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iVillage: Odd Remedies to Heal PMS, Headaches and More Everyday Pains

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Be a Once-a-Month Night Owl to Erase PMS

Blues. Bloating. Cramps. Cravings. If you’ve ever had a bad case of premenstrual syndrome, a.k.a. PMS, you know what a miserable experience it can be. The solution: One night each month -- a day or so before your symptoms normally strike -- short-change yourself of sleep by going to bed at 9 pm and setting the alarm for 1 am. Drag yourself out of bed and indulge in a few movies, catch up on your reading or do whatever it takes to keep yourself awake till it’s time to start your normal day. When researchers at San Diego’s University of California asked PMS-prone women to try this odd trick, 80 percent of them were completely symptom-free that month! PMS is often triggered by disruptions in the normal sleep/wake cycle, which then sabotages the healthy hormone fluxes that should occur every month, says environmental physiologist Michael Smolensky, Ph.D., author of “The Body Clock Guide to Better Health.” “No one’s sure yet why, but shortchanging yourself of sleep right before PMS hits reboots your body clock, correcting this underlying problem!”

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