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How to sleep with UTI discomfort?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are quite common, especially among women. These infections happen when bacteria invade the urinary system, causing discomfort and sometimes more serious issues.

If you’re currently suffering from a UTI, you may be having trouble getting to sleep at night, or even staying asleep once you do finally nod off. 

This is usually caused by the need to go to the bathroom regularly throughout the night, or due to the pain caused by the infection. 

If you think you might have a UTI, don’t wait to see your doctor. Book an online consultation with a pharmacist to get the care and treatment you need.

How to sleep with a UTI?

Everyone needs a good night’s rest, so we’ve put together some tips on how to get the rest you deserve while suffering from a UTI: 

Go to the bathroom before getting into bed:

Though drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help to flush out bacteria from your urinary tract, it comes with an obvious side effect – needing to go to the bathroom at all hours. To combat this, try to go to the bathroom just before getting into bed, so you can go to sleep with an empty bladder. 

Use painkillers:

Taking a low-strength painkiller like paracetamol or ibuprofen before you go to sleep can help to reduce the pain caused by your UTI, and should help you to stay asleep. 

Apply heat to your tummy:

UTIs can cause significant pain in your lower abdomen, which can prevent you from falling or staying asleep. Try applying a heating pad, or snuggling up with a hot water bottle to help soothe the pain and make you feel more comfortable.

Try different positions:

If you’re struggling to get to sleep, try laying down in different positions until you find one that’s comfortable. This will help you minimise the pressure on your bladder, and help you stay asleep. I suggest trying to sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees, or elevating your upper body with pillows.

Use an incontinence product:

There’s nothing to be embarrassed about if you’re struggling with incontinence due to your UTI, it’s more common than you think. Try using an incontinence pad or underwear to give you the peace of mind at night you deserve.

Frequently asked questions about UTIs

How long does it take to sleep with a UTI?

It depends on the severity of your UTI, and if you’re a heavy or light sleeper. Typically though, it can be more difficult to get to sleep or stay asleep with a UTI.

Can I use a heating pad for UTI discomfort while sleeping?

Using a heating pad for UTI discomfort during sleep can provide relief by soothing pelvic pain and promoting relaxation. However, make sure to use it safely and avoid prolonged exposure to prevent skin irritation.

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Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees or elevating your upper body with extra pillows can help minimise pressure on your bladder and alleviate UTI discomfort.

A woman sat on her bed holds her belly, due to pain caused by bloating.

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