Ever wonder why an important work meeting feels so much easier on, say, the 7th of the month than the 20th?
Or why are you so sociable a week and more introverted two weeks later, preferring solitude and nights out?
If you’re a menstruating woman, it could all be down to your infradian rhythm.
This is a 28-day internal cycle that regulates your menstrual cycle, affecting your mood, appetite, exercise choices, productivity, focus, and even stress levels.
No two days are the same in a woman’s body.
But by trying to make your schedule parallel to where you are in your infradian rhythm, you can optimize your well-being and lead a happier, healthier, and calmer life.
It’s about supporting the inner workings of a woman’s body, not going against it, and with 85 per cent of British women wanting to understand their bodies better, Love Fresh Cherries says it makes sense that we keep up to date with this important rhythm .
In fact, only a fifth of women have an accurate knowledge of their body’s signals.
Ieva Kubiliute, Wellness Psychologist at oliolusso.com, says that both male and female bodies are controlled by an internal timer known as the circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle.
It is a 24-hour biological clock that helps us feel rested and sleepy late at night/early in the morning and awake and alert later in the morning and throughout the day.
For women, however, there is a second internal timekeeper known as the infradian rhythm.
“The Infradian Rhythm is the second internal timer experienced only by those with female biochemistry.
“This lesser-known biological rhythm is involved in controlling the menstrual cycle, which lasts 28 days,” she says.
She adds that many systems in a female body are connected to the infradian rhythm, including the stress response system, reproductive system, immune system, brain, metabolism and even our microbiome; the accumulation of bacteria and organisms in the body.
Confused as to why you’ve never heard of the Infradian Rhythm? Well you are not alone.
“Most people are not familiar with the Infradian system because doctors often assume that the symptoms women experience are psychological in nature.
“Failing to delve deeper to find the root cause of female symptoms keeps important elements of female physiology, including the infradian system, out of the spotlight,” says Ieva.
To understand how the infradian rhythm affects a woman each month, we need to look at specific phases of the menstrual cycle.
The first day of your cycle is the period itself; the moment you start bleeding.
Once this is over, you enter the follicular phase for about a week, which is when you reached ovulation.
Next is the luteal phase, which lasts about two weeks before your next period arrives and the cycle begins again.
To make your life a little easier, you can plan certain events around your cycle…
The best time to arrange an evening
Ieva explains that during the follicular phase, there is an increase in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, “which encourages follicular development and the growth or thickening of the lining of the uterus.”
“While this is happening in your body, your energy levels stay up,” she adds.
So if you’re planning a big night out or want to invite friends over for dinner, the week immediately after your period is the best time.
The best time to focus on a difficult project
Ieva recommends the follicular phase as a time to get things done like postponed tasks or complex projects.
During this time, productivity levels are high and you are likely to get more done than towards the end of the cycle when energy levels and productivity are falling.
The best time to set a personal best
High-intensity exercise can be exhausting, but during the follicular phase, after menstruation, energy levels are highest and intense exercise is more attractive.
Go for a run, try an at-home HIIT workout, or just do anything that gets your pulse racing and making you sweat.
However, watch out for injuries and make sure you warm up and cool down properly. Research has shown that there is a higher risk of knee injuries during this time.
The best time for an interview
“During the ovulation phase, the level of luteinizing hormone increases,” says Ieva.
This hormone triggers the release of an egg from the ovary AKA, ovulation.
“As estrogen and testosterone levels also increase, you tend to feel super energetic,” adds Ieva.
As such, this is a great time to set up an important meeting, schedule an interview, or wrap up group projects as you will also feel more sociable.
The best time for sex
Whether it’s just for fun or you’re hoping to start a family, waking up between the sheets is best in the middle of the infradian cycle, during the ovulation phase.
In fact, this is actually when women are “most attractive.”
“Ovulation affects the psychology, behavior and physiology of women.
“For physiology, we’re talking about changes in skin texture that make women appear redder in the face and make them appear more attractive to both men and women,” says Ieva.
The best time for a bikini wax
Or anything else that might cause pain.
“The ideal time to grow is during the ovulation phase,” says Ieva.
“This phase carries the most fertile days of the menstrual cycle; Day 12, 13 and 14.
“Your pain tolerance is high these days, so it’s the best time to book a waxing session.”
Ieva adds that the follicular phase is also a good time to book a painful wax.
“These phases are characterized by high levels of the hormone estrogen, which makes women less sensitive to pain.”
The best time to book a pedicure
A little self-care never hurts anyone, and it’s during the luteal phase that you may need to indulge yourself.
Ieva explains: “When you become pregnant, progesterone levels continue to rise in the luteal phase.
“However, if pregnancy doesn’t occur, progesterone levels drop rapidly, leaving you feeling weak mentally and physically.”
The hormone progesterone is responsible for the thickening of the uterine lining and prepares it for implantation and maintenance of the fertilized egg.
“This is the best time to prioritize self-care, taking care of yourself, and doing tasks that aren’t mentally demanding.”
The best time for a nap
During menstruation itself, your body may be craving more naps and general downtime.
“Your estrogen levels are low during the menstrual phase, which negatively impacts your energy levels,” reveals Ieva, who says other ideal activities at this time include yoga, reading a book, and getting a massage.
The body will also likely be craving hot foods during this time, and a sluggish digestive system might find tough foods harder to break down.
Try making soup for a comforting dinner.
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https://www.thesun.ie/health/8796233/wellness-psychologist-when-having-sex/ I’m a wellness psychologist and this is when you should be having sex