Bodyform/Libresse - #periodsomnia
Advertising Agency
London, UK
Agency / Creative
Post Production / VFX
Music / Sound

“Until Bodyform released its powerful new campaign #Periodsomnia, we didn’t fully understand exactly how our periods were impacting our slumber, or that this contributes so heavily to the gender sleep gap” – GLAMOUR.

Insight. Tras insight. Tras insight. Tras insight. Tras insight. Y así, sin parar, dos minutos nueve.

(“Insight. After intight. After insight. After insight. After insight. And like this, without stopping, for 2 minutes 9’”) – @ncierco

Libresse/Bodyform was the first brand to ever show period blood for what it is – red, not blue. The first to tackle the biggest taboos and truths that mean periods get in the way of women’s lives.With #Periodsomnia, we’re the first brand to show how period shame and discomfort can get in the way of life, even when we’re asleep: Far from the Sleeping beauty fairy tales and Hollywood standards of women in bed, far from the category’s sanitised clichés of period nights, Periodsomnia explodes the myth of the restful, quiet and graceful nights for women on their periods. And with the term “Periodsomnia”, it finally gives women+ a tool to understand, reflect on and share their struggles that have so far only belonged to the dark.


Accompanying the launch of their new night towels, Essity Libresse/Bodyform new campaign, #Periodsomnia, sheds a light into the darkness and opens the world’s eyes to a reality that has been happening at night: The fact that women lose 5 months of sleep over their lifetime due to their period. From discomfort, to anxiety, pain, fear of waking up in a pool of blood and many more symptoms, Libresse uncovers the reality of this gender sleep gap through unseen and unheard stories of different women+.

With a thermal camera that allows us to share the intimacy of those women+ beautifully, and with surreal narrative techniques, #Periodsomnia paints an unexpected yet more relatable than ever landscape of what it is to have our periods at night. Medusas re-enacting the journey of the blood shedding from the uterus to melting bodies under the feeling of heat, electrical waves for the pleasure of masturbation when you’re trying to kill pain, or wide poppy-like red stains that illustrate how our imagination and senses are heightened when we’re anxious in the dark... All completely novel and poetic visualizations that stir us away from medical ones yet bring us closer than ever to how women+ feel during those nights.

Where the feminine care category depicts nights as a restful time for sleeping beauties, #Periodsomnia acknowledges that periods never sleep, and “Deep inside” the body, it is never quiet: The bleeding, the dreaming, the bloating, the tossing and turning, the tiptoeing to the bathroom, the snuggling, the masturbating and even the farting.

And where it’s always depicted as a solitary adventure, seen from a male gaze, #Periodsomnia shows women+ surrounded by their partners, babies and even pets who share their nights, sometimes blissfully unaware of our struggle. It shows diverse women and transgender man who eventually come together into a collective united in their common experience, as an invitation for all of those with periods to reflect on their struggles, feel less alone and reach out to each other.


#Periodsomnia isn’t just showing the experiences of periods at night – it’s finally giving a term to encompass and share the many struggles that billions of us experience monthly, without it ever being acknowledged or talked about as a fundamental factor of gender inequality.

The shame, stigma and discomfort that permeate the experience of having your period in the day doesn’t go away at night. If anything, it’s intensified. This means that many of us go to great lengths to manage our periods before we go to sleep, and throughout the night.

From changing our habits (lay down towels, change to darker sheets, wear extra underwear, prepare hot water bottles) to trying all we can to kill pain and discomfort (midnight showers or baths, killing pain with pills, or with pleasure, finding the right position for our bloated and sore bodies...) to our minds racing and the anxiety of period stains... It’s all so real, but until now, it was an issue we didn’t even think about.

But as we ran our global research among over 10,000 women, we realised this was not only true, but at a massive scale – so much sleep is stolen from us, and we just deal with our sleep debt in the morning without it ever being acknowledged. Women+ lose around 5 months of sleep over their lifetime due to their period. A third of women+ are kept awake by the fear of stained sheets. 35% are simply too embarrassed to let their other half know about their worries about their periods. 6 in 10 women don’t like to stay with others or go on holiday during their period. On and on it goes.


Launched in the middle of the Government’s crisis in the UK, #Periodsomnia was still able to get the Public’s and media attention thanks to the newness of the revelation and the relatability of the campaign.

People who’ve been struggling with periods at night feel less alone and more legitimate in sharing their experience and express their gratitude, including transgender men who are seldom given thoughtful representations. “Amazing advert. Literally me right now so relate so so so much. Sure I'm not the only one.”

It is still early as the campaign only launched a few weeks ago but we’re already seeing positive feedback also from retailers: “It’s utterly brilliant. I haven’t really seen anything like this which covers periods in such an honest way!”, Amie Beckson, Boots Category Manager.

Last but not least, despite receiving over 200 complaints (‘graphic’ image of product absorbing blood), the ASA ruled in favour of Bodyform and decided to ignore those, testament to all the work we have accomplished to completely reshift the category, media owners and rulers included.