How to Sleep With a UTI [Your Complete Guide]

man with hands on a crotch

Are you showing signs of a Urinary Tract Infection? If yes, these may be truly uncomfortable times especially at night when the symptoms can interfere with the ability to sleep. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) occur across any part of the urinary system including the bladders, kidneys, ureter, and urethra.

The degree of discomfort can vary across patients but what is undeniable is that you have to brace yourself for a lot of pain. While only 1 in 10 males suffer the infection in their lifetime, women do not get so lucky as 1 out of 2 experience the condition, according to statistics.

If you’re reading this right now, chances are you’re struggling to sleep due to a UTI and looking for a quick remedy to drown the symptoms. Well, here are a few techniques you can rely on:

  • Drink sugar-free cranberry juice 
  • Take vitamin C
  • Reduce the quantities of drinking water
  • Ditch bladder-irritating foods and drinks
  • Drink garlic extract
  • Take a Urinary Tract Pain Reliever
  • Avoid holding in your pee
  • Get a heating pad
  • A Baking Soda Bath is Good for You

How to Sleep with a UTI – Home Remedies 

The pain and discomfort from a UTI infection can be so severe that patients can get desperate in the quest to gain relief. The good news is that there are simple home remedies known for their potency that can be employed even before seeing a doctor.

1. Drink Sugar-free Cranberry Juice 

fresh cranberry juice
Fresh cranberry drink on wooden background

This is probably the most popular remedy for UTIs thanks to cranberry’s natural ability to inhibit bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract. Skeptics brush it off as just a myth but recent studies have shown that not only does this juice help treat the condition but may also lower a person’s susceptibility to UTIs in the first place.

In a study, women with frequent episodes of UTIs were asked to consume 240 ml of cranberry juice daily for 24 weeks. The results showed that the cranberry-juice drinking group suffered fewer episodes of the condition compared to the group who didn’t take the juice.

If you have fresh cranberries at home then you can quickly wash and make your juice. Even if that’s not the case, unsweetened cranberry juice is not hard to come by. Just pop into Target, Walmart, or any retailer to pick up a few bottles.

I take the Micro Ingredients Organic Grown Cranberry Juice Powder from Amazon to keep my urinary tract healthy. The previously frequent UTIs are now a thing of the past and the drink offers relaxation after a long hard day.

2. Take Vitamin C

Are you tossing and turning all night long due to the symptoms of a UTI infection? It may be time to take some Vitamin C supplements.

Vitamin C is known for increasing the acid content of urine. Since bacteria do not thrive in acidic environments, taking this vitamin can kill the bacteria in the urinary tract to provide relief.

A study in 2007 involving pregnant women who took 100 mg of Vitamin C daily revealed that the risk of UTIs was cut by 50 percent compared to the control group. If you suffer the condition regularly, Vitamin C should be a part of your daily routine.

The good news is that it can also provide quick relief for a great night of rest when you’re already showing signs of pain and discomfort.

3. Cut Down on Your Fluid Intake

Drinking more fluids is the key to battling UTIs right? Well, that may be true to a certain extent. However, increasing your fluid intake equals regular urination which can help to flush out the bacteria from your urinary tract.

Staying hydrated can be so critical that failure to adhere to the body’s fluid needs can make anyone more UTI-prone.

A study conducted in 2003 with 141 girls showed that those who drank low amounts of liquids and urinated rarely were more likely to suffer frequent UTIs. 

However, gulping down on a lot of fluids can be counterproductive at nighttime when you’re struggling to sleep. Taking more fluids means your bladder can fill up quickly, leading to a frequent urge to pee followed by the need to drink even more fluids.

The result is that you can end up racing to the bathroom several times in the night when you should be savoring the good things Dreamland has to offer. But what is the best time to begin limiting your water intake? We recommend putting in those emergency measures 4-5 hours before your regular bedtime.

This means if you usually nod off by 10 pm, consciously limiting how much you drink by 6 pm at the latest can be a smart move.

4. Ditch Bladder Irritating Foods and Drinks

An invasion of bacteria in the urinary tract is the underlying cause of UTIs. The burning sensations and the urgent need to pee occur because the urinary tract has been inflamed. Watching what you eat can, therefore, be critical to prevent aggravation of the symptoms.

Some of the most popular foods to avoid when suffering from urinary tract infections include:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Energy Drinks
  • Chocolate Bars
  • Spicy foods
  • Tomatoes

5. Drink Garlic Extract

garlic on a plate

Garlic is a much more common ingredient than cranberries in homes. So while you may not have natural cranberry juice in the fridge, a clove or two of garlic can be easier to find in the kitchen.

Garlic juice or extract can provide soothing relief for UTI-induced pain and discomfort. This is thanks to the powerful antimicrobial properties of garlic which may prevent bacteria from thriving in the urinary system.

Many studies have shown positive results from treating antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria with garlic.

So walk into your fridge, pick a few cloves, and find a way to extract the juice from the garlic to drink. You should gain relief from the uncomfortable symptoms within an hour or two.

6. Take a Urinary Tract Pain Reliever 

Did you know that the pain and unbearable discomfort from a urinary tract infection can be soothed within 20 minutes? That’s right, only 20 minutes!

Taking a powerful UTI Pain Reliever can banish signs of discomfort such as burning sensations and the urgency to pee quickly. This immediate relief can come in handy before you get a doctor’s appointment or before the effects of the prescribed medication begin to kick in.

The advantage of these pain relievers is that they target the urinary tract specifically meaning quicker relief compared to other general pain relievers.

The good news is that these pain relievers are available over the counter so no need to get a doctor’s prescription before getting access to them. You could even order from Amazon or another online retailer.

The AZO Urinary Pain Relief Maximum Strength from Amazon provides heavenly results each time I suffer a UTI. It eliminates the frequent urination and burning sensations quickly for optimum comfort. Seriously, I highly recommend it.

7. Don’t Hold in Your Pee

Frequent bathroom visits to pee are one of the most common signs of UTIs. The urges can become so annoying that you may be tempted to hold in the urine at some point. However, that is one of the worst moves anyone can make.

Holding in urine can help the bacteria in the urinary system to thrive and multiply, leading to even higher degrees of pain and discomfort.

Sure, the frequent urges can also increase the risk of suffering incontinence but that is way better than allowing the bacteria population to continue to multiply. This may not only worsen your symptoms but can also increase the chances of having recurring infections in the future.

I’ve been using the Royal Care Incontinence Pad from Amazon every time I suffer a UTI infection. Not only does it allow me to sleep worry-free but also keeps my bed surface neat and tidy.

8. Get a Heating Pad

Have a heating pad at home during a bout of UTI? You’re in luck. Heat therapy is universally acclaimed as one of the best ways to treat pain. 

Many of us find it difficult to sleep with a UTI due to severe pelvic discomfort. The good news is that applying low-level heat to the abdomen can relieve those burning levels of discomfort. This should boost the ability to fall asleep much quicker.

Remember, the abdomen is a delicate body site hence making sure your pad is set to the lowest level of heat before each application can be important. Additionally, be sure not to sleep with the pad still lying on the abdomen to eliminate the risk of body burns.

I found the MIGHTY BLISS Large Electric Heating Pad on Amazon. It offers dry and moist heat options as well as Auto Shut-Off functionality. It is the ideal solution for soothing UTI-related pain and discomfort.

9. A Baking Soda Bath is Good for You

Did you know that taking a warm baking soda bath can provide rapid relief for UTI discomforts? The solution works by inhibiting the bacteria in your urinary system while removing any potential odors.

Even regular warm baths can help you sleep at night by calming the mind and relaxing the body. Adding baking soda only increases your comfort levels.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Fill your bathtub with warm water 
  • Pour ¼ cup of baking soda into the bathtub
  • Stir the water and let it soak for 30 minutes
  • Take a long relaxing bath lasting about 15-30 minutes

UTI Symptoms – What to Expect From Your Doctor

Booking a doctor’s appointment is non-negotiable even if you follow the techniques above to gain relief from the pain and discomfort. It may be imperative to book an appointment with your primary physician immediately you notice signs of a possible UTI infection.

This can reduce the time it takes to get an appointment scheduled so you can get treatment quickly.

Possible signs of a urinary tract infection include:

  • Burning sensations when you pee
  • Frequent urge to urinate even when the bladder is not full
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Fatigue and problems maintaining balance
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Dark, cloudy, and unusual-smelling urine

Your doctor will likely ask for a urine sample to test for evidence of UTI-causing bacteria and prescribe the necessary antibiotics upon confirmation.

1. Antibiotics

Antibiotics are the best way to treat Urinary Tract Infections. Based on your medical history and other personal factors, the doctor may prescribe one type of antibiotics or the other.

These medications operate by killing the infection-causing bacteria leading to relief from frequent and painful urination, pelvic pain, and other discomforts.

The antibiotics prescribed may have to be taken consistently over a couple of days so it is important to follow the dosage instructions religiously. According to WebMD, some of the most popular antibiotics to expect include:

  • Amoxicillin/augmentin 
  • Cephalexin (Keflex)
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)
  • Nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin, Macrobid)
  • Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra)
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)

2. Anti-Incontinence Medications

multiple painkillers

The consistent urge to pee is a popular side effect of urinary tract infections. The situation can get so bad that soiling your bed becomes a reality. Since controlling your bladder can be difficult without help, asking your primary care doctor for incontinence medications might be a great idea.

You can discuss with your doctor about the various options such as :

  • Anticholinergics like Ditropan XL, Detrol, and Enablex,
  • Mirabegron
  • Botox
  • Estrogen
  • Imipramines
  • Duloxetine

Remember, many of these medications may have side effects so it is important to engage in detailed discussions with your doctor.

3. Pyridium

If the burning sensations are bugging, asking your doctor for a Pyridium prescription can be a good option. The active ingredient is Phenazopyridine, a powerful dye that can relieve pain in the urinary tract by soothing its lining.

Taking this pill can instantly transform the color of your urine to fluorescent orange so don’t panic when that happens.

Take note that Pyridium does not kill the bacteria in your urinary tract. It only soothes the symptoms in the meantime when the effects of any taken antibiotics are yet to kick in.

Additional steps when taking Pyridium includes:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Do not take for more than 2 days
  • Do not skip antibiotics or stop taking them when your symptoms subside

How to Deal With Incontinence at Home

Anti-incontinence medications can put your bladder under control and minimize the urge to visit the bathroom. However, those pills are available on a prescription basis only. How do you deal with Incontinence when you’re yet to get an appointment with your physician?

Here are a few practical steps to go about it:

1. Pee Before Bed

A full bladder typically means staying awake all night and being robbed of the night of bliss you deserve. This is why it is important to empty the bladder just before jumping into bed.

Unfortunately, the bacterial invasion in your urinary tract can make it difficult to completely clear the bladder.

This can be frustrating especially when it leads to bathroom visits every half an hour or so. Well, to minimize the number of bathroom visits required, the “double voiding” technique which aims to flush out as much urine as possible with each visit can be employed.

Double voiding requires sitting on the toilet for a couple more minutes for any leftover urine to come out before leaving. Here are the tips to get the best out of double voiding.

  • Lean your body forward and rock from side to side
  • Tap your bladder with 2 fingers to stimulate it into contracting and releasing left-over urine
  • Pay attention to the sound of running water
  • Gently massage your thighs, inner back, and abdomen
  • Pour warm water on the pubic region
  • Once you finish urinating for the first time, get up from the seat, walk around while counting up to 10 slowly, and get seated again on the toilet
  • Never force yourself to pee. If nothing is coming out after following the tips above, leave and come back later

2. Adopt Regular Toilet Breaks

Even if you never wake up in the middle of the night to pee, suffering a UTI can change that rapidly. With the frequent sensation to urinate, getting up several times during the night to visit the bathroom may be a real possibility.

So why not just schedule your own time? Your smartphone alarm can be set every 2 hours or so between bedtime and the regular wake up time.

With pre-determined bathroom breaks set in stone by you, the feeling of going to bed relaxed about not soiling yourself can result in superior nighttime rest.

3. Wear an Incontinence Pad

Incontinence is a sudden leakage of urine from the bladder. While it is more common as you grow older, getting a UTI increases the risk of suffering the condition.

Whether you’re asleep or awake, an involuntary loss of urine from the bladder can happen to anyone. 

Wearing an incontinence pad is the way to go if you don’t want a urine-soaked mattress and bedsheets. These pads can become even more critical at night when deep sleep can make anyone even more sluggish to respond to the threat of soiling their beds.

My girlfriend relies on Poise Incontinence Pads from Amazon to keep her bladder in check whenever she has a UTI. It offers 12-hour protection and available at an affordable price. 

Additional Steps to Take When You Suspect a UTI

There are make or break steps to take when you suspect a Urinary Tract Infection. Following these steps can enable putting your health back on track quickly while reducing the levels of pain and suffering.

1. Book a Doctor’s Appointment Immediately

patient with a doctor's appointment
close up of patient and doctor taking notes

According to Mayo Clinic, a lingering Urinary Tract Infection can have severe repercussions on a patient’s overall health.

Many people, especially men, brush off the symptoms as nothing, especially during the early stages. They only begin looking for treatment options when the burning sensations reach unbearable levels.

Booking a doctor’s appointment immediately you notice signs of a UTI is recommended. Remember, failure to get early treatment for the condition can lead to complicated issues such as:

  • Increasing pain 
  • Permanent bladder incontinence
  • Permanent kidney damage
  • Increased risk of delivering premature babies in pregnant women
  • Narrowing of the urethra in men
  • Sepsis – a serious kidney infection that can be life-threatening

Besides, there are other health conditions such as STDs, kidney stones, and vaginal atrophy which may lead to symptoms similar to UTIs. Failure to seek medical attention in time can prevent your health care provider from proper diagnosis and treatment.

2. Take the Full Course of Prescribed Antibiotics

Doctors usually prescribe some sort of antibiotics for the treatment of urinary tract infections. In most cases, patients begin experiencing relief from physical symptoms such as burning sensations within 2-4 days of taking the antibiotics.

Most people get tempted at this point to ditch the remaining prescription and move on with their normal lives.

However, that is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when taking antibiotics for any medical condition. Not only will this prevent the infection from clearing up but it will most likely strengthen the bacteria in your urinary tract.

This can lead to a severe risk of repeat infections, the resistance of different strains of antibiotics, and considerable damage to your urinary system.

Remember, physicians do not decide the number of days and the dosage necessary to cure the infection by guesswork. They rely on general guidelines determined after extensive studies regarding each type of bacterial infection.

3. No Sex Until You Complete Treatment

Having sex while showing signs of a urinary tract infection may aggravate the condition and worsen the symptoms.

Everyday Health says sex should be off-limits while you’re battling the symptoms of a UTI. Sure, you may start to feel good again a few days after beginning treatment and can have the urge to engage in sex.

But that can be counterproductive as sexual activity can reintroduce more bacteria into the urinary system which can stagnate the previous progress made in your treatment. Sex can also inflame the urinary tract walls which may lead to more burning sensations.

According to experts, you should only have sex after completing the antibiotic prescriptions and showing no signs of the infection for at least 2 weeks.


Here’s everything you need to know to sleep with a UTI. As long as you take our tips and techniques on board, those burning sensations can be over shortly.

Just make sure to talk to your doctor as soon as possible for proper treatment even if your symptoms subside after using a home remedy.

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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