In this article we will be discussing about how to sleep with UTI discomfort. Urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection most people experience in their lifetime although it is more common in women than in men. UTI can recur in many people even after treatment, this is why it is important to treat the infection as soon as possible to avoid antibiotic resistance. The infection can cause discomfort and unpleasant health condition including sleep.
In fact, The National Kidney Foundation stated that 1 out of 5 females experience at least one UTI at some point, though anyone can develop this type of infection. Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a type of infection that occurs within the urinary system which are the bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureters. UTIs are more common in women because of the setup of anatomy.
HOW DO YOU GET A UTI?
According to S. Adam Ramin, MD, urologist and medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles, the bladder and its tubing, the urethra, sit directly along the length of the vagina. Urine exits the body through this very short tube, and the opening of the urethra is a tiny hole right above the entrance into the vagina.
As a result of this positioning, it is easier for bacteria to move along the urinary tract. Urinary tract infection can also be gotten during sexual intercourse with the vagina as bacteria can easily move from there into the urethra and the bladder.
Karyn Eilber, MD, a board certified urologist and an associate professor of urology & OB-GYN at Cedars-Sinai Hospital also explained that hormonal changes during certain periods of the month can cause UTI. Cyclical hormone changes related to the menstrual cycle can influence the vaginal pH.
The vaginal pH is acidic which is conducive to the good bacteria. Eilber said. “At certain times of the month (or because of perimenopause or menopause), the pH can become less acidic so that there is an imbalance in a woman’s microbiome and she can be more prone to UTIs”.
SYMPTOMS OF A URINARY TRACT INFECTION (UTI)
Urinating should not cause you pain or discomfort, it is meant to be pain-free, so when you start feeling pains while you urinate, it could be caused by an infection. Here are some common symptoms of urinary tract infection.
• Urgent and frequent urination: When you have UTI, the lining of your bladder becomes irritated, inflamed and more sensitive. This will make you to frequently use the bathroom and the urge to urinate is always urgent like you will pee on yourself anytime soon. Even with the urge to urinate, the urine may just be few drops or nothing at all.
• Smelly or cloudy urine: UTI causes your urine to have an unusual smell or cloudy appearance. A foul or unusual smell attached to your urine may indicate a urinary tract infection or urinary stones, especially if the smell is also accompanied by a cloudy appearance.
• Burning or pain while peeing: You should not feel pain while urinating, so when you do, it is a common sign of an infection or health issue. UTI causes pain and a burning sensation while you are peeing. The pain is usually felt in the lower abdomen just above the pelvic area.
• Loss of control: Healthy people can control their bladder but those with urinary tract infection cannot do so. They cannot hold back their urine or control how much they visit the bathroom.
• Fever: The body temperature raises above the normal range of 98–100°F (36–37°C). This is caused by infection most times, the fever occurs because the body’s immune system is trying to fight or launch an attack against the infection.
• Pain around the bladder or in the lower back: Apart from feeling pain during urination, you can also feel pain in your lower back and around your bladder even without doing a stressful task.
HOW TO SLEEP WITH UTI DISCOMFORT
UTI can cause so much discomfort and pain because of the frequent urge to urinate and the burning sensation associated with it. You would not want to spend the entire night shuffling from your bed to the bathroom.
Also, your body needs all the rest it can get to enable you heal faster and properly. So, you should find ways to sleep well even with the discomfort. There following are helpful ways on how to sleep with UTI discomfort:
1. Have a Sitz Bath: Sitz Bath is warm bath with baking soda. A tablespoon of baking soda is added to warm water to make this bath, it can be helpful in reducing the abdominal pain and cramps you feel. Apart from relieving pain, the sitz bath can also reduce the bacteria and odour.
2. Use a Hot Water: Bottle placing a hot bottle of water or heating pad on your stomach can make you fall asleep faster and reduce the pain too. If you are using a heating pad, it is advised that you do not sleep with it while it is plugged in, a hot water bottle is recommended even if you fall asleep with it. If you do not have access to a hot water bottle, you can fill an empty bottle with hot water (not boiling water) and cover the bottle with a light towel. This is to prevent burning your skin.
3. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol: An article published by the National Library of Medicine in 2017 showed that caffeine can add to more frequent or intense urges to urinate and bladder spasms associated with UTI.
Another article by the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2013 found that caffeine made UTI symptoms worse. You should also avoid taking alcohol so that your body will have the best opportunity to launch attack on the infection.
4. Take Sodium Bicarbonate: Sodium bicarbonate can help to reduce the acid level of your urine. International Urogynecology Journal in 2017 supported this claim that taking sodium bicarbonate may help reduce the level of acidity in urine, which may in turn help ease the symptoms of a UTI.
However, this should be taken in small doses as high doses may not be good for the body.
5. Avoid High Acidic Foods: Foods that have high like alcohol can increase the inflammation and pain you feel. Spicy foods and those that contain tomatoes can also irritate a UTI and increase discomfort.
6. Drink More Water During the Day: Many will think that drinking lots of water can make your bladder become full and increase how frequent you urinate. But, drinking lots of water can help flush away some if the bacteria and reduce discomfort. However, you should take lots of water during the day and lower your water intake at night to avoid waking up often to use the bathroom.
7. Use Medication: You can get muscle spasms and this can cause discomfort and prevent sleep. Getting an over the counter pain reliever or fever reducer can allow you to get a good night’s sleep and reduce the pain too.
You can also get prescribed medication from your doctor to reduce how frequent you urinate.
Other Helpful Ways On How To Sleep With UTI Discomfort Are:
8. Make your Environment Comfortable: One of the ways to getting a good night’s sleep is by making sure your environment is good. You can start by switching off bright lights that can affect your eyes and keep you awake, the lights can be dim if you like sleeping with lights on.
Remove all sources of noise and keep your phone away from you for at least 20 minutes before your sleep time. Make sure your bed is comfortable and the room temperature is okay for your body.
9. Use The Best Sleeping Position: Use pillow or cushions to support your body while you sleep. If you have pains on your back, you can use pillow to support your back and keep the spine straight. You can also keep a pillow beneath your knees to create a fold in your abdomen to reduce cramps and abdominal pain.
10. Sleep Close to a Bathroom if Possible: You may feel the urge to urinate at night, so it is advised you sleep close to your bathroom. If your bed is detachable, you may want to shift it closer to the bathroom door, turn on dim lights to enable you see while making these trips.
11. Wear Comfortable Loose Sleepwear: Wearing tight clothes can press down your stomach and increase the pain you feel. You should wear light clothes that will allow you be comfortable while sleeping and can be easily removed for you to urinate.
HOW TO PREVENT UTI
You can limit how you get this infection by:
• urinating before and after sex
• Keeping the genitals clean
• Wiping after using the toilet from front to back
• Removing wet bathing suits or sweaty underwear as soon as possible
• Wearing loose-fitting clothes
• Avoiding holding in urine
• Reducing how much you use diaphragms, unlubricated condoms, or spermicide and considering different forms of birth control.
Having UTI is not the end of the world, but leaving the infection untreated can cause further complications. You should treat this infection by taking antibiotics and taking enough water to help flush out the bacteria. You should also complete the full dose of antibiotics as directed, even if symptoms improve early on. You can also take preventive measures to limit how you get this infection.