How to avoid period leaks at night
Waking up to discover period blood on your sheets isn’t the best way to start the day — who wants to do laundry first thing in the morning? But it doesn’t have to be that way! We’ve got you covered with how to get the best protection and some tips and tricks to keep you snoozing through the nights of your period.
On the days of our period, gravity is a helpful ally in ensuring our flow falls right on the absorbent bits of the menstrual products we use, whether we’re sitting down or walking around. At night, however, lying down means gravity can take our flow to different areas, especially towards our back. And not just any product can handle it. Some towels even end up askew and cause leaks if you toss and turn a lot at night. It’s no wonder that for many of us, sleeping properly is the biggest dream we have while on our periods. But don’t give up on it just yet! There are steps you can take to prevent night-time leakage, so you don’t have to spend your mornings working out how to remove period blood stains.
Choose the right period product
Getting a good night’s sleep on your period can often come down to the right choice of menstrual product. Making sure you’re picking not only what’s usually comfortable, but also what’s best for the job, can be the key to peaceful period nights.
Not only may they be the most obvious choice, but pads are also a very reliable one when you’re on a quest to avoid night-time leakage.
The success of your mission will rely on finding period towels that are specifically designed to be worn at night-time. So, how to pick the right ones?
- Go for night pads that indicate high (or even super high) absorbency. You can see this on the front of the pack either written down or with symbols that convey how much menstrual blood the pads can hold. For example, in Libresse period products, look for the V-Flow indicator on the front of the package (a V with red lines inside). The higher the level of red in the V, the more absorbent the product is. So, for your period nights, pick the ones with the V filled with red towards the top for extra protection, like our Bodyform Goodnight Ultra Large Sanitary Pads with Wings.
- Compared to day pads, night period pads will typically be longer at the back and are sometimes wider as well to better capture your flow even if you toss and turn. So, check for these details either on the front or back of the packaging too.
- There’s no right or wrong when it comes to wearing towels with or without wings. But do consider that wings keep the pad more tightly in place, so you may want to prefer those at least overnight.
If you are sleeping with pads, it is also a good idea to change to a fresh one just before bedtime to ensure that it can absorb as much as possible and prevent any leakage. This is especially important to keep in mind if you have a heavy flow.
Can you sleep with a tampon in at night? The short answer is, yes! Just beware that the longest you should keep a tampon in is 8 hours. So as long as you wake up 8 hours later to replace it, you can use a tampon at night. If you tend to sleep longer than that, though, you may want to consider wearing a pad, cup, or period pants instead.
If you do decide to sleep with a tampon in, make sure you’re changing it just before you go to bed and immediately again in the morning.
When choosing your tampon , make sure that you’re picking the lowest absorbency for your particular flow. It can be tempting to pick one that is more absorbent than you’d wear during the day, but there’s no need to. The tampons you normally use during the day will be fine for night-time too.
Menstrual cups can be a fantastic choice for night-time period wear. They are comfortable and, unlike a tampon, can be kept in place for up to 12 hours, so there’s less pressure to get up and change it right away. Perfect for those of us who like to have a longer lie-in!
A cup can also be a good choice if you have a heavy flow, as it can hold up to 6 times more menstrual blood than a typical tampon. This also means that, if it’s securely placed, it’s unlikely that your menstrual cup will overflow and leak while you sleep.
Period pants are designed to soak up period blood just like a towel would — except they last way longer. For example, Bodyform's intimawear period pants give you up to 12 hours of protection from leaks, so they take care of your flow while you snooze the night away.
Period pants also look and feel like usual underwear, making them an extra comfy option for the nights of your period. If you’ve never used them before, wearing period pants overnight can be a great way to get into them. You can even try them towards the end of your period (when your flow is lighter) to see how you feel and take it from there.
When you’re looking for period pants, make sure that you match the level of absorbency to your menstrual flow, that way it’s more likely you’ll stay clear of pesky leaks. You can shop Bodyform's Period Pants by flow here.
Other ideas to help avoid period leaks at night
If you’re still unsure whether you’ve gotten the right night period product, or if you’re switching to a different kind and feel a bit anxious: fret not! There are a couple things you can do to put your mind at ease and enjoy sweet dreams.
These will give you an extra layer of protection between your underwear (or period pants) and the bed sheets. Choose thicker cotton ones in a dark colour in case of stains.
This will shield your mattress from any accidents. You can even pack one if you’re sleeping away from home.
Laying it underneath your bottom can help catch any leakage and protect your sheets.
At the end of the day, remember that if your period products leak during the night, you’re not alone. It’s perfectly common and the blood stains are nothing to be ashamed of... periods are a natural part of life, after all! Frustrating as it may be, try not to stress too much when this happens and just give it another shot the next night. It takes us all some trial and error, but with a bit of patience, you can also find the key to a restful night’s sleep on your period.