Leaking at night on your period is a pain. There’s nothing worse than feeling that trickle of blood or waking up in a puddle of blood… As people with periods, these are things we’re all too familiar with – it happens. Your time of the month can be difficult enough with cramps, bloating and fatigue. We’ve compiled top tips for you to sleep soundly without worrying about leaking, as well as how to manage any period leaks that might happen.
What causes heavy menstrual bleeding at night?
Having a heavier flow on your period for the first couple of days is completely normal, but if you find that it lasts throughout your period and/or is unmanageable, there might be other causes. Read more about heavy periods here.
If you’re noticing other changes like color, consistency, texture or smell, take a look at what your period blood might be telling you about your health.
No matter how many periods you’ve had in your life, leaking can happen and is completely normal. There might be a few culprits causing this:
- Sleeping in the wrong positions
- Your period product is at maximum absorption
- Wrong absorbency period products
- Your pad, tampon, or cup is not positioned correctly
How to stop period leaking at night
Choose the right pair of pants
Your time of the month is the best time to channel your inner Bridget Jones. Firstly, you’ll want to wear your comfiest underwear – think Granny style – large enough to cover any area that could see leaking – added bonus if they’re frilly!
Secondly, make sure they fit you properly. If they’re too big, you allow for too much movement in your underwear and leaks are likely!
Thirdly, and trust us on this, wear another pair over the first. Not only will the outer pair hold the first pair in place, but this will provide an extra layer that’ll absorb any blood before it gets to your sheets.
And lastly, your pyjama bottoms make all the difference. We recommend wearing PJ bottoms on the snug side for minimal underwear movement and maximum security.
Choose the right period products
There are plenty of nighttime period products to choose from. Natracare Maxi pads are soft and absorbent, and unlike tampons, will keep you comfortable through the whole night. To put your mind at ease, or if your period is especially heavy this month, try covering the entire area of your pants by using two pads instead.
Still leaking? We hear you, it happens to the best of us. If you’re down with the idea, reusables might solve all your problems. You won’t even realise you’re menstruating with a cup, and reusable underwear like WUKAs or cloth pads like Period aisle can absorb all without bleeding through.
We come bearing bad news. There’s no position that’ll guarantee you won’t leak during your period. However, sleeping on your side like you’re back in the womb helps take pressure off your abdominal muscles and helps to relieve cramps, too. Sleeping on your front can squeeze and cause blood to move around. Just bear this in mind next time you take a snooze!
Preparation and planning
Tracking your period can completely revolutionize your cycle! Knowing when your next period is due will help you prepare what pants to wear, what products you’ll use, and to put in place any extra precautions for peace of mind, like mattress protectors or dark towels on your sheets. Check out our favourite period tracker apps here.
How to handle period leaks
No matter how hard you try, sometimes leaking is going to happen. If after all this time your period still seeps through, it’s always good to know how to remove blood stains! Here are a few methods we’ve tried and tested to naturally get stains out:
- White vinegar: if you’ve got some hiding in the kitchen cupboards, use white vinegar on the patch before it dries up. Leave it to soak for 5 – 10 mins while blotting until it’s lifted and wash in cold water
- Salt and water: Using more kitchen staples, creating a paste with salt and water can be effective when applied onto the blood
- Baking soda and water: If the stain has dried up, baking soda and water can be used to remove blood stains too. Apply the paste for at least half an hour until it has disappeared
If you’ve tried all possible solutions and the stain is still being stubborn, not all hope is lost! Why not save stained underwear for when you’re next on your period? Leaking might happen again and is underwear ruined if it already has been before?
Choose to Snooze
Your period products can make or break your sleep.
Organic cotton pads are soft and breathable to help you catch some zzz’s.
Transform Your Sleep
Why period leaks are more common at night
There’s definitely an art to stopping period leaks at night, and here’s why:
When you’re asleep, naturally, you’re not checking and changing your period products as often. Usually throughout the day, you’d be able to put a stop to any leaks (hopefully) before they happen, but this is impossible when you’re catching some ZZZs.
It’s easier to avoid leaks in the day time because gravity does its job and catches period blood on your pad, tampon or whatever products you’re using. But when you’re asleep, blood can fall to the side or at least not where you want it to fall, causing leaks.
This, combined with shuffling around from one position to another when you’re sleeping, means your pants are likely to move or bunch, which is a recipe for disaster if you’re trying to prevent period leaks.
Do you have any tips to stop period leaks? Let us know in the comments!
this was really helpful
Great to hear it was helpful 😊
thanks, it was really helpful 🙂
Very helpful! I was wondering something, my period blood is a very clear red, and has a kind of sour smell, plus it usually is in spots on my pad. I was wondering what this may mean? Normally, my period blood is dark-ish red and smells like *tmi* cat breath, plus never in spots. I’m thirteen years old and im not sure why this is.
This was helpful
When I’m on mine and I see clear red spots it means mine is going to be light this time or it’s just normal for girls to have it in the beginning or end of the cycle. I hoped this kinda helped….I’m fifth-teen by the way.
If you have questions always see a Dr. As women and young ladies have a lot in common; however, some things are unique to the individual.
I’m 13 years old to and I’m wondering that to
This was very helpful when I was looking for sleeping positions.
honestly leaking is the worst so im excited to try these hacks
Thank you so much this was my first period.
so sad..i can feel u i hate periods
Thank you!! Leaking on my period has been a problem for a while now and this really helped
😘 you’re welcome!
So, im 13 and my period will last for around 3 weeks and this happens every month. One day it will be so bad like i mean massive blood clots and im soaking through about 5 super + tampons an hour. Then the next day it will be light again. I don’t know that this means, but if someone could help a girl out!
Hello there, your cycle can change a lot from period to period before settling down into what will be normal for you when you first start. This can mean much heavier or longer periods, or short and light periods at the start of puberty. If you are worried, please speak to your doctor for more advice!
That could be pcos. probably see a doctor about that. Similar things started happening to me around that age (~16 now). One of the symptoms on pcos is irregular or abnormal periods. I have pcos myself and there’s medication or just diet things that can help
This was a great hack. The fetal position worked!
Thanks this was helpful as I’m always embarrassed to tell my step mother about leaks on my clothes or bed sheets
Also, another thing that helps me with stains is hydrogen peroxide. 3%. It doesn’t completely remove the stain, but it makes it almost unnoticeable. I hope that helps. I’m 15 BTW.
This is not really a question about period but I wanted to know how do I tell the men in my house I have a period? When I’m on my period I’m always in the bathroom, having a heating pad or laying down and the ask me what’s wrong but I say nothing. I’m kinda embarrassed to tell them but the also seem very worried about me and I don’t want them to be. Should I worry about it?
Thanks so much for your comment. We know it can be difficult opening up to people without periods in your life about menstruation, and you’re under absoutely no obligation to do so. If you’d prefer to keep it private, that’s absolutely fine – it’s likely they’re aware of the pain periods can cause, so might already have some clue. But if you’d like to be able to talk to them about it, the easiest way is to take it one step at a time. Next time they ask what’s wrong, simply say you have menstrual cramps and see how they react. It’s likely they’ll just want to make sure you’re okay, and this is a fantastic step to wards being able to speak about your period at home. We hope this helps!
Don’t ever be afraid to let them know! Periods are natural, mostly every woman has one. Their mothers, sisters, cousins, best friends, girlfriends, and so forth have all had periods. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s a taboo topic for no reason and them knowing might help you out! I was worried when I had to tell my dad, so I just whispered “…girl problems.” He got it, laughed, and got me a hot water bottle and bulk amounts of pads from the store. Now, at 18, I can announce I’m on my period easily to anyone in my household. They’re mature and understand, especially since we’ve dealt with it for years. He went out of his way to find my favorite cramp medicine, make sure my hot water bottle is always hot, and that we watch something I like at dinnertime. Family will worry when you are in pain, but being able to be open and honest about your bodily functions and pain related to it to get help from them is really useful and comes in handy when you are in a ton of pain and struggle to communicate. I wouldn’t worry, just experiment with YOUR comfort level and what meshes best with your family. As long as I don’t too gross, nobody here bats an eye. It’s your body, your life, and ultimately your choice. Do what empowers you. You should never have to worry about offending anyone or embarrassing yourself over a bodily function, it’s normal! I promise 🙂
I just finished reading this… it’s 4am and I woke up to a pool of blood. I normally sleep with a towel but in my sleep I kicked it out from under me and now my sheets and such are in the washer. I’m seriously contemplating just buying adult diapers for when I sleep. I always wear two pads but somehow it ends up pooling at my lower back :’( I think I’m gonna try the period panties. Thank you for the helpful article!
i literally just did that at 5am i woke up to a huge leak and now my sheets are in the washer
I literally did that this my Mum woke me up this morning and I pulled my sheets back to see two large stains on my white bedding.
Heya! I also like to put a dark towel down when my period is heavy on my bedding to stop any leaks going on my bedding. Hope this helps!
I personally sleep on a towel or two to avoid getting things on sheets.
My Aunty is disables and she uses continent sheets, which you can order on line, therefore if its good enough for her is good enough for any leakages. It’s a large sheet with a plastic backing. Lay it where you are to sleep and that should be it, place two down if you have too due to you turning over in the night.
i *hate* being on my period. i dont like the feeling of the blood coming out, so i tend to stay in positions that wont cause anything to leak. its really annoying, since im constantly having to go to the bathroom to make sure nothing comes out. i dont really know why i do this..
im not a very heavy bleeder, however im not light either. i havent been able to find any pads that actually fit me, and i really hate tampons. i’ve been using liners for months.
erm.. does anyone have advice about what i should do..?
or even products i should try? im at a loss here T-T
-a 14 year old :]
Omg I thought I was the only one but literally same!! Wish I could give you tips, but I’m lowkey younger than you!
Very helpful- thank you!
I’ve read it a several times that sleeping on your side with your knees tucked in helps reduce the cramps and stress. I’ve tried sleeping in that position but it causes stains on the sides of my underwear or PJs. Gravity has to act and my pad can’t be stuck on my side or I can’t get a really tight underwear so the pad would stay so close to my vagina, ’cause that hurts. You get it? What do I do about this?
I sleep on my back while on my period and it helps, since I started I haven’t leaked once, and I have been doing it for a year and a half now.
I would either try wearing a tampon ( if you are comfortable using one at night ), or you could try wearing 2 pads/overnight pads at night, shaped like a T. I would also not do that position on your side, i would do it on your back and wear comfortable underwear, cause that way it doesnt make cramps worse. What you can do for cramps and even sometimes stress is going to bed with a heating pack or a stuffed animal you can heat up. I know that sounds kind of stupid but you can get these stuffed animals that are filled with lavender, you stick them in the microwave until likebale temperature ( but on the hotter side so the temp stays longer ) and then you can go to bed with it and the lavender helps you fall asleep faster ( and is a calming smell) AND its warm so it acts as a heating pad!:) Hoped this helped!
Thanks for sharing this advice. We advise not to use a tampon during the night, as a tampon should be changed every 4-6 hours. This is to prevent TSS, which we explain in this blog here: https://www.natracare.com/blog/can-you-sleep-with-a-tampon-in/ ☺
We love the idea of placing pads like a T-shape to help prevent leaks. And, having a lavender infused heating pad can help reduce cramps and aid better sleep 💚
When I’m on my period and I need to sleep, I fold a towel I don’t mind getting bloody and lay on that for the night. It’s a life saver, it’s a very thick towel and is comfortable to sleep on. I did leak out once while I had the towel under me and there wasn’t a drop on my bedsheets. Definitely recommend doing this if you leak a lot when you sleep
This is a great hack – thanks for sharing 🙌
I also recommend getting a sheet you do not care about that if you still leak, it gets on that sheet. Once i bled out onto my bed sheet and got mad, so i put this sheet over my bed sheet that is thick and folded enough so it won’t leak to the sheet
Most helpful article I have read in my entire life. Thank you.
I have a solution that has helped from day 1. And I’m in my 40’s. Take a long strip on TP, bunch and fold (roll) it up like a tampon. About the length of your index finger. Place it between your cheeks🤗. A little low towards the perineum (the space between the two openings). Your comfort level will determine how thick you want the tissue. I like mine a bit thicker. Physiologically safer for me.
When laying on your back, it will catch all the excess blood flowing backwards.
I use it all day actually.
Thank you for this awesome tip!
I always sleep on my sides by Still get leaks from backside of the pad…even when the flow is light! Help needed please!
That sounds frustrating! You could try wearing the pad further to the back of your underwear, or even doubling up to catch leaks heading towards the back and see if that helps.
How many pads should be used everyday on our period?
Hey, great question! This is mostly going to depend on your flow and whether you’re alternating with other types of products like tampons or cups. We recommend changing your pad every 4-6 hours, which would look like around 4-6 pads per day.
this was rlly helpful bc this month is the worst one i had this year, and thw most annoying part is positioning a pad and when your laying down and stand up it feel like u just peed yourself
I wear the longest pads available to me, but they never feel long enough. A little tmi but the blood comes in a long(?) line, so it will get on the back and front of my underwear even when I double up, even though I never bleed through. Any tips? It’s only my 2nd year of having them so it might get better when it’s regular but it very disruptive right now.
Hey, thanks so much for your comment! For us, it’s never TMI. It might be worth reviewing how regularly you change your pads, to ensure you aren’t wearing them for longer than you should. We recommend changing a pad every 4-6 hours, but you can change more regularly if your flow needs it. It could also be worth considering trying out tampons if you feel comfortable to – these will absorb the blood internally. We hope this helps!