There are about 25 million adult Americans who are suffering from urinary incontinence or loss of urine control leading to an involuntary flow of urine. Urinary incontinence is thought to be caused by urinary tract infection, nerve damage, overactive bladder, being overweight, or aging. 

People who suffer from this medical condition usually experience incontinence at night, and they find it embarrassing and difficult to discuss bedwetting with healthcare professionals. So, how do you manage nighttime incontinence? 

Below are some helpful tips to effectively manage nocturnal enuresis or involuntary urination during the night.

Wear Protective Underwear

If your incontinence is bothersome and keeps you wet all night, it’s best to wear protective underwear or adult diaper. Adult diapers come in different sizes, and they’re convenient to use, leaving you worry-free if ever you lost control urinating during the night. Wearing an adult diaper will also keep your bed protected.

If you’re not comfortable wearing one, place a protective underpad on your mattress to absorb the urine instead of getting your bed sheet wet. Invest in easily washable underpads and water-proof bedding. You can easily buy the best incontinence booster pads online. 

Avoid Bladder Irritants

One of the bladder irritants that may cause bladder problems is caffeine. Caffeine has diuretic properties that can increase bedwetting episodes. 

Here are other bladder irritants you need to avoid:

  • Citrus fruits lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, etc.
  • Fruit juices
  • Yogurt, milk, and other dairy foods
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Apples and apple juice
  • Cranberries and cranberry juice
  • Spicy foods

Avoiding eating foods and drinking beverages that are bladder irritants help manage urinary incontinence. Usually, this tip is highly recommended by doctors before taking any medication. You just have to replace foods and drinks that irritate your bladder with substitutes to control your bladder and reduce the signs and symptoms of urinary incontinence. 

Drink Fluids Wisely

It can be tricky to control fluid intake. Reducing fluids makes the urine more concentrated, which can also irritate the bladder. Also, drinking too much water will pressure your bladder. That’s why drinking fluids wisely is important.

Here are some tips to help you manage fluid intake:

  • While you probably practiced water therapy before going to bed, avoiding fluids after 6 PM or at least three hours before bedtime is a good idea. 

If you get thirsty after this time, taking small sips of water can help instead of gulping down a glass or two. 

  • Only drink water when you’re thirsty and make sure you drink enough fluids about four to eight glasses (eight-ounce glass) a day. A colorless or light yellow urine means that you’re drinking enough water. 
  • Unless if you’re exercising, avoid drinking too much by carrying a small water bottle.

Bladder Training

Bladder training is a form of behavior therapy that’s applied as an effective urinary incontinence treatment. It aims to increase the time between urination and taking fluids, training the bladder to hold more fluids. 

By training your bladder, leakage is diminished, and the sense of urgency is significantly reduced. 

Performing pelvic floor exercises is one type of bladder training. Here’s how:

  • Proper Position: Pelvic floor exercises should be done first sitting on a chair. The pelvic floor is the muscles surrounding your genital and anal areas. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Rest your elbows on your knees. 
  • Slow Contraction: Practice slow contraction exercises by drawing up the pelvic muscles like you’re trying to stop passing gas. Don’t squeeze the buttock muscles. Draw up the pelvic muscles around the urethra like you’re trying to stop the flow of urine. Try to hold and maintain this position for about 10 seconds or as long as you can. 

Slowly relax your pelvic muscles and let it go. Gradually increasing the time holding the contraction and repeating it until your pelvic muscles start to feel tired will help you reduce the symptoms of urinary incontinence. 

  • Fast Contraction: Hold the pelvic muscles for about one second. Let your muscles relax and repeat the contractions until your pelvic muscles tire (at least ten times). Normally breathe while doing pelvic exercises and focus on the correct pelvic muscles. The results can be seen within three to six months.

Conclusion

Bladder training is important if you’re suffering from urinary incontinence, so you can train your bladder to hold more fluids and gain control of your nighttime urination. Also, you should avoid bladder irritants, like coffee and tea, to avoid having an overactive bladder. 

Drinking fluids wisely will help you manage your fluid intake and urine output. Lastly, don’t forget to wear an adult diaper or place underpad on your bed to keep you dry all night. 

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Tips For Managing Incontinence At Night," in Medicalopedia, December 24, 2019, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8140/tips-for-managing-incontinence-at-night/].