How to Sleep On Your Period to Prevent Leaking

Jessica Lubahn 8 min read

How to Sleep On Your Period to Prevent Leaking

We've all been there.

You wake up in the morning only to discover that Aunt Flo‘s visit has left blood all over your favorite sheets – definitely not the best way to start your day.

Every woman knows that nighttime period leaks are messy, frustrating, and can be super embarrassing. But what’s a girl to do?

There’s a way to minimize period leaks while you’re sleeping.

If you’re wondering how to sleep on your period to prevent leaking, keep reading. We’ll share our top tips for putting an end to nighttime leaks — once and for all.

Table of Contents


What Is the Best Position to Sleep On Your Period?

While there is no “best position” for sleeping on your period, here are 3 things to keep in mind:

  1. Choose the position most comfortable to you to avoid tossing and turning
  2. Keep your legs closed
  3. Sleep on your side in a fetal position to take pressure off of your abdomen

Why Do I Always Leak On My Period at Night?

There are a variety of reasons for period leakage at night, including:

  • Going a long time without changing your pad, menstrual cup, or tampon
  • What day of your period you’re on
  • A shifting menstrual pad
  • Tossing and turning as you sleep
  • Gravity and the angle at which you’re sleeping

Is My Period Heavier at Night?

Although it may seem like it, your period is NOT generally heavier at night.

It just goes unnoticed for a longer period of time (no pun intended).

However, the overall flow for the first couple of days can be heavier, so you may want to add extra protection, just to be on the safe side.

How Can I Stop My Period Leaking at Night?

One of the best layers of added protection is ONDRwear.

ONDRwear is:

  • Super absorbent
  • Naturally odor-free
  • Machine washable; and
  • So much more

In the next sections, we’ll review how to sleep on your period to prevent leaking using the following 10 tips:

  1. Use a tampon
  2. Use a pad with wings
  3. Use an overnight pad
  4. Freshen your pad/tampon right before bed
  5. Wear extra underwear
  6. Try a menstrual cup
  7. Sleep on your side
  8. Get out of bed slowly
  9. Take preventative measures
  10. Wear leak-proof underwear

10 Tips for Preventing Nighttime Period Leaks

Learning how to sleep during your period to prevent leaking isn't an impossible goal, but it does take some planning.

Here are our top 10 tips for helping you get a good night’s sleep during “that time of the month.”

#1: Use a Tampon

If you're going to be sleeping for less than 8 hours, you might want to try wearing a tampon. 

Since they are worn securely inside your body, you don't have to worry about a tampon shifting around as you sleep.

But if you plan on sleeping for more than 8 hours (yay you!) or if you’re known for oversleeping, you will want to opt for a different method of protection instead. 

Wearing tampons for more than 8 hours at a time can increase your risk of getting an infection or toxic shock syndrome, which can be fatal. 

#2: Use a Pad With Wings

They may look a little unusual, but pads with wings really do stay in place better than regular pads. 

Plus, those little wings do a great job of protecting the sides of your undies, just in case the pad happens to slip a little as you're dozing off. Some pads even turn the liquid into gel, which can greatly reduce leakage.

#3: Use an Overnight Pad

Overnight pads are not only more absorbent, but they’re also longer and more full in the back than your typical menstrual pad. 

That means they give you extra coverage in just the right places when you’re lying in a horizontal position. 

If you decide to try an overnight pad and are a back-sleeper, be sure to focus the pad more towards the back of your underwear. That way, the pad will be sure to catch any discharge that may flow to the back.

 #4: Freshen Up Your Pad, Menstrual Cup, or Tampon Right Before Bed

This may sound like a no-brainer, but some nights it can be super easy to forget.

Be sure to change your pad or tampon or empty your menstrual cup right before you crawl into bed.

This way, you'll have access to the maximum amount of absorption your chosen type of protection has to offer. Plus, you’ll go to bed feeling fresh and clean.

#5: Wear Extra Underwear

Wear two pairs of underwear. 

I know this may sound strange but stick with me. Adding a second pair of panties will help to hold your pad in place as you sleep. 

Plus, it gives you an additional layer of fabric, so if you do leak, you've got an extra barrier before it makes its way to your sheets. 

Additionally, instead of adding another layer of underwear, consider using ONDRwear instead – machine-washable, absorbent undergarments.

#6: Try a Menstrual Cup

Menstrual cups have become a popular alternative to pads and tampons. 

And what's not to love? While there are disposable options, there are also menstrual cups made of silicone that are:

  • Safe
  • Reusable
  • Odor-free
  • Leak-proof
  • Economical; and
  • Easy to use

#7: Sleep On Your Side

While sleeping on your side in the fetal position is recommended, it's not always realistic. Most of us don't stay in the same position all night long, and shifting as we sleep can cause leaks. 

If you are normally a back or stomach sleeper, try sleeping on your side with a pillow at your front and back to keep you from rolling over. 

Another plus to sleeping on your side is that the position takes the pressure off your abdominal muscles, which can help to relieve those pesky period cramps. 

#8: Get Out of Bed Slowly

After you've had your solid eight hours of sleep (a girl can dream, can't she?) be sure to take it easy as you get out of bed. 

Getting up slowly will help prevent leakage, particularly if you're wearing a pad. 

Due to gravity, your menstrual blood pools in your vagina overnight and if you stand up too quickly, you'll most likely be greeted by a gush of blood.


#9: Take Preventative Measures

Double Up

If you have a particularly heavy flow, or if you're on the first few days of your period, it can be a good idea to double up on your menstrual protection. 

Combine a pad with a tampon, or use a pad plus a menstrual cup. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel confident and secure.

Use a Mattress Protector

A mattress pad is always a good idea. It provides that extra layer of protection and can keep your mattress from ending up with a permanent stain.

Put a Towel Down

It never hurts to have an extra layer of protection, and placing a towel between you and your sheets can help minimize any damage that may occur due to leaks.

A dark-colored towel works perfectly in this situation. You can just throw it in the wash and won’t even need to worry about seeing any stains that might remain. 

 #10: Wear Leak-Proof Underwear

If you haven't already tried it, now is the time to give period underwear, like  ONDRwear, a try. 

Leak-proof underwear looks just like regular underwear but is specially designed to absorb blood — kind of like a pad that's built right into the underwear. 

And leak-proof underwear can be used on its own, or with a cup or tampon if you feel like you need extra protection. 

ONDRwear: Your Leak-Proof Solution to Nighttime Period Leaks

If you're ready to say goodbye to nighttime period leaking, you owe it to yourself to give ONDRwear a try. 

ONDRwear was created by mother and Urologist, Dr Jessica Lubahn, MD. After witnessing first-hand the embarrassment and frustration her patients experienced from urinary leakage, she decided to create a solution — ONDRWEAR.

Not only is ONDRwear comfy and stylish, it’s also machine washable. Just toss them in the washer — on cold, with mild detergent — and lay them flat to dry. Avoid using fabric softeners, bleach, ironing, or other high temperatures.

Eco-friendly and sustainable, ONDRwear is plant-based. ONDRwear’s fabric is made from Beachwood fiber and algae, making it naturally ...

  • Odor-free; and
  • Antimicrobial

And get this: 

Designed to hold a whopping 1/4 cup of liquid, ONDRwear underwear will keep you feeling dry and comfortable — and leak-free — all night long.

We're sure of it. 

We're so confident in our leak-proof underwear technology for period leaks (or bladder leaks) that we offer our PP (Perfect Pair) guarantee:

If you don’t love your first pair of ONDRwear, we’ll send you a different size — or similarly priced style — free of charge. Plus, you can keep your first pair.

What have you got to lose? (Besides leaks, of course.)

The content in this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.