Updated 09 October 2017

5 steps to help control night time bladder weakness

In men, this might be because of prostate enlargement and for women, they may have symptoms of an overactive bladder.


It’s not just children that experience night time bladder weakness and for a small number of adults, they may never have stayed dry at night since childhood. However, many more develop it as they get older for various reasons.

In men, this might be because of prostate enlargement and for women, they may have symptoms of an overactive bladder.

Both men and women may not have any issues during the day, but at night, in deep sleep, they don't respond to the early signals that they need to get up and go to the toilet.

It’s important to note, if bladder weakness is only being experienced at night when in a deep sleep and not during the day, it could be the first sign of something new such as a urine infection or diabetes. It’s important to get these signs and symptoms checked out by your doctor.

There are, however, some steps that can be taken in the first instance;

Step 1:

Some drinks really irritate

It’s best to avoid drinking things which irritate the lining of the bladder, such as alcohol and caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee, especially the high caffeine, sugar and carbonated energy drinks. Water is always the best. 

Step 2:

Retrain your bladder and be the boss again 
It is possible for some to retrain their bladder to become less overactive. This is done by holding off going to the toilet and increasing the time between bathroom trips. It can eventually strengthen the bladder and increase its capacity, however, do not hold on for several hours!

Step 3:

Is stress getting to you?

Some people who are feeling stressed are also likely to experience bladder weakness at night.  Finding ways to relax and reducing the stress in your life will have benefits all round not just on your bladder. Some people find Yoga or Pilates a stress buster, others find simple, regular exercise and that “me” time is enough.  It’s all about the balance.

Step 4:

Infections add the burn

A urinary tract infection (UTI) can also give rise to bladder weakness at night. There could be many reasons why someone develops an infection but the symptoms are the same for most people; a strong and frequent need to urinate, passing cloudy, bloody, or strong smelling urine. They may also have pain or a burning sensation when urinating.  It’s important to get this checked by your doctor as you may need medication to clear it.

Step 5:

Late night drinking

It’s important to drink that’s true, but be aware of how much you drink in the last two hours before you go to bed.  Don’t cut down on your fluid intake, just distribute it more evenly throughout the day.

At TENA, we realise that women with bladder weakness may have different needs during the day and night. The TENA Lady Night range is specifically designed to provide the right support to keep you dry, secure and confident all night long.

TENA Men Level 2 and Protective Underwear for Men Level 4 have also been specially designed for a man’s body and offers secure and discreet protection with medium absorbency for security against leaks. For those who need a more absorbent product, we have a whole range of products in varying absorbencies, so you can find what works best for you. 



For advice please call us on 087 359 1079. Visit TENA for more information on bladder weakness. You can also buy TENA products online at TENA Shop.

Read more: 
4 tips to help keep fragile, elderly skin healthy
Eat right to improve your overall bladder control


Ask the Expert

Incontinence Expert

Prenevin Govender completed his MBChB at the University of Cape Town in 2001. He obtained his Fellowship of the College of Urologists in 2009 and graduated with distinction for a Masters in Medicine from the University of Cape Town in 2010. His special interests include laparoscopic, pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence surgery. He consults full-time at Life Kingsbury Hospital in Claremont.

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