Around 40% of women in all United States will develop Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) once during their lifetime. Women are more likely to experience UTIs than men due to their anatomy.
Common UTI discomfort symptoms are sleeping disorder, sudden awakening, and pain at night. It’s a very unpleasant infection that will escalate and worsen over time if you keep neglecting its symptoms.
If this condition disrupts your sleep routine, you will eventually develop other adverse health issues such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. So, you should learn how to sleep with UTI discomfort while treating the condition with medications.
We will help you with practical tips on how to sleep well while your body deals with this infection.
How Do UTIs Occur?
Your entire urinary system is vulnerable to UTI infection, which includes your ureters, kidneys, bladder, and urethra. The most common area for this infection is in between the urethra and bladder, called the urinary tract.
It’s common in women, but you must know that men can also have UTIs in rare scenarios. UTI occurs when a bacteria finds its way to the urinary tract through the urethra and spreads all over the bladder.
The urinary system can naturally repel bacteria from entering the system, but sometimes it fails for indefinite reasons. And when your urinary system is compromised, the bacteria might hold back in the urinary tract and grow as an infection, and triggers painful symptoms.
Some of the visible symptoms of UTI are:
- Strong urge to urinate
- The cloudy texture of urine
- Unable to sleep peacefully
- Strong and foul-smelling urine
- Red, pink, or black colored urine
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Pelvic pain (Common symptom in women)
Risk Factors for UTI
As mentioned above, female anatomy makes it common for women to experience more UTI disorders. It’s because women have shorter urethra than men. Hence, the bacteria must travel a lesser distance in women’s urethra to reach and grow in the bladder.
But as per factual studies, UTIs can affect anyone, but the intensity and occurrence ratio might differ. Certain risk factors are proven to trigger the symptoms of UTI in some specific people, which include:
- Sexually active women
- People using catheters
- Elderly men and women
- Postmenopausal women
- Record of UTIs in the past
- Patients suffering from diabetes
- Older men above 50 years of age
- Structural problems in the urinary tract
- People suffering from neurological issues
- Baby boys and toddlers who are uncircumcised
- Changes in bacteria that live within vaginal flora or the vagina
10 Tips to Sleep Better with a UTI
UTI triggers a lot of symptoms, but the most frustrating one among all is the difficulty in sleeping at night due to pain and other attributes of this infection. At night time, the urine output for the body is at its lowest, and reduced urination increases the risk of pain and discomfort in your bladder due to existing infection.
Following that, your body is already exhausted from within due to the consistent fight with the UTI bacteria. Therefore, it makes it difficult for your body to have a restful sleep at night. But, even with antibiotics or other prescribed medications, you must improve your sleep routine. It helps your body to fight off the infection.
So, here are ten effective tips that will help you learn how to sleep with UTI discomfort:
1. Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Day
Drinking enough water will help you urinate more frequently and flush out the bacteria worsening the infection. The color of your urine should be light yellow or almost clear if you’re drinking enough water in a day.
As per experts, you should drink at least eight glasses of water throughout the day, which might vary depending on your body weight, activity level, and other factors. UTI might demand you to drink a few more glasses during the morning hours than in the evening.
2. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Limit your caffeine intake while you’re treating your UTI condition. Too much caffeine will restrict your urge and frequency of urination. In other aspects, caffeine itself is a sleep-depriving agent that will keep you awake at night.
3. Limit Your Fluid Intake in the Evening
Don’t drink too much water for three hours before you go to bed. Drinking water in the evening triggers an urge to urinate late at night, disrupting your sleep.
Awakening late at night with UTI might make it difficult for you to fall asleep again. So, keep this in mind while you develop a habit of hydrating yourself.
4. Before Going To Bed, Empty Your Bladder
Worsened UTI might make it difficult for you to empty the bladder completely. So, prefer going to the washroom twice before bedtime. When you pee once and then wait a while before you go for a second time. It will help the medications work better on neutralizing the infection.
Empty your bladder as soon as you feel the urge to urinate because holding onto your pee will only worsen the UTI symptoms.
5. Schedule Bathroom Breaks at Night
Urinating frequently is the key to beating UTI infections. So, you can set alarms every two to four hours for bathroom breaks at night. It won’t even hamper your sleep routine, and you will be able to prevent your bladder from overfilling or overflowing at night time.
UTIs can make it troublesome for you to control your urination at night time during sleep which might result in a wet bed. If not, a bladder full of urine might worsen the UTI symptoms overnight. So, bathroom breaks at night might help get you better sleep.
6. Wear Incontinence Pants or a Pad
It’s common when a patient with UTI wets the bed at night due to bladder leakage. To help avoid such embarrassing situations, there are special undergarments for both men and women that will contain urine and soak it in the underpants without wetting the mattress.
Wet beds can compromise your sleep at midnight, which isn’t good for your recovery from this infection. So, these underpants or pads will help you prevent it.
7. Use a Heating Pad or Hot Water Bottle While Sleeping
Warming up your abdomen before you sleep will help minimize the troublesome pressure in the bladder and ease the discomfort. As a result, you’ll have better sleep at night. You can either use a heating pad or a hot water bottle to achieve this warming effect.
8. Consider Taking a Sitz (Baking Soda) Bath
Bathing with baking soda or sitz will ease your UTI discomfort. It’s practically tested that bathing with sitz will kill the infection-causing bacteria and remove the foul odor.
Add one-fourth cup of baking soda to a tub of warm water. Get into the tub and soak your body for 20 to 30 minutes. You’ll experience UTI pain relief, as the warmth of the water will help you sleep better at night without discomfort.
9. Avoid Foods and Beverages That Cause Bladder Irritation
Some of the foods and beverages that you should avoid with a UTI that might cause bladder irritation are:
- Spicy foods
- Carbonated drinks
- Tomato-based foods and products
These foods tend to irritate the infected bladder and increase the frequency and urgency for you to urinate more often. Your doctors will ask you to avoid these foods and beverages.
10. Take Painkillers as Needed
Phenazopyridine is a popular Over-The-Counter pain reliever that helps men and women with UTI conditions. This medication treats symptoms such as pain, urinal urgency, and a burning sensation in the bladder.
You must still consult your doctor before relying completely on this medication. They’ll diagnose your condition and prescribe you the right dosage for your UTI condition.
You can also check about how to sleep with stomach ulcers.
When Should You See a Doctor?
If you’re experiencing mild or worse UTI symptoms, the best time to see a doctor is at the earliest opportunity. If you’re pregnant and experiencing UTI symptoms, then it can be dangerous for both the child and the mother.
You shouldn’t ignore your UTI symptoms for long, as if it worsens, there might be serious and painful repercussions in the urinary system. At worst, UTI bacteria make their way to the kidney, making it critical for doctors to treat.
Antibiotics are recommended for serious UTIs for a prescribed period. Following that, oral antibiotics are also recommended for the next few weeks to completely heal the condition.
Medical Treatments for UTI Symptoms
UTI symptoms cause the most discomfort at night, which troubles your peaceful sleep. The best way to get rid of these symptoms is by medical treatments, which include:
Eliminating the Infection
After diagnosing the intensity of the UTI condition, your doctor will prescribe you the relevant antibiotic medicine. Some of them are:
Remember, these medications listed above are ideal only for simple UTIs. If the complexity of your condition is even worse or has led to kidney infection, doctors might recommend even stronger antibiotics such as Cipro or Levaquin.
Depending on your condition, doctors might recommend you other medications as well. The effective treatment will show recovery results within a week or two.
Dealing With the Pain
After you’re on antibiotics, you will experience relaxation with your UTI discomfort. But even then, your doctors will still recommend an analgesic, a pain medication. This medication deals with itching, burning, urinary urgency, and pain symptoms that still occur with the recovering UTI infection.
A Good Sleep is Essential To Fight Off UTI: FAQs
What Sleeping Position is Best for a UTI?
If you’re experiencing UTI discomfort at night that’s troubling your sleep, then you must lie down on your side and pull up the legs, similar to that of a fetal position. If you’re uncomfortable with that, you can sleep on your back and spread your legs apart to feel more comfortable. Pick your UTI sleep position to have a peaceful sleep at night.
Do UTI Symptoms Worsen at Night?
Yes, UTI symptoms worsen at night because the urine output is lowest. Lowered urination will increase the pain in your bladder and cause UTI discomfort. Make sure you empty your bladder before going to bed.
Is it True That Lying Down Makes a UTI Worse?
Lying down in inappropriate positions might just worsen the symptoms, and painful sensations might become more noticeable. Some incorrect positions will impose pressure on the bladder and will frequently stimulate the urge to urinate. Therefore, it’s better to either lie on your side or on your back to help you experience comfort with UTI.
How Can I Get Rid of UTI Pain at Night?
Keep your bladder empty before you go to bed at night, and set alarms for midnight urination breaks. It will help prevent the bladder from being full while you sleep, and you won’t have to wake up at unwilling hours to respond to bladder stimulation.
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So, this article elaborates on how you can sleep well with UTI discomfort. Now that you know the symptoms and risk factors, you can talk to your doctors about ways to avoid experiencing UTIs. Good hygiene is of utmost importance to prevent UTI bacteria from entering and growing in your bladder.
As your UTI treatment is in pursuit, you can also try our product Serenity Mood Enhancement supplement, which has therapeutic properties on improving your sleep and offers physical & mental recovery. Your body will feel more energetic, which will help your UTI medications fight off the infection at a speedy rate.
You can also check our post about how to sleep with cervical radiculopathy.