Urinary incontinence is inconvenient at any time of day, but it is more bothersome at night since it affects your sleep. Adult nocturnal enuresis and nocturia are the two types of nighttime urine incontinence. The former causes you to wet the bed while you sleep, while the latter wakes you up multiple times during the night to use the restroom.

While you may not be able to completely control your urinary incontinence, there are some things you may do to help manage the symptoms each night, before you retire to your bed:

  • Caffeine and alcohol, both bladder irritants, should be avoided, especially in the evening.
  • When you’re relaxing in the afternoon, elevate your legs to encourage the flow of fluid through your body. Compression stockings may also be beneficial.
  • Improve your bladder control by doing bladder training exercises.
  • During the day, practice holding on to your urine.
  • Request medicine from your doctor. Your doctor may advise you to take a diuretic in the afternoon to lower fluid levels before bedtime, or anticholinergic medicines to relax the bladder and allow you to hold more pee. Desmopressin, a hormone, also lowers the volume of urine you generate at night.
  • Invest in a bedwetting alarm. When you start to wet yourself, this gadget awakens you up with a sound or a vibration. These alarms can often assist in training your body to wake you up before you pee in your bed.
  • Wear protective underwear or a thin adult diaper. While no one likes to feel like they are wearing or need a diaper, extra protection will give you peace of mind. If you experience nighttime incontinence, your sheets will be protected and a diaper can be easily and discreetly tossed away in the morning

If you experience nighttime urinary incontinence, talk to your doctor about your alternatives and don’t be afraid to experiment until you discover a solution that helps you sleep better.