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To complement their #Periodsomnia campaign which shines a light on the ‘period sleep gap’, feminine hygiene retailer Bodyform have revealed how the night-time habits and routines of UK women+ change while on their period.

From laying down a towel to sleeping separately to their partners, the survey of 1,500 women+ dubbed ‘Bloody Bedtime Routines’ provides an eye-opening look into the monthly night-time struggles, and the changes made to ease discomfort.

Key findings:

• 47% of women+ lose between 2-3 hours of sleep per night during their period

• Over half of women+ avoid sex and being intimate with their partner while menstruating

• 29% of women+ admit to sleeping away from their partner during their period

• 1 in 3 feel embarrassed of period leaks at night


Bodyform’s research reveals around 47% of women+ will lose, on average, 2-3 hours of sleep per night whilst on their period (the equivalent of almost 5 months’ worth of sleep during their lifetime) while just under a third will experience worse sleep in the week leading up to their period.

But what exactly is the cause for these restless nights and lack of sleep? 56% of respondents reveal that stomach cramps are the number one cause. Meanwhile, over a fifth (22%) admit to hiding and washing stained sheets in secret, with 35% saying they feel embarrassed if their period leaks onto the bed at night.

In fact, 29% of people admit to having slept 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.

To help ease period worries, 43% of women+ say they wear a nighttime period pad, while 37% visit the bathroom more frequently to change their pads or tampons.


Bodyform’s research also shows that 2 in 5 experience heightened irritability and discomfort, whilst just under a third feel anxious – with 32% of London women+ feeling more worried in the nights leading up to their period, compared to just 14% of those in Yorkshire and the Humber.

In addition, the survey reveals 50% of women+ avoid sex and being intimate with their partner while on their period, with the older generation more likely to avoid it than their younger counterparts.

Meanwhile, despite shunning period sex, 17% of women will typically increase their frequency of self-pleasure while on their period, with 25-34 year olds being the age bracket most likely to see an increase in masturbation (32%), and the 18-24 year old bracket most likely to use self-pleasure as a pain relief method (20%).

Other pain relief methods vary – 42% of women+ use paracetamol, while 26% take a hot bath and just over a fifth (21%) turn to exercise.

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