Needing the lavatory in the middle of the night

Being awakened by the sensation of a full bladder can be useful. On the other hand if we then struggle to get back to sleep it isn't. How do people manage this problem.

Posted 14 Dec 2012 at 3:35 PM
  • 19 comments
  • 18 helped

Comments

  • Sleepio Member

    • 703 comments
    • 235 helped
    Graduate

    I used to get up three or four times a night suella, but I do not get up at all now except after visit to pub. I stopped drinking any liquid after 5pm, and I do not go to bed until midnight, by then all liquid has passed through the system.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 868 comments
    • 269 helped
    Graduate

    Thanks Bryan1939. I don't date try to go completely abstemious as I have ME and need to keep my fluid intake up for my less than sparkling blood levels.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 254 comments
    • 100 helped
    Graduate

    Why not work out the latest time that you can have a drink and then have a drink then and as soon as you get up?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 831 comments
    • 186 helped
    Graduate

    I wonder with me me, if it's habit and anxiety more than need. If I wake up, I start to worry if I don't pay a visit I won't get back to sleep. It's become part of my ritual.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 7 helped
    Graduate

    I was wondering if Sleepio had any information regarding sleep interruption caused by having to pee at night. I need to get up to urinate at least once a night and is the main thing that disrupts my sleep. Some common suggestions are 1) Don't drink 3 hours before bed. 2) Try training your bladder to urinate less often, by doing kegels etc. 3) Limit salt. 4) Limit protein.

    Some of this may be specific to each person. I work out 6 days a week with weights and cardio I also drink almost exclusively water. I have a high protein diet required by steady weightlifting and exercise. I also drink between 8-10 glasses water throughout the day.

    I found that trying to limit water intake 3 hours before bed was very challenging as got very thirsty at night. I tried front loading my liquid intake throughout the day. I was only able to sustain this for about 5 days before deciding to drink when I felt thirsty again.

    I was surprised that the Sleepio course this far hasn't covered urination as a cause of interrupting sleep. I would appreciate if anyone had any information and advice. Thanks!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 107 comments
    • 43 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Nancy,
    I've just noticed your comment – a long time ago – about the problem of the 'having to get up to pay a visit to the loo' ritual. I have exactly the same problem. Pre sleepio course, when I was having one of my nights from hell, taking up to 7 hrs to get to sleep, I sometimes used to get out of bed over 10 times to visit the loo – all because I was convinced that there was no chance of falling asleep until I did! Now my sleep schedule is 12.30 – 6.45, and I still wake up on average 3 times per night to visit the loo, but thankfully, am able to get back to sleep again. It's very difficult to know how to break this habit, as I think it's been there since childhood for me – when I was a child I lived in a house with a downstairs toilet, involving a lengthy,cold trek, which was very invigorating, and woke me up on a regular basis! I will definately try not drinking anything after 5pm though, as bryan 1939 suggested.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 107 comments
    • 43 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi, bryan
    Have just read your comment re fluid intake. I've had this problem all my life, and it's been a big contributor to my sleep problems. I will definately try your suggestion about stopping fluid intake after 5pm, whenever possible. I'm sure it's a psychological problem for me, based on the belief that I won't be able to go to sleep unless I've had a trip to the loo, so it will be very interesting to see what happens if there's nothing there to come out!

  • Sleepio Member

    • 62 comments
    • 8 helped
    Graduate

    Hi Everyone,
    When I wake wanting the loo if I am really tired I just ignore it & go back to sleep. I usually can hang on to morning. It usually works. I haven`t had an accident yet--- Didn`t I read somewhere that the female bladder can hold more than the male?

  • Sleepio Member

    • 1 comments
    • 0 helped
    Session 5

    Hi Folks,

    Does anyone suffer with Nocturia? I use to get up 5/6 times each night to urinate. Although there has been improvement, its a real pain and I'm trying my best resolve this long standing problem.

    Any tips/advice would be appreciated.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 2 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    a newbie here – just to say I have this problem a lot – a not too hot water bottle on my tummy helps a bit – relaxes muscles, meaning I dont feel the need to empty my bladder as much

  • Sleepio Member

    • 46 comments
    • 12 helped
    Graduate

    I have this problem but it seems only at night. During the day I have my usual 1 cup of wake me up coffee and then a continuous flask of 500mls herbal tea, peppermint during the mornings and camomile from about 4ish. (I am desperate to beat this problem). During this time I have timed myself that I need only twice and max 3 times to visit the loo. And totally stop drinking from 9.30 pm. And I always go to the loo before going to bed. Yet I still have to get up at least once every night. If it is a habit that needs to be broken, how – without having accidents.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 4 comments
    • 8 helped
    Graduate

    Hi folks… one of the major causes of me waking up at night (and hence the reason for beginning the Sleepio course just last Monday) is having to use the damn toilet like many of you. I thought maybe I had Overactive Bladder, but my doctor said she highly doubts it…as it affects mostly older people and mostly women. I'm 44 years old and I'm male. But what I've just read is that if you have allowed yourself to go to the loo during the day at the slightest urge, your bladder then develops a “habit” of alerting you when it isn't even full. That's what I think has happened to me… an average person with normal health is supposed to be able to hold at least a couple pints, easily through the night. There are exercises called Keagal exercises (google that) where you can strengthen your bladder muscles. Personally I haven't tried them yet so I can't comment on how effective they are, but it seems plausible. Right now I just do like many of you… I try not to drink a drop of liquid at least an hour before bed time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 92 comments
    • 17 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi Eat it or Else, I've got a friend who saw her doctor about needing the toilet frequently all day and all night. She was referred to a specialist nurse who prescribed pelvic floor exercises like the Kegel ones you mentioned. They were very effective and she can now last all night and for hours during the day. So I hope they work for you too. Good luck with this and the rest of the Sleepio course.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 246 comments
    • 93 helped
    Graduate

    Yes the Keagle exercises do work. You need to get into the habit of doing them every day though just like all good habits.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
    • 2 helped
    Graduate

    Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. They are used mainly for women who leak a little when laughing, coughing, sneezing, or after childbirth to “rebuild” the strength of the pelvic floor. The urge to go to the loo has little to do with these muscles, but is a nerve reflex due to stretching of the bladder as it fills. “Bad habits” eg going to the loo as soon as you feel it “full” can lead to the reflex starting sooner and sooner long before the bladder is full. What is needed is bladder retraining – see eg http://www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files%5C121213overactivebladder.pdf

    As men get older, they often have an additional problem. The prostate enlarges and prevents complete emptying of the bladder – thus it appears the bladder holds less, as bladder is not emptied. Bladder exercises can also help here to increase bladder capacity. Treatment for prostate enlargement is possible depending on the severity, but both medical and surgical treatment can affect fertility and the ability to get an erection.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 10 comments
    • 2 helped
    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I don't know what level of “workout” you do, but a high-protein diet causes a greater production of urine, as the excess protein is broken down and peed out in the urine. This means that more water is pulled from the blood to help the urea (main breakdown product from protein) removal. Excessive peeing while following a high-protein diet can lead to dehydration – hence your thirst!.
    I am not into bodybuilding but i doubt you need a very high protein intake. See http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/do-bodybuilders-and-other-weightlifters-need-more-protein.

  • Sleepio Member

    • 16 comments
    • 9 helped
    Graduate

    I rarely drink anything after about 4pm, but still need to go to the loo usually twice during the night. Eating an evening meal that contains a fair amount of liquid, such as a stew, has the same effect as drinking, so makes me get up more too. I can 'hang on' all day without going, if necessary, so don't think it is an oversensitive bladder. For me the answer has to be in solving the problem of not being able to go back to sleep once I have gone to the loo, which I am pleased to say is hugely improved due to Sleepio sleep restriction. For the last 4 weeks I have been able to go back to sleep within 5 mins of going back to bed, whereas before I could be awake for an hour or more. So although I would rather not have to get up, it is no longer such a worry (and the worry about it kept me awake too, no doubt).

  • Sleepio Member

    • 67 comments
    • 8 helped
    Graduate

    I still get up 2 or 3 times a night – sometimes pre Sleepio it would be more! I have tried not drinking but still wake up – not necessarily to go to the loo but then if awake I think I must go or I won't get back to sleep. It is a problem/habit I don't seem able to break no matter what I do. The only difference is post Sleepio I am less anxious about it – just accept it and then on that basis I tend to go back to sleep.
    However, any ideas would be welcomed

  • Sleepio Member

    • 435 comments
    • 248 helped
    Graduate

    One of my original goals when I joined sleepio was to sleep through the night as I always got up at least once to go to the toilet. That's the only goal I still haven't hit, and I have come to the conclusion that it a rainbow I'm chasing.
    All my friends who are good sleepers (and my husband who is a championship sleeper usually) get up in the night to urinate. The BIG difference between them and me is that they aren't anxious about it, and don't obsess about whether they will be awake all night afterwards like I used to!!! I have decided just to live with that one, which I can do now because I do get back to sleep often within about 10 minutes, and if I haven't then I use the relaxation download and that usually works. If it doesn't I just shrug my shoulders and think that at least this is only one occasional bad night, whereas they all used to be like that.
    I have adjusted my expectations from aiming to have solid sleep every night to having a decent block of 5 or 6 hours and feel that has helped me.

Return to top