What is night time incontinence, and how can I deal with it?

What is night time incontinence, and how can I deal with it?
15 January 2024

What is night time incontinence, and how can I deal with it?

Night time incontinence affects millions of people of all ages. If you’re an adult looking for discreet support, there are plenty of solutions out there for your unique situation.

In this Incontinence Shop blog post, we'll take a look at the practical tips to help you say goodbye to night time incontinence accidents so you can embrace a drier, better sleep.

  • Why does night time incontinence happen?
    - Overactive bladder
    - Hormonal imbalance
    - Medical maladies

  • How can you deal with night-time incontinence?
    - Manage fluids before bed
    - Good bladder habits
    - Lifestyle changes
  • Manage your night time incontinence confidently with Incontinence Shop

Why does night time incontinence happen?

Waking up to damp sheets can be embarrassing and concerning. But before you panic or make any rash decisions, you should know why night time incontinence (a.k.a 'nocturnal enuresis) happens.

It could come down to several factors, including:

Overactive bladder/ Urge Incontinence

A common cause for night time incontinence is an overactive bladder. This happens when your bladder muscles become hypersensitive and react prematurely to even small amounts of urine.

Unlike a healthy bladder that stretches gradually as it fills with urine, an overactive bladder will trigger sudden, strong urges to go even when there's still plenty of space in the bladder.

Hormonal imbalance

Ever wonder why we produce less urine at night compared to the day? Well, it's all thanks to some help from a hormone called vasopressin, or ADH. This handy hormone tells the kidneys to slow down urine production so the bladder can rest comfortably overnight.

As you can imagine, though, things sometimes go wrong with ADH, leading to unwelcome night time leaks.

From medical conditions like diabetes that can disrupt the production of ADH to faltering kidneys in older age, the body can't always rely on hormone production to keep the sheets dry overnight.

Medical maladies

Speaking of medical conditions, some neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's, and spina bifida can affect bladder function.

That's because they damage the nerves associated with various organs, including the bladder, leading to symptoms like urinary incontinence.

Similarly, the bacteria associated with a urinary tract infection (UTI) can irritate the urinary tract and cause urge incontinence, even if the bladder is completely empty. If these urges don't immediately wake you up, the bladder can simply empty on its own as you sleep.

How to deal with night time incontinence

Now we know what can cause night time incontinence, let's see what you can do to reduce it or even avoid it altogether. Ready to take back control of your nights?

Manage your fluids

  • Cut back on drinking fluids before bed - Try to have your last big drink of the day about 2-3 hours before you hit the hay.

  • Limit "diuretic" drinks - Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks act as diuretics, increasing urine production. You're best off avoiding these types of drinks in the late afternoon and evening.

  • Stay hydrated throughout the day - Though you should limit your fluid intake before bed, dehydration can actually worsen urinary incontinence. So, make sure you drink enough water throughout the day, especially in the morning and early afternoon. 

Bladder habits

  • Double void before bed - Empty your bladder twice before turning in for the night, with a short interval between visits. This makes sure you have as little urine as possible before you drop off.

  • Pelvic floor exercises - Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles through simple exercises can improve bladder control. They can be done discreetly and have a major effect when continued over time.

  • Bladder training - This involves gradually increasing the time between bathroom visits during the day, and retraining your bladder to hold more urine. 

Lifestyle habits

  • Elevate your legs - Propping your legs up slightly on pillows while sleeping can reduce the amount of fluid that pools in the bladder, minimising leaks. 
  • Lighten up at night - Avoid heavy meals and spicy foods close to bedtime - they can irritate the bladder and trigger urgency during the night. 
  • Keep your stress levels low - Stress can exacerbate bladder control issues, so relaxation techniques (e.g. deep breathing, meditation) before bed can go a long way to calming your mind and body.

Manage your night time incontinence confidently with Incontinence Shop 

If you're struggling with night time incontinence and are looking for cost-effective solutions that improve your comfort and dignity, then look no further than Drylife bed pads from Incontinence Shop.

If you want to make sure you never wake up with damp sheets again, our incontinence pads and pants offer reliable protection that minimises discomfort and maximises discretion.

And for prices lower than supermarket costs, Incontinence Shop is the best choice for you.

What's more, if you subscribe to your incontinence product of choice, then you can enjoy 10% off every order as well as convenient doorstep delivery.