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5 Tips to Reduce Nighttime Bathroom Visits

Updated on February 14, 2017
DreamerMeg profile image

A retired granny passionately interested in fitness, life-long learning, writing, researching, and many other things.

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5 Proven Tactics To Reduce Nighttime Bathroom Visits

So, you want to eliminate—or at least reduce—the need to visit the bathroom in the night? Many people, as they age, find they need to use the bathroom more frequently, and this can often disrupt their sleep. It can be harder to get back to sleep once you have awakened than it was to drop off when you first got into bed, so it can be helpful to reduce the need to use the bathroom in the first place. Here are some basic tactics that may help you reach your goal.

Do Not Follow This Advice If...

Before you try anything on this article, please note that it is not aimed at anyone with kidney disease, kidney stones, or any other kidney problem, nor anyone who uses a diuretic (a tablet to prevent water retention). It is also NOT suitable for pregnant women. If you have a kidney problem or use diuretic tablets, please follow your medical adviser's advice. This hub is aimed at those who may be getting older and are finding that they have to visit the bathroom more often than when they were younger, but otherwise have no other general health problems. This hub does NOT provide medical advice.

First, ask yourself whether you might have a urinary tract infection (UTI). Also called a bladder infection, this is one of the commonest reasons for having to visit the bathroom frequently, both day and night. The symptoms of a urinary infection include:

  • Pain when passing water, or there may be a burning sensation;
  • You may need to urinate urgently or you may dribble because you are unable to control the flow, even though there are only small amounts of urine to be passed;
  • Blood in the urine, or it may look pinkish or red or cloudy;
  • Your lower abdomen and your back may feel painful, tender or heavy.

If you have these symptoms, or suspect you may have a bladder infection, please make an appointment with your medical adviser as soon as possible.

Men - prostate trouble

For men, an increase in size in the prostate gland can lead to problems with urination, including dribbling, reduced flow, etc. If you have these problems, please see your medical adviser.

To reduce bathroom visits

Provided you do not fall into the categories above (kidney problems, bladder infection, taking diuretics, prostate trouble, etc) you may wish to try the following to reduce your number of visits to the bathroom at night:

Tactic # 1 - Cut Late Caffeine

Reduce the amount of caffeine you drink late in the day. To maximize the key benefits of this you'll need to cut out or cut down on the amount of caffeine you are drinking in the evening. This includes not only tea and coffee but also many so-called "soft" drinks, such as cola and even some sports drinks. If you enjoy bottled drinks, check the ingredients' list to see if it includes caffeine. If you are thirsty in the evening, drink plain water or milk, instead of a caffeinated drink. You may need to experiment to see if you have a natural "cut-off" time, after which you should not drink caffeine if you want an undisturbed night's sleep. This might be 6pm, or even 4pm.

Tactic # 2 - Reduce Late Liquid

Reduce the amount of liquid you drink late in the day. This typically is successful because the number of times you visit the bathroom is related to the amount of liquid you drink and how recently you drank it. Liquid takes a little while to pass through your system but not too long.

Note: this is NOT a suggestion that you reduce the amount of liquid you consume overall. The amount you drink is up to you and will depend on your own needs, the climate you live in and the amount of physical work or exercise you do to lose water through sweating. Just shift the major part of your consumption away from the evening. Drink it a bit earlier in the day, when you will be able to get rid of it without having to get up from bed. Drinking it while at work, if you work in an office, can be a good option, as it gets you up from your desk. Please ensure that you do NOT allow yourself to get dehydrated.This most especially applies to pregnant women - you need to stay hydrated. If you are exercising in the evening, you will need to continue to drink water (not coffee, tea or cola) to ensure you do not get dehydrated.

Tactic # 3 - pelvic floor exercises

Try pelvic floor exercises. These exercises are useful for both men and women. Women aren't the only ones who may have a weak pelvic floor and pelvic floor exercises may be very beneficial in helping you reduce the number of visits in the night. These can lead to a reduced need to visit the bathroom at night. The easiest pelvic floor exercise is one you can do while standing in a queue. No one will know you are exercising! It's just to squeeze the muscles that control the flow of urine and hold for a count of 10. Repeat 4 or 5 times. Increase the length of time you hold the muscles and the number of times you do this as your muscle control improves. You can also practise this while on the toilet. Try stopping the flow of urine mid-stream and then continuing.

You can see a video by a doctor explaining why you need to improve muscle strength and how to do this on Youtube in the capsule below.

Another exercise is a "hip raise". This is where you lie flat on the floor on your back (please be careful if you have back problems) and then draw your feet up, so they are flat on the floor and your knees are sticking up into the air in a "v" shape. Now, carefully lift your hips off the floor and squeeze your glutes (your buttocks) tightly together for the count of 10 and then release. Repeat 4 or 5 times. You can see a youtube video on this in the capsule below.

Pelvic Floor exercises

Hip Raises

Tactic # 4 - do squats and abdominal crunches

Try doing some squat exercises. With this you have to be careful about your back if you have not been used to doing much exercise or have generally done very little movement., and also you need to be careful of your balance. Squats are an essential addition to the pelvic floor exercises, providing a different kind of stretch to the pelvic floor muscles. You need both these types of exercise to help strengthen the pelvis and improve your bladder control. Check out this Youtube video in the capsule below for how to do squats using something for support.

Abdominal crunches can also help improve muscle control.

Supported Squats

Tactic # 5 - deal with constipation

Constipation may not be thought of as a reason for visiting the toilet more often both day and night but it can reduce the space available within your abdomen for the bladder. This means the bladder holds less, before it tells you that it's full. If you suffer from constipation, dealing with this can help you reduce the number of visits you pay to the bathroom. Constipation can be improved by eating more fruit and vegetables, including salad vegetables, to increase the roughage in your diet. You can also increase roughage by adding oatbran to cereals or eating whole cereals, including porridge. For those on diets, you can take psyllium husks, a natural fibre with no calories, no fat, no protein and no dietary carbohydrate.

Final Thoughts

Few things are guaranteed, of course, however, in most cases, if you try out the above 5 tips, your chances of getting good results with improved bladder control, as well as reducing the need to visit the bathroom during the night are likely to be greater.

Any help?

Did any of this information help you or allow you to help someone else?

See results

Have you any tips to pass on to help reduce the number of night-time bathroom visits?

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    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 months ago from England

      I tend to get up loads in the night, but drinking tea in bed really doesn't help! lol! great advice.

    • DreamerMeg profile image
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      DreamerMeg 9 months ago from Northern Ireland

      Hi Mel, thanks for visiting and I agree, alcohol is not a good sleep aid.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 9 months ago from San Diego California

      Great tips. I really only go one time at night, but it takes me forever to crawl out of bed for that one time, and my dreams change to water related themes, if you get my point. One thing I might add is that I don't think alcohol is good before bedtime. Unless one drinks to the point of complete inebriation and passes out, alcohol is not a sleep aid.

    • DreamerMeg profile image
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      DreamerMeg 12 months ago from Northern Ireland

      Long may it continue @Billybuc. Thank you for visiting and commenting

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      As I get older...and older...and older...I imagine this is something I'll have to deal with, but so far, so good. :) I still sleep through the night like a baby. An old baby but still, a baby. :)

    • DreamerMeg profile image
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      DreamerMeg 2 years ago from Northern Ireland

      @Paul Kuehn and @ pstraublie48 Thank you both for your comments.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      No doubt those who suffer with getting up to use the bathroom at night will find this quite helpful.

      Thankfully I do not have this problem but do know some who do. I will share this with them as I think they may be unfamiliar with exercises you cited.

      Angels are on the way to you ps

      shared g+ tweeted

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 2 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I have to get up sometimes four times during a nine hour period at night when I am sleeping. The problem is that I have an enlarged prostate and recently had one kidney removed. My urologist has given me medication which I am sure makes me urinate one every three hours or so. Thanks for sharing some very good tips. I am sharing this hub with my HP followers.

    • DreamerMeg profile image
      Author

      DreamerMeg 2 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Thank you very much and thank you for visiting.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This hub contains some very useful information. Thanks for sharing all the tips for helping people to sleep through the night without needing to visit the bathroom.

    • Romanian profile image

      Nicu 2 years ago from Oradea, Romania

      This was really helpful. I didn't know that there are some exercises good for this. Thanks for sharing these good informations.

    • DreamerMeg profile image
      Author

      DreamerMeg 3 years ago from Northern Ireland

      The exercises are useful anyway. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Great suggestions and I'll try the exercise just to keep all well.

    • DreamerMeg profile image
      Author

      DreamerMeg 3 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Thanks for visiting and I hope your visits to the bathroom will reduce at night.

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      It was only up to now that I know that such exercise is also good for such problem. I will surely try it out since I do visit the toilet on several occasion late at night. They are my obstacles to a good night sleep. Thanks for the information and up for this hub...

    • DreamerMeg profile image
      Author

      DreamerMeg 4 years ago from Northern Ireland

      You're welcome. Hope one of these tips helps you. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Every night at 3 pm - toilet run! LOL Thanks for these suggestions - I never thought about exercising helping the problem. Thanks so much.

    • DreamerMeg profile image
      Author

      DreamerMeg 4 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Very true! Thanks

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very useful info and I've practically seen that caffeine, cola and tea apart from drinking water late in the day causes increased visits to the bathroom at night.

      Voted up and useful.

    • DreamerMeg profile image
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      DreamerMeg 4 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Thanks very much for your comment.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      You have written a very informative Hub here. I am lucky that I do sleep all night without having to get up. I limit my water intake after 8 pm. I lost a kidney (wrote a Hub about that), so I drink lots of water during the day to keep from getting stones in my good kidney.

      I have a friend who complains about getting up at night, but she drinks coffee all day! Gee, I wonder why....

      Voted this UP, and will share.

    • DreamerMeg profile image
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      DreamerMeg 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Thank you very much for your comment (and vote).

    • visionandfocus profile image

      visionandfocus 5 years ago from North York, Canada

      You tackled this important subject very thoroughly and included some excellent videos. As the urologist says, most people don't realise the pelvic floor is part of our core muscles. As they're not "glamour" muscles, these important muscles tend to get neglected. You did a great job with this very informative and well laid out hub. Voted up!

    • DreamerMeg profile image
      Author

      DreamerMeg 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Thanks.

    • FigureCompetition profile image

      FigureCompetition 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Very useful information - squats are a great exercise and should be coupled with pelvic floor exercises as you suggest to ensure you get the full benefits from exercising complimentary muscles

    • DreamerMeg profile image
      Author

      DreamerMeg 5 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Thanks very much. Glad you liked it.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Excellent advice. Very helpful. Great hub.