What Are the Best Sleeping Positions If You Have an Overactive Bladder?
A sudden, urgent need to urinate is the most prominent of the Overactive bladder symptoms.
Research has estimated that its prevalence in the United States is between 16.5 and 35.6 percent.
“When your bladder isn’t full, your bladder muscles contract involuntarily. This may be due to improper signaling between your brain and bladder. It may be caused by bladder muscles that are too active.”
It can be hard to do daily activities without frequent trips to the bathroom since you are living with OAB. If you are not close to a bathroom, you may feel anxious.
Sleep can also be affected. It’s estimated that
“If you have OAB, you may be wondering if certain sleep positions can help you sleep better. We will explore this topic and other ways to promote a good night’s sleep with OAB.”
There’s not currently much specific research into what’s the best sleeping position for OAB. A general rule of thumb is to select one that’s both comfortable to you, leads to restful sleep, and doesn’t contribute to pain upon waking.
There are a few points about OAB, sleep, and body position that are important to know. Let’s examine these now.
Side sleep for sleep apnea
Sleep apnea has been linked to OAB symptoms in both
If you have sleep apnea and OAB, sleeping on your side may help. It’s estimated that moving from sleeping on the back to sleeping on the side can eliminate sleep apnea symptoms in about
Managing sleep apnea can also help with your OAB symptoms. A 2021 study found that participants who used continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or surgery for sleep apnea had a significant reduction in OAB symptoms.
Consider daytime body positioning
It may seem counterintuitive, but it is possible to make some adjustments to your body positioning during the day to help you sleep at night.
Lying down can actually contribute to increased urination.
This is because the fluid that’s built up in your legs while you’re upright is better distributed into your bloodstream when you lie down. Since your kidneys filter excess fluids from the bloodstream, this can contribute to urine production.
Elevating your legs throughout the day and wearing compression socks may help to redistribute fluids back into your bloodstream during this time instead of letting them accumulate. This may help prevent multiple bathroom trips in the middle of the night.
If you have OAB, this may be helpful in helping you to control the fluid build up in your legs and ankles. Some examples include:
Similar to sleeping positions, there’s not really any research into what type of mattress is optimal for OAB. When looking for a mattress, it’s important to find one that maximizes comfort while providing support for your body.
- The position that you sleep in.
- Your body type is related to that.
- You share a bed with someone.
- if you have preexisting neck or back pain
- Your price range.
Some people with OAB may also experience something called urge incontinence. This is when a strong urge to urinate comes on and urine leaks out before you can get to the bathroom.
If you find that you experience urge incontinence due to OAB, you may consider using protective products for your bed and mattress. Some examples are included.
- a waterproof mattress cover or pad
- waterproof sheets
- products like absorbent underwear or disposable pads
There are several things that you can do to help prevent having to pee at night due to OAB. These include:
- Reduce fluids in the evening. While it’s important to stay hydrated during the day, limit your intake of fluids, especially ones that contain Alcohol. and caffeine, in the 2 to 4 hours before you go to bed.
- Double void before bed. Some people with OAB have trouble fully emptying their bladder. Double voiding, or emptying your bladder twice, can help. Before going to bed, empty your bladder once, wait several minutes, and then try again.
- Avoid triggers. Some foods and drinks can irritate the bladder and may increase your need to urinate. Some that you may want to avoid, especially later in the day, are:
- There are drinks with soda and other drinks.
- beverages made with artificial sweeteners
- The foods with acidic content are lemons and tomatoes.
- spicy food
Since coping with nocturia due to OAB can be stressful, it’s also a good idea to make sure your bedroom is an environment that promotes sleep. A few things to consider include:
- Setting up a sleep schedule and relaxing at night can be done.
- making sure that your bedroom is dark, quiet, and a comfortable temperature
- Limit the use of electronics in your bedroom.
- If you need to get up to urinate, make sure the path to the bathroom is clear.
There are treatments that can help with OAB. Medical treatments and things you can do at home are included.
“Sticking to your treatment plan can help prevent trips to the bathroom during the day and night. Let’s take a look at some of the treatment options for OAB.”
Some of the steps that you can take at home to manage OAB include:
- Reduce fluid intake. Reducing fluid intake to
6 to 8 glasses of waterper day can reduce the amount of urine you produce. However, it’s important to stay hydrated, so follow your doctor’s instructions on fluid intake carefully. Also consider not drinking too much water close to bedtime.
- Avoid triggers. As we mentioned above, certain foods and drinks can irritate your bladder and make your symptoms worse. Consider limiting or avoiding these triggers.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking cigarettes increases your risk for many health conditions and can irritate your bladder. If you currently smoke, consider speaking with a doctor about developing a quit plan that you can stick to. This is often difficult, but a doctor can help create a plan that works for you.
- Bladder training. Bladder training involves urinating on a regular schedule and can help increase the capacity of your bladder. You’ll usually start with a short interval, such as 30 minutes, and gradually increase the time between trips to the bathroom, sometimes up to several hours.
- Pelvic floor exercises. Pelvic floor exercises, like Kegels, can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This can help you better hold in urine and suppress urinary urgency. Ask your doctor about physical therapists that specialize in pelvic floor therapy.
Tracking when you need to urinate with a bladder diary can also give you more information on how factors like fluid intake and foods impact your symptoms. It can also help you track the progress of bladder training.
There are prescription medications that are available to help with OAB. A doctor may recommend them when at-home care isn’t helping to manage your symptoms.
Medications for OAB may be given as a pill, gel, or transdermal patch. These include:
- antimuscarinics, like oxybutynin (Ditropan) and tolterodine (Detrol)
- beta-3 agonists, like mirabegron (Myrbetriq)
The medications block nerve impulses to the bladder muscles. This can prevent the muscles from contracting.
Other possible medical treatments for OAB include at- home care and the use of medications.
- Botox injections into the bladder muscle
- The bladder has nerve pathways that serve it.
- surgery to increase bladder capacity or reroute the flow of urine
Sleep is important for both your physical and mental health. Poor sleep can impact your alertness and memory, increase your stress levels, and raise your risk of health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
If you find that your OAB symptoms make you frequently get up to use the bathroom at night, you should make an appointment with a doctor. They can help you reduce your urinary frequency.
If the strategies you are currently using to prevent nocturia become less effective or stop working, it is a good idea to talk with a doctor. It is possible that your treatment plan needs to be adjusted.
Many people with OAB experience nocturia at night. There is no single sleeping position that is optimal for OAB. It is best to choose one that is most comfortable for you.
Side sleeping is the best option if you have both sleep disorders. It is possible to reduce the need to urinate at night for some people by elevating your legs throughout the day.
Double voiding before bed and limiting fluids in the evening are some ways to reduce nocturia. Treatments like bladder training, pelvic floor exercises, and medications can help to improve your OAB symptoms.
If you have OAB that affects your sleep or if your methods of limiting nocturia stop working, talk to a doctor. They can help recommend ways to reduce urination at night.