Urinary incontinence is distressing any time of day, but it is particularly upsetting at night because it interrupts your sleep. Worrying about wetting the bed, having to wash the sheets and remake the bed, or inconveniencing your partner, can cause anxiety, making a good night’s rest difficult.
The amount of urine in our bodies decreases and becomes more concentrated at night, allowing us to sleep six or eight hours without having to get up to use the bathroom. However, many people with overactive bladder (OAB) have nocturia, the need to urinate several times a night, disrupting their sleep cycles.
Preparation is critical when the goal is to get a full night’s sleep when you have urinary incontinence. We’ve got some tips for getting better sleep when dealing with incontinence and some home delivery incontinence supplies that can be helpful. First, let’s discuss the various types of incontinence.
Types of Overnight Incontinence
When there is accelerated urine production during nighttime hours, a person is experiencing nocturia. This overproduction could cause you to wake up and have the urge to urinate several times per night.
Frequent urination does not always lead to adult bedwetting, known as adult nocturnal enuresis. Although, the disruption of the sleep schedule might cause this issue since those with adult nocturnal enuresis are more likely to miss the body’s signal to wake up in time to get to the bathroom.
When the bladder doesn’t completely empty while urinating, a person is experiencing overflow incontinence. The bladder muscles are not able to squeeze correctly for various reasons. Small amounts of urine can leak out later while you’re sleeping since the bladder wasn’t fully emptied.
When pressure on the bladder or abdomen results in urine leakage, it is called stress incontinence. Laughing, sneezing, coughing, exercising, or sex can put stress on the bladder and cause urine to leak. You may experience bladder leaks at night when you move, cough, or sneeze.
Functional incontinence occurs due to a physical or mental impairment that prevents a person from getting to the bathroom before urination occurs. Poor vision, mental confusion, arthritis are all examples of impairments that can cause functional incontinence. If you cannot get up to urinate at night, you’re experiencing functional incontinence.
At-Home Tips for Better Sleep with Incontinence
Wear Overnight Protective Underwear or an Adult Diaper
While no one likes to feel like they are wearing or need a diaper, extra protection will give you peace of mind. Absorbent incontinence briefs and overnight pull-ons for adults are the best way to keep your clothing, bedding, and skin dry if you’re frequently experiencing overnight urinary incontinence. Home delivery incontinence supplies like the Personally Delivered Overnight Protective Underwear or Abena Abri-Form Overnight Briefs wick moisture away from the skin, preventing skin conditions and helping you stay comfortable overnight.
Overnight Bladder Protection Pads
Overnight incontinence bladder pads are an excellent option for extra peace of mind if you are experiencing small leaks or desire an added layer of protection. Home delivery incontinence supplies like overnight bladder pads come in various absorbencies and line your regular underwear to absorb leaks while you sleep.
Protect Your Mattress
Investing in a mattress protector and underpads, bed pads, or chux can help give you peace of mind and make dealing with nighttime incontinence easier. Frequently washing and changing the sheets on your bed can be frustrating. Home delivery incontinence supplies like waterproof bedding are an easy way to protect your mattress if you have nighttime incontinence. A super absorbent underpad like the Attends Premier Underpad or the Cardinal Health Quilted Premium Strength Underpads can protect your bed and help keep you dry overnight.
Limit and Avoid Certain Fluids Before Bed
Caffeine, alcohol, and citrus juices have all been linked to bladder problems, so it might be best to avoid these beverages at night altogether. Not only could the caffeine keep you awake, but it can also increase your risk of wetting the bed since it is a diuretic that increases urine output. Try to avoid drinking any liquids two hours before going to bed.
Try Double-Voiding Your Bladder
Double-voiding your bladder is emptying it twice before you go to bed. To practice double-voiding, empty your bladder when you begin your nighttime routine. Then, go through your usual bedtime routine of brushing your teeth, removing make-up, etc. Right before lying down to sleep, empty your bladder again. This double-voiding practice may help reduce the chance of experiencing an incontinence episode during the night.
Wear Compression Stockings
Vascular compression stockings like T.E.D. Vascular Compression Stockings can help get a better night’s sleep. Try elevating your legs while reading a book or watching TV before heading to bed while wearing vascular compression stockings. When you wear vascular compression stockings and elevate your legs, fluids are redistributed back into the bloodstream, reducing the need to urinate.
Remove Obstacles to the Bathroom
If you care for an older adult with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they may forget where the toilet is. Help make it easy for them to find the bathroom by keeping the bathroom door open, leaving the bathroom light on, adding a light-up toilet seat, or placing nightlights along the way. Causes of nighttime incontinence in the elderly can be anything from diabetes, medication side effects, bladder cancer, or other medical conditions.
Use a Bedwetting Alarm
A Bedwetting Alarm is a moisture-detecting sensor. You lay down on top of the sensor, and it emits an audible or vibrating alarm if any wetness occurs. Then, you can empty your bladder on the toilet instead of the bed. Setting a Bedwetting Alarm is also an effective way to retrain your bladder since it conditions you to associate the sensation of a full bladder with getting up and using the bathroom.
Causes of incontinence include weak bladder muscles and nerve damage from diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. In men, an enlarged prostate could be the culprit, which is why it is critical you consult with your doctor if you experience nighttime incontinence. Doctors typically use urine or blood tests to determine the cause of incontinence. Once diagnosed, your doctor may recommend muscle exercises, dietary changes, home delivery incontinence supplies, or even prescribe medications to help manage your bladder.