Incontinence, Sleep, and Your Overall Health

What can you do about disturbed sleep due to incontinence?
Sleep is critical to overall health. The body needs rest to repair and build, for the mind to function properly, and even for the bladder to function properly. According to Dr. Park, “a large number of awakenings and lack of deep sleep can irritate the bladder and lead to earlier sensations of needing to void.” Many people who suffer from incontinence also find that their sleep is disturbed. And disturbed sleep can make incontinence worse, so what can you do?

1. Talk to your doctor. 

Often being diagnosed is the key. Knowing what type of incontinence you have can help you find treatment. Finding out if you have sleep apnea can also help. Not everyone with sleep apnea has bladder control problems, and not everyone with bladder control issues has sleep apnea, but they may contribute to each other. With sleep apnea, people wake, usually in intervals of 90 minutes to two hours. They fall asleep, when they reach deep sleep their muscles relax, and as a result, their breathing stops, waking them up. Often when they wake, they need to go to the bathroom. Sleeplessness might be contributing to more frequent urination, and more frequent urination can lead to more sleeplessness. Thus, having an official diagnosis and treatment plan can be helpful.

In addition, the doctor may be able to offer medication, changes to current medications, and tips for less nighttime urinary output, and deep sleep without the cessation of breathing.

2. Get sleep when you can.

Because sleep is so vital for health, if you find yourself having interrupted sleep at night, whether from sleep apnea, or from urinary output, take cat naps during the day. Naps can also help with reducing fluid build-up, especially when combined with elevating feet, and wearing compression socks.

3. Avoid things that cause increased output.

There are certain foods, medications, and behaviors that can increase nighttime urinary output, and decrease your sleep. These include but are not limited to: caffeine, alcohol, citrus juices, smoking, diuretic medications, drinking too close to bedtime, or eating fluid-rich foods too late in the evening such as salads.

4. Protect from leaks and reduce the need to get up at night

If your incontinence is making it difficult to get the rest you need to, it can be helpful to use absorbent products designed for night use. They offer a moisture barrier to protect your furniture and bedding. They wick moisture away from the skin to protect it. And they can mean more sleep at night. You can use the hand Incontinence Product Finder. Helping you to quickly and easily sort through 500 choices.

5. Treat your type of incontinence.

There are things you can do to reduce your symptoms depending on the type of incontinence you have. For example, for those suffering from stress incontinence, consider doing kegel exercising. If you have urge incontinence, try bladder training. Talk to your physician or therapist for options. 

Call us. We're here to help.
Help support this ad free blog by answering several questions about caregiving here. It will take just two minutes. 

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


Post a Comment