From crippling stomach cramps and mood swings to increased sleeplessness before your period, living with periods can feel like a bit of a rollercoaster at the best of times.
And with period pain, discomfort and anxiety often rearing their heads in the evenings, sleepless nights and modified routines can become commonplace – which is why here at Bodyform, we’ve taken a look beneath the bedsheets to reveal some of the many changes women+ make to their bedtime routines while on their periods. 
Whether it’s washing bedding in secret or sleeping in a separate bed altogether, our survey lifts the lid on the nation’s bloody bedtime routines, with over a thousand respondents sharing their emotions ahead of and during their period, how their partners react, and the adjustments they make before bedtime.
We also enlisted the help of Laura Whitmore, one of the UK’s most beloved television and radio presenters, to give her view and help bust this taboo.  

Read on for some bloody interesting findings, as we shine a light on a topic that we feel needs to stop being swept under the rug.

47% will lose up to 3 hours of sleep whilst on their period

If you’ve spent many a sleepless night staring at the ceiling and clutching your trusted hot water bottle to relieve stomach cramps, then fear not – you’re not alone. We’re here to let you know that Periodsomnia is a real phenomenon that impacts the lives of many Brits, every single month. 
Laura says, “I think night time is particularly hard for people when they’re on their period because night time is your time to sleep and rest, and that doesn’t really happen when you’re on your period because there’s lots of other things going on and it’s really hard to get a good night’s sleep.”
Our survey, completed by 1,500 women+ and adults that menstruate in the UK, revealed that 29% experience worse sleep in the week leading up to their period. 
About 47% of respondents stated that they lose on average 2-3 hours of sleep per night while on their period, which adds up to a staggering 5 months over a lifetime. 
Meanwhile, a whopping 42% revealed that they take between 15 to 60 minutes longer to fall asleep at night while menstruating (so your snoring partner might not be the only thing keeping you up…).
When asked about the reasons behind their lack of sleep, 56% of respondents stated that stomach cramps prevent them from sleeping well when on their period. Time to get out that hot water bottle!

If you’re looking for tips on how to sleep soundly while on your period, why not take a look at our guide to managing night time leaks?

29% admit to sleeping away from their partners while menstruating

Unfortunately there’s still a lot of misinformation surrounding periods; as a taboo subject that tends to be swept under the rug, the reality of the situation is often lost on our partners, despite this being a monthly occurrence. 
It’s likely that every menstruating adult will have heard a silly question about their period once in their lifetime such as, “How do you not bleed out?” or “Do you feel it when the eggs fall out?” which may have caused more than a few eyerolls. 
“People turn around and go ‘oh well, she must be on her period.’ It is infuriating and there are so many things you have to go through when you’re on your period,” says Laura.
Such remarks can cause many women+ to feel shame when discussing their period, and can even push them to put extra precautions in place to cover up the fact that they are menstruating. 
Here at Bodyform, we want to dispel the myth and mystery, giving women+ the chance to speak openly and honestly about the challenges they face during their monthly cycles.
If you’ve been woken up by the washing machine at 3 AM, it could be your partner trying to hide evidence of any little leaks by washing blood-stained sheets while you sleep, as 22% of respondents admitted to covering this up. 
“The results show so many people hide stained sheets, and it can be embarrassing. It shouldn’t be this way, but it is the way we’ve been taught. But it’s a natural thing that your body does and it’s okay,” Laura continues.
An alarming 26% of respondents aged 18-24 revealed that they go to bed later than their partners to hide possible any leakage, despite 31% of them wearing a specific night time period pad. 
Meanwhile, 29% of people admitted to sleeping on the sofa, in the spare room or even in a different house altogether while on their period, with 39% stating that this is what their partner prefers. 
“A lot of people say they sleep separately to their partner, if you do this for yourself to get a better night’s sleep, that is totally understandable, but if your other half has asked you to sleep away, it’s not okay,” she says. 

But fear not! You can now put an end to the worry over little leaks, thanks to our innovative pads which use Cour-V adaptive technology to take into account women’s unique V-shape, providing a new level of absorption and flexibility.

2 in 5 experience irritability, while just under a third feel anxious

Unfortunately, periods come with baggage; from cramps to nausea to anxiety, the list can sometimes seem endless! The first days of a period can be really debilitating for many individuals in the UK so we wanted to find out the most common feelings experienced ahead of or during the monthly cycle. 
Increased anxiety was felt by one third of users across all ages, with 32% of respondents in London stating that they felt more worried in the nights leading up to their period, compared with only 14% of users in Yorkshire and the Humber. 
When asked how they ease any worries regarding their period at night time, 43% of women+ admitted to wearing a night time period pad, whilst 37% of women+ will go to the bathroom more regularly to change their pads or tampons. Meanwhile, 24% admit to changing their sleeping position during their monthly cycle, in order to hide any leakage from their partners. Thankfully, 90% of the partners are understanding about the impact menstruation can have on the lives of their better halves.
When we asked Laura Whitmore about this change in habits, she said: “I know a lot of people who, when they get their periods, change their routine – and that can be changing their sheets so they’ve got darker sheets, their partner or them sleeping in the spare room, wearing different clothes to bed, changing your work plans – I know myself personally, I could have had holidays or a weekend getaway that I’ve changed because I know my period is coming up and I don’t want to ruin that weekend.”
The typical methods for period pain relief seem to vary – from yoga to self-pleasure to alcohol and ice cream! 42% of users cited the use of paracetamol to relieve pain, with another 26% preferring to take a hot bath, and just over 1 in 5 (21%) turning to exercise instead.
Periods can be challenging, especially at night. From a change in intimacy, to extra precautions while sleeping, being on your period can cause a stir in your normal bedtime routine, as demonstrated within our research. However, thanks to the new Cour V solution present in all our pads you’ll be able to drift off into dreamland with confidence and without fear of leakage! 
Visit our Discover Hub for more information and advice around first periods, sexuality and check out our latest Periodsomnia campaign that shines a light on the period sleep gap.