Tips for Dealing with Nighttime Bladder Urgency & Frequency - Legacy Physical Therapy
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Tips for Dealing with Nighttime Bladder Urgency & Frequency

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Many people deal with nighttime bladder urgency and frequency issues. In fact, you may be one of these people and may not even realize it.

​Do you know what normal night time bladder habits are? Should you be getting up at night to pee? How long should you be able to sleep without needing to pee?

For most of us, it is not a normal activity to have to get up at night to pee. We should be able to sleep 7-8 hours without our bladder waking us. There are some exceptions to this. If you are pregnant, it is normal to have to get up to pee during the night because the baby can be pushing down on your bladder. If you are over 65 years old,  it is normal to get up to urinate 1 to maybe 2 times at night.

Now many of us get woken up for other reasons such as our kids or aches and pains waking us and we just happen to go to the bathroom while we are awake. That is not exactly the same situation as dealing with nighttime bladder urgency and frequency. 

What can you do if you are dealing with nighttime bladder urgency and frequency?

  1. Stop or limit your fluid intake 2 hours before you go to bed. You definitely want to avoid any type of bladder irritants, such as caffeinated drinks, drinks with artificial flavors/sweeteners, or alcohol. If you do have to take medication before you go to bed, then try to do so with small sips of water instead of an entire glass. 
  2. Empty your bladder fully right before you go to bed. It is a good idea to spend a little extra time on the toilet and take some nice deep breaths to make sure you get a full empty before getting into bed. 
  3. If you get woken up in the middle of the night by your bladder, try these techniques to negate the urge:
    1. Don’t respond right away to the urge. Stay laying in bed and try taking 10 deep breaths in and out to see if the urge goes away. 
    2. Try to do some light kegel exercises. Kegel exercises are contractions of the pelvic floor muscles. Gently contract and relax the pelvic floor back and forth, about 5 to 10 times while laying in bed. 
    3. Put pressure over the perineum. Keep a small towel roll by the bed and place it in the crotch area when you are woken by the urge. Pressure over the perineum triggers a reflex loop to tell the bladder that it is not time to go to the bathroom. 

​Sometimes, there is no suppressing the urge to go to the bathroom. Many people may even have trouble making it to the bathroom in time and may deal with bladder leakage on the way there. If you need to get up to go to the bathroom, do a nice contraction of the pelvic floor, sit up at the edge of the bed, make sure that you feel like your pelvic floor is there and supporting you, and then stand up and walk to the bathroom calmly and under control. 

Hopefully these tips help you feel more in control of your bladder. If you find that your night time bladder symptoms are still bothersome even after trying these techniques, give us a call to discuss what your options are to get you back in control of your bladder.