Empowering Better Menstrual Sleep

︎UX Research, Experience Design, VR & Interface Design
︎Team: Wan Li, Jordy, Partrick, Wendy
︎Cooperate with Ventrethree design studio and Dreem
︎Jan-March, 2019, London


We aim to develop a product, service, interface, game, programme or physical space that focuses attention on the active outcome of sleep. This project is in collaboration with Venturethree and Dreem.


︎An exhibition to increase the awareness around menstrual sleep.
︎Integrating menstrual sleep elements in the existing Dreem product ecosystem.


During this stage, we did the sleep observations and exploring people’s opinion on sleep on a broader level than just see it as an individual activity. We asked participants to imagine how the world and human body might look like if we no longer needed to sleep. Interestingly, despite the fictional condition of no longer need to sleep, most people had a fair dystopia outlook on both matters.

Sleep Observation︎︎︎
︎Light on for the recording which disturbed our sleep.
︎Pre-bed habit, eg. play with phone
︎Menstrual sleep

Site Interviews︎︎︎
Many participants felt the body would become fitter and stronger due to more activity and burning more calories regularly throughout the 24 hours. It is interesting to see how people think our rest is connected to our bodies' physicality. Our eyes may enlarge due to adapting to the darker lighting conditions. And participants also felt our life expectancy would be much shorter because of the extra energy being exerted, which resulted in participants even thinking we might be happier in cases.

These findings allowed us to explore the human body in a way that we felt is not commonly discussed, letting participants run wild with how they thought to sleep, and the body is essential and connected.


We found a relationship between the menstrual cycle and lunar cycle and a link between the menstrual cycle to women’s subjective sleep quality. 

How the macro environment and human sleep mutually affects one another?

︎“I really couldn’t get to sleep the other night, I think it had something to do with the super blood moon being out.” (Focus group participant)

Literature Reviews

︎ Healthy young women, with biphasic body temperature rhythms of ovulatory menstrual cycles, have more stage 2 sleep(middle NREM), higher spindle frequency activity and less rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep when progesterone predominates in the luteal phase. (Driver, H.S. and Baker, F.C., 1998.)

︎A synchronous relationship between the menstrual cycle and lunar rhythm was confirmed by (Law, 1986)
︎Investigative data
︎Laboratory findings
︎Clinical experience


Literature Reviews

︎Both women and men rated menstruating women as less “energized” and “sexy,” but more “irritable,”“sad,” and “angry.” In addition, men rated her as less “clean and fresh,”“nurturing,” and “reasonable,” and more “spacey” and “annoying.” Significant relationships were found between negative impressions of the menstruating woman and the Hostile Sexism Scale (Glick & Fiske, 1996).

︎Couples to practice informal avoidance during a woman's menstrual period or for men to be privately disgusted. (Young, Bacdayan, 1965)

︎“Participants responded to the reminder of menstruation with increased objectification of women in general” - (Roberts et al., 2002)


We conducted some interviews with a few younger-aged women, and they all mentioned their sleep could be affected by menstruation in certain degrees. For example, a painkiller and comfortable clothing are significant factors in helping sleep during menstruation. In addition to the interview, we also invited participants to help us to do their menstrual sleep dairies.

“We are all in the same bloody boat.”
We also found participants didn’t find the idea of sharing their menstruation experience with other women helpful. However, they found sharing with their male friends or others more impactful to understand how drastically menstruation affects not just sleeping but also many avenues of life.