internal clock doesn’t automatically get with the program.
Instead, your body takes 24-48 hours to calibrate to the new schedule you’ve set for yourself – which means you temporarily throw off the body clock you were so used to.
That body clock, called your circadian rhythm, is the clock that’s running constantly between tiredness and alertness and helps to regulate your sleep pattern.
Your circadian rhythm also affects other everyday functions, like your hunger level and even hormone regulation. It’s job is to keep you in check throughout the day, making sure your body gets what it needs at the right time.
So when your circadian rhythm is interrupted, you’re probably going to feel off.
Externally, you may be feeling tired, grumpy, or maybe you end up dealing with something terribly similar to jet lag. But internally, your body is working hard to get back to normal while functioning on less sleep – which can throw off your hormones.
And not getting enough sleep or routinely staying up too late could affect your hormones significantly enough to impact your menstruation and your ovulation, according to Health.
"Shifting your body clock affects your reproductive hormones, which influence ovulation and menstruation," says Fiona Baker, PhD, who authored a study on missed periods in people who work irregular hours.
The good news is there’s no scientific evidence showing that Daylight Savings Time has a direct impact on your cycle.
However, it’s likely that Daylight Savings Time has indirect effects on your menstrual cycle via throwing off your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle.
So if you’re expecting your period near Daylight Savings Time, it's possible for it to come a day late or so. But more than likely, you’ll just feel really groggy and tired.
Adjusting to Daylight Savings Time: A Few Helpful Tips
Though you may not experience any irregularities to your cycle from Daylight Savings Time, there’s always the chance that your circadian rhythm will be thrown off and not have you feeling your best.
Our advice on coping with Daylight Savings Time?
Prioritize getting to bed extra early this Saturday night. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.
And when Sunday comes around, rest up, be easy on yourself, and incorporate a little extra you time into your daily routine for the first few days of Daylight Savings Time to help ease into adjusting your internal clock.
Above all, don’t panic if your period is a little different this month.
If you’re feeling a little uncertain about when your period might start, maybe throw in a little extra prep for your monthly routine.
Rock a pair of cozy June Period Underwear for the first few days to be ready for any unexpected leaks, or swap out your traditional tampons and pads for a comfy, safe, and comfortable menstrual cup instead.
Ultimately, remember to be easy on yourself.
Adjusting your internal clock (even just by an hour) is no small feat—don’t let drowsiness or a different cycle get you down!
Have questions about your cycle or about our products? Never hesitate to reach out to the June Cup team. Take a peek at our FAQ page to get insight on the June Cup or reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t wait to help!