Sleep—we all need it and somehow few of us seem to get enough. All of us have entertained fantasies about quitting our jobs or dropping out of school if only to get another hour of Zzz’s. At AZO, we know how important a full night’s sleep is. If you want to stay in bed but your bladder urges are waking you up, it may be more than just your dreams that get compromised. Less sleep can affect your overall well-being, in addition to your relationships with family, friends and co-workers.
URINARY BLADDER URGENCY AT NIGHT
The need to get up and pee at night is very common. Research published in The Journal of Urology found that up to 44 percent of women ages 20–40 get up to pee at least once a night. But just because it’s common, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Sleep plays an important role in your overall health and well-being. A lack of sleep, caused by occasional urgency issues, could raise your risk of some health problems that you want to avoid, not to mention affecting your productivity and mood! A well-rested you means a healthy and happy you. The lesson here is that sleep is something you shouldn’t ignore.1
FOR YOUR BLADDER, STICK TO HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS1
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help with a lack of sleep due to frequent nightly urgency. The first is the most obvious—go to the bathroom before you go to bed. It sounds simple, but at the end of a long day sometimes all you want to do is collapse. However, it is important to make sure to empty your bladder as much as possible before crawling under the covers. It can also help to limit your fluid intake 3–4 hours prior to bedtime.2 Next, try to stick to a regular bedtime. This will help your body get into a rhythm, and reduce the stress caused during the day by wondering if you’re going to be able to get enough sleep. Avoid daytime naps and try to stick to a regular time for waking up as well, even on the weekends. A noisy bedroom can be its own challenge. Just because you’re sleeping, your brain doesn’t completely turn off its auditory awareness. Things like having the television on in the background can keep your unconscious brain in a steady state of alert, disturbing the quality of sleep you get, even if you don’t actually wake up. Try to keep your bedroom quiet and free of jarring noises such as text alerts or commercials on TV. A white noise source, like a sleep machine or a fan, can help mask the disruptive sounds of city life and give you a familiar auditory cue to send you off into the “Land of Nod.”3 Practicing regular meditation at the end of the day can help you unwind and put your mind and body in a more relaxed state.4 A vigorous exercise regimen earlier in the day (not before bedtime) can not only tire you out and burn off excess energy, but it also helps the body establish hormonal balances that are conducive to sleep at night.4 Exercise can help reduce excess weight—alleviating pressure on the bladder that can contribute to occasional frequent urgency.
YOUR SLEEP MATTERS
The bottom line is that sleep counts for more than you realize. Every time you get up to pee in the middle of the night due to occasional bladder control issues you disrupt your sleep cycle. This adds at least another twenty minutes of wakefulness as you try to fall back to sleep and may challenge your overall well-being. So, while quitting work or dropping out of school just for a little extra sleep is hardly ever a viable option, you can take steps in the right direction toward a full night’s sleep and well-rested days!
1 Frequent Urination at Night; http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/frequent-urination-at-night
2 How Bladder Problems Can Impact Your Sleep; http://www.everydayhealth.com/sleep/how-bladder-problems-can-impact-your-sleep.aspx
3 Listen. Are Noises Keeping You Awake?; https://sleepfoundation.org/bedroom/hear.php
4 Urinary Tract Infection-Adults http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/urinary-tract-infection/overview.html