What to Do About an Overactive Bladder at Bedtime

By Lauren Vork

  • Overview

    For people with overactive bladders, bedtime can be the most stressful time of the day. Even for those not prone to accidents, the problem of constantly waking due to frequent urges to urinate can prevent a good night's sleep and make for stressful days. Fortunately, there are a number of easy day and evening habits that an overactive bladder sufferer can adopt to make the condition's night-time problems easier to manage.
  • Stop Drinking

    Stop drinking any liquids 2 hours before your bedtime to give your body time to process and eliminate the liquid that is already in your system. To be successful with this (and healthy), spend the rest of your day staying well-hydrated. Drink a healthy amount of water, especially at peak dehydration times, such as early in the morning.
  • Liquids to Avoid

    From afternoon on, avoid diuretic beverages, such as those containing alcohol and caffeine, and many teas. Other beverages that can exacerbate overactive bladder syndrome are diet drinks, fruit juices and salty liquids and broth, so you may want to avoid these during the latter half of the day.


  • Emptying

    Grab your favorite reading material and spend a more extended period of time on the toilet before bed, perhaps as much as 10 minutes. This will give your bladder ample chance to fully empty itself before you turn in for the night.
  • Prevention/Solution

    If you are prone to accidents, consider some preventative measures to avoid mess. If the thought of using adult diapers makes you uncomfortable, you can use menstrual pads to absorb smaller leaks or lay down rubber-coated sheets below your regular bedsheets. Simply laying a towel on the bed in the area of your midsection can make any mess easy to clean up.
  • Reducing Problems

    Work during the day to make night-time problems, and bladder problems in general, less severe. Practice Kegel exercises, work to extend the time between urinating and eat a diet that is high in fiber.
  • Other Causes

    Always consult your doctor concerning your condition, and keep her informed of any changes in your dietary and sleeping habits. Work with your doctor to rule out any potentially serious medical issues that may be causing or contributing to your overactive bladder.
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