Living with incontinence can cause a long list of effects that can truly take control of your life. Incontinence does more than interrupt daily activities with its incessant need for frequent urination. It can also significantly impair one’s ability to sleep. Countless symptoms and consequences are associated with lack of sleep alone; combined with the effects of incontinence, it can truly diminish one’s overall quality of life.
Taking a Closer Look At Incontinence
Currently, urinary incontinence affects over 200 million people around the world. Of that 200 million, women are 25% more likely to suffer from this inconvenient condition than men are. Urinary incontinence is typically categorized into two different forms: stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Stress incontinence usually occurs when there is pressure on the abdomen from physical activity, sneezing, coughing, laughing, etc. On the other hand, urge incontinence consists of a frequent and intense need to urinate without the ability to control or stop it. Both forms of urinary incontinence can severely affect individuals on a day to day basis, and in many circumstances, it can also affect their sleep patterns. Nighttime incontinence, also known as nocturia, is a very common symptom of urinary incontinence. With nocturia, individuals are woken up consistently throughout the night with the urgent need to urinate. This results in a great lack of sleep which can contribute to various debilitating symptoms.
The symptoms that come from a lack of sleep can be quite serious. If you add that together with urinary incontinence, individuals are looking at a severe decrease in quality of life. To help manage nocturia, here are a few tips to try out:
Elevate your feet: Swollen ankles and swollen legs can actually contribute to one’s incontinence. By elevating your feet frequently throughout the day, the water that’s causing the swelling can drain from the ankles.
Time your medication: If you take medication, then you know that there are various side effects that are associated with it. Depending on the medication, one of the side effects could be frequent urination. Be sure to check your medication’s side effects to see if frequent urination is one of them. If so, it’s best that you don’t take it before bedtime in an effort to avoid nocturia.
Watch your beverage intake: There are a variety of beverages that contain substances that can irritate the bladder. Drinks such as coffee, tea, sodas, and alcohol tend to cause excessive urination. By limiting these specific beverages–and the time you drink them–you can help reduce your nocturia.