As smart, informed, empowered women, living with an overactive bladder is something we can manage effectively. Armed with the right leak protection products, a smart hydration strategy, and a can-do attitude, we can get through the day with comfort and confidence. It’s when we call it a day that our approach to managing an overactive bladder might need to change.
Plenty of research points to the fact that good sleep is essential to good health. It has been proven to improve brain performance, elevate mood, and help the body recover from each day’s physical demands. Lack of quality sleep can greatly increase the risk of diseases and disorders such as heart disease, stroke, obesity and even dementia. And while the amount of sleep you get is important, its arguable that sleep quality (meaning uninterrupted, refreshing sleep) is even more so.
Addressing the impact of an overactive bladder on sleep can be approached from different perspectives. You might be awakened by the urge to use the bathroom. Someone else might wake up after an involuntary leak. Those with a pattern of poor sleep wake up easily and then realize they have to go. And that’s an important distinction.
Waking up to urinate at night is known as nocturia, and it’s more about feeling the urge than it is about having a full bladder. Conversely, having a full bladder that involuntarily empties and wakes you up after wetting the bed can have all kinds of contributing causes. It’s worth recognizing the difference and discussing the distinction with your doctor, even though any of these circumstances can be the cause of a bad night’s sleep.
Typically, the amount of urine in our bodies decreases and becomes more concentrated at night. That’s why we can sleep seven or eight hours and not have to get up to use the bathroom. An overactive bladder or nocturia, however, can repeatedly disrupt our sleep and lead us to becoming dangerously overtired. Whether you are waking up to go several times a night or being woken up because you’re suddenly going, it costs you the good sleep anyone needs to be their best.
The good news is there are simple steps you can take to either reduce overnight urges that make you hop out of bed or take the disruptive discomfort out of overnight accidents. These, combined with candid conversations with your doctor, can go a long way toward your having a restful night.
There’s no need to endure night after restless night due to an overactive bladder or nocturia. Make some simple adjustments to your pre-bedtime routine, be prepared with the right kind of protection and you’re sure to increase the odds that overnight is more about getting zees and less about going pee.