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Sleeping well

Suffering from incontinence at night (nocturnal enuresis) can be disheartening and disrupt your sleep pattern. To reduce the impact of incontinence on your slumber, here are some tips to help you get a good night’s sleep.

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How to get a good night’s sleep

You won’t feel rested in the morning if you wake up with wet pyjamas or get out of bed to use the loo several times during the night. Fortunately, there are ways to manage incontinence and stop the condition from disturbing your sleep.

Limit fluids before bed

A good night’s sleep starts the afternoon before. Reduce the amount you drink as the afternoon ends and the evening begins. Do not cut liquid out altogether, as this is a common incontinence myth and can actually make the urge worse. However, gently decreasing your liquid intake later in the day can help cut out those extra visits to the toilet in the night.

Assess your diet

Some foods and drinks are known to irritate the bladder. These include citrus fruits and spicy snacks, as well as diuretics including tea, coffee, alcohol and fizzy drinks. Excessive consumption of the wrong food and drink can encourage incontinence symptoms at night, leaving your sleep pattern disrupted and irregular.

Double up on bedtime toilet trips

Where you can, try to use the loo twice before settling down for bed. As well as helping to empty your bladder, this will also reduce your anxiety about getting up in the night, so you can drift off into a deeper sleep quicker.

Keep an incontinence diary

Writing a diary of your body’s behaviours can help you to identify incontinence triggers. By noting what you’ve eaten, when you’ve been to the toilet, and how often you’ve woken up wet or needing to go, you can start to see what may be making your symptoms worse. Then, you can start making changes that’ll positively impact your sleep and provide you with peace of mind.

Wear the right clothes and products

It’s vital to wear appropriate nightwear to maximise protection and convenience. Clothing that is easily removed can reduce the stress of urgent trips to the toilet.

Comfort and practicality is key with your incontinence products too. Depend®Comfort Protect Underwear, which is available for women and for men, comes with an overnight guarantee. This allows you to rest easy during the night knowing that if an accident does occur, your sheets will remain dry.

Image of a couple sleeping in bed

Other ways to get a good night’s sleep

Our general advice on enjoying a restful night’s sleep is to:

  • Eat lightly before bed. Going to bed on a full stomach doesn’t allow enough time for your body to digest, which can lead to a disrupted sleep.
  • Give yourself time to unwind. Avoid electronic devices for at least an hour before bed so your eyes and mind can relax, making it easier to fall asleep.
  • De-clutter your bedroom. Keeping your bedroom organised and calm will help your body to recognise that when you’re in your bedroom, it’s time for rest and tranquillity.
  • Stick to a routine. Having a sleep schedule that you stick to, even on weekends, will help train your body to know when to rest
  • Embrace sleep disruption. Lying awake for too long will cause frustration and make the situation worse. If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, try getting out of bed, sitting up or doing a quiet activity that won’t wake your brain up, then attempt sleep again.

Remember, sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. You owe it to yourself to be wide-awake, refreshed, and at your best all day long.

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