PMS symptoms are thought to be linked to changing levels of hormones such as progesterone and oestrogen.
Here are some steps you can take to help make this time slightly more bearable:
“Me” time. Aim to reduce feeling stressed. Try and make time for relaxation - take a bath, listen to your favourite music, meditate or read a book; anything, as long as you feel you’re having some time to yourself.
Write it down. Keep a diary of how you feel on the days leading up to your period so you can identify patterns and try and avoid stressful events or situations next time round.
Shut eye. Get plenty of sleep to aid relaxation and limit tiredness. Aim for eight hours per night and try to relax in the hours leading up to bedtime. If you continue with activities that stimulate the brain too much it is harder to switch off.
Cut out the coffee. Avoid caffeine in the run-up to your period as it is a stimulant which could increase irritability and affect the quality of your sleep.
Dry out. Similarly, avoid alcohol as it is a depressant (even if it might make you feel good at first) and intensifies existing feelings. If you are feeling low, drinking will probably make you feel even worse, and the resulting dehydration can exacerbate water retention and headaches. It also puts unnecessary strain on the liver (see below).
Look after your liver. The liver is the biggest and one of the most important internal organs, eliminating old hormones during each of your cycles. So drink lots of fresh water, cut out fatty or spicy foods and coffee, eat your greens and exercise.