Urinary incontinence is a condition that can affect bladder control, lead to an overactive bladder and leakage, and make daily behaviors and practices difficult. There are several different types of urinary incontinence, each characterized by specific side effects and conditions, like leakage when sneezing with stress incontinence, or the sudden need to urinate, as with urge incontinence.
Nocturia is categorized as waking to pee, which is not often considered an issue, particularly in older adults. Meanwhile, nocturnal enuresis describes actual leakage at night.
That said, constant waking, irritation, difficulty voiding completely, and leakage are all related to urinary incontinence and can be addressed with simple solutions and lifestyle changes. Regardless of what kind of incontinence you’re managing, from stress incontinence to overflow incontinence, you may find it difficult to get through the night due to frequent urination needs and a decrease in bladder capacity.
MDP (Male Drip Protection) is here to help. We carry incontinence products designed to help with urine leakage, and we’re sharing all you need to know about bladder irritants, risk factors, and best practices for reducing nighttime incontinence and getting the relief you deserve.
How To Combat Nightly Incontinence
The best way to handle the side effects of urinary incontinence through the night will vary, depending on what kind of incontinence you have. Some contribute to a feeling of needing to urinate, whereas others fail to send the signal to the brain that the bladder is full, leading to urine leakage.
That said, you can take several different steps to manage some of the side effects of nighttime incontinence, so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready for whatever the day ahead might hold.
Here at MDP, we carry an innovative product designed to manage leaks throughout the day and get peace of mind during your favorite activities. Our incontinence products have a capacity of up to two ounces, which makes them a good option for individuals managing light incontinence.
If you have significant bladder problems or are worried about larger leakage of urine, there are products for you as well. Consider exploring options for types of incontinence pads and adult diapers to give you that little extra protection all night long.
Protect Your Bedding
It’s also a good idea to pick up products to protect your bed in the event of leakage or loss of bladder control. While this can be a difficult topic to approach, simple solutions, like protective sheets, can improve your quality of life and allow you to focus on the things that matter.
Avoid Triggers Before Bed
Depending on the severity of your urinary incontinence, you may want to avoid drinking anything for up to two hours before bed or more. It’s especially important to avoid any kinds of bladder irritants or diuretics that can act as triggers and make the bladder overactive. The most common are caffeine and alcohol, which should be avoided for several hours before bed.
It’s important to note that while you want to avoid excess fluid intake, especially at night, you don’t want to dehydrate your body. Dehydration can lead to constipation, which puts pressure on the bladder and surrounding systems and causes urine leakage. Try to find a balance that works for your needs, so you can stay hydrated and sleep comfortably through the night.
Empty Your Bladder Before Bed
You always want to listen to your body’s needs when possible, but remember that urinary incontinence can affect the signals between your brain and your bladder. This signal interruption may mean that you feel the sudden need to urinate, even when you don’t have to, or that you don’t have to go to the bathroom, even when your bladder is full.
To that end, it can be useful to follow a bladder training schedule at night, one that may involve one or two trips to the bathroom before going to bed. Bladder training is a therapy designed to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which is done by waiting a specific amount of time between each bathroom trip.
Make sure to visit the bathroom before going to bed and attempt to void completely. Adjust your bladder training schedule as needed. Completely voiding your bladder can also help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Practice Kegel Exercises
One of the most effective ways to manage the symptoms of stress urinary incontinence is with Kegel exercises. Kegel exercises are often associated with women’s health and conditions like menopause, but there are many reasons your healthcare provider may recommend them for managing nighttime incontinence.
One of the most common causes of urinary incontinence is weakened bladder muscles. This may be due to medical conditions, acute infections, or simply as a result of aging. That’s why strengthening the pelvic muscles can be useful. It’s a way of improving the bladder's urine retention capacity and training your bladder to hold urine for longer.
You can practice Kegel muscles lying down, sitting, or standing, and urologists recommend at least three sets of 10 reps daily. Practicing your Kegel exercises can not only help strengthen your pelvic floor, but it can also help support your urethra.
If you continue to experience incontinence, you may want to see a doctor or pelvic floor specialist; it’s possible that your urethral sphincter may require surgical intervention or other treatment options.
Intentionally Wake in the Night
Another way to make the most of your bladder training practice is to wake intentionally during the night to urinate. You can do this by setting specific alarm clocks and working to only wake and rise at the time they go off.
This will help you to follow a specific schedule and to avoid urinating before you’re ready. As with all bladder training practices, it will also help strengthen the bladder muscles for greater function in the future. While waking in the night might be frustrating, it can ultimately lead to improved bladder function and heightened quality of life.
Elevate Your Legs
Another suggestion for managing urine leakage through the night is to elevate the legs before you go to bed or to purchase a pair of compression socks. These practices and products can encourage water to be absorbed into the bloodstream rather than building up in the bladder.
Reducing fluid buildup can help limit the time you spend waking in the night since your bladder won’t fill as quickly. You can raise your legs when reading or watching television before bed or even by taking a few minutes to follow common yoga practices. It’s been shown to make all the difference.
We often associate nighttime incontinence with things like bedwetting in children. The truth is that many different urinary incontinence conditions and risk factors can contribute to an increase in nighttime incontinence.
The good news is that you can take a few simple steps and practices to reduce the side effects of nighttime urinary incontinence, so you can sleep through the night. Try to practice pelvic floor exercises, make sure you’re voiding at least once or twice all the way before bed, and try to manage the root causes of the condition with the support of your health care provider, which may mean Botox injections, nerve stimulation, or surgery to shrink an enlarged prostate.
Whatever practices you follow, MDP is here for you. We have the products for smaller nighttime leaks and the information and support you can rely on for every step of the incontinence journey. You’re not alone in managing the nighttime effects of urinary incontinence, and you can start getting relief today for a bright and full tomorrow.