Waking up two, three or more times a night makes it difficult to rest at night. But in addition to stopping drinking at bedtime, what can you do to minimize going to the bathroom?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nocturnal urinary incontinence or nocturia can be caused by a number of factors, including pregnancy, age-related changes in the bladder and pelvic muscles, bladder infections, and even diabetes.
The most effective treatment for nocturia depends on the underlying cause. But in some cases, practicing a simple yoga pose can be a change: Cat-cow.
Cat-Cow helps you manage your bladder at night
Frequency of urination can sometimes be the result of tension or contraction of the pelvic floor muscles.
Amanda Shipley, PT, DPT, pelvic physiotherapist in Atlanta, explains: “Hard muscles limit the ability of the bladder to store urine and you have to go to the bathroom more often during the day and night.”
This tension or compression often occurs during pregnancy.
“The pelvic floor muscles are tense to support the internal organs and the weight of the growing fetus. This tension can cause a feeling of having to urinate,” said Julie Blumfin, a certified pelvic yoga instructor in Annapolis, Maryland. .
Old age may be another factor. As we age, the elastic tissue of the bladder begins to harden, which reduces its ability to store urine, notes the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
Postures such as cats and cows may help combat this problem, but no studies have been done to confirm this. “Going through a few gentle rounds can reduce the tension in the pelvic floor muscles,” says Blumfin. “I would make a theory that the flow of cats and cows reduces going to the bathroom at night.”
In fact, Shipley always offers cat-cow or mild variations to pregnant patients.
“I teach this to help the human body prepare for a smooth birth and delivery, but if the pelvic floor muscles are contracted, there may be an added benefit of reducing night pain,” she says.
How to make a Cat-Cow to reduce the frequency of nocturnal urination
Cat-cow is usually made with arms and knees, but if this is uncomfortable, you can try another standing variant.
“To make it effective, I recommend doing the movement slowly and slowly,” says Shipley. “It’s the key to feeling what your body needs and not pushing past pain or stiffness. At that point, work in the range you have and it will improve over time.”
If you practice posture regularly, you will get the greatest benefits from reducing tension.
“I recommend doing this one to three times a day,” says Shipley. Blamfin recommends trying it once when you first wake up (you get an extra bonus that eases back tension) and back before bed.
- Get on your hands and knees on a carpeted floor, yoga mat or towel. Keep your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Keep your head down and your head in a neutral position.
- While breathing, lower your abdomen to the floor or bed. Raise your chin and chest as you look at the ceiling. You can lower your abdomen completely to create a deep curve on your back. If the full curve causes discomfort, move more slowly or more slowly, which may be the end of pregnancy.
- Breathe in as you pull your abdomen over your spine and around your back. Move the crown of your head towards the floor.
- Repeat the cycle five times.
If you have discomfort in your arms and knees, or if you have diarrhea or diastasis, regular cat-cow variation can help reduce pelvic tension, says Blamfin.
“You can do this by simply leaning back in a chair or table and rounding your neck and hips throughout the day if you need to,” says Shipley. “It relieves any back pain or pressure and can help your bladder.”