Do you bounce between being a social butterfly and a hermit each month? Are there periods when you get the same amount of sleep as usual, but wake up feeling tired and groggy? Do you often feel unmotivated for a week at a time before a rush of productivity suddenly strikes?
The problem isn’t you. What you’re experiencing are the natural ebbs and flows of your infradian rhythm, or your menstrual cycle. “You are a different person week over week within the month,” Alisa Vitti, women’s hormone expert and creator of the Cycle Syncing Method, explained in her blockbuster Ted Talk.
Just as your body is made up of different biological systems — think digestion, nervous, and respiratory — it is also guided by different rhythms. Your circadian rhythm is the 24 hour cycle that governs your melatonin production and sleep chronotype, while shorter ultradian rhythms manage things like digestion patterns and your heartbeat. But one of the most overlooked of these cycles for the 50% of the population born with a uterus is the infradian rhythm, the approximately 28-days that make up your menstrual cycle.
This system generally gets a bad rap, what with its association with PMS, moodiness, and that time of the month. But rather than being something we just have to live with, the infradian rhythm is actually a superpower…if you learn how to harness it.