You may recall that I wrote about this problem on July 31, 2022. The number of comments and questions really surprised me and suggest that many people have this problem.
So here is an alternative that may provide an answer.
Nighttime urinary frequency, or nocturia, can stem from several causes, including pregnancy, age-related changes to the bladder and pelvic floor muscles, bladder infections and even diabetes, according to the US National Institute of Health (NIH).
The most effective treatment for your nocturia will depend on the underlying cause. But in some cases, practicing a simple yoga pose might make a difference: Cat-cow.
How Cat-Cow Helps with Bladder Control at Night
Urinary frequency can sometimes be the result of tension or tightness in the pelvic floor muscles.
Tight muscles can limit the bladder’s capacity to store urine, making you have to take more trips to the bathroom during the day and night.
This tension or tightness often develops during pregnancy.
The pelvic muscles are in a state of tension to support the internal organs and the weight of the growing fetus. This tension can trigger the sensation of having to urinate.
Aging is another possible culprit. As we get older, the bladder’s stretchy tissues begin to stiffen, which can reduce its capacity to store urine.
It’s possible that poses like cat-cow could help combat this issue, though studies haven’t been conducted to confirm this.
Amanda Shipley, a physical therapist, says that she regularly recommends cat-cow or gentler variations to her pregnant patients.
She says that she teaches this to help the person prepare their body for a smoother labor and delivery but adds that this could have the added benefit of reducing nocturia if they have pelvic floor muscle tightness.
How to Do Cat-Cow to Reduce Nighttime Urinary Frequency
Cat-cow is typically done on hands and knees, but if that’s uncomfortable, you can also try a standing variation.
To make it most effective, it is recommended that the movement be done slowly and gently. It’s key to feel what your body needs and not push past pain and stiffness. Work within the range that you have available at that moment, and in time it can improve.
You’ll reap the biggest tension-relieving benefits when you do the pose regularly.
It is recommended that the pose be done one to three times per day. Try it once when you wake up (you’ll get the bonus of relieving back tension) and again right before bed.
- On a carpeted floor, yoga mat or towel, get on your hands and knees. Align your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Keep your head in a neutral position with your gaze pointed downward.
- Drop your belly towards the floor while inhaling. Lift your chin and chest while looking towards the ceiling. You can drop your belly fully to create a deep curve in your back if its comfortable to do so. Move slower or more gently if a full curve would be uncomfortable, which may be the case during pregnancy.
- Exhale while pulling your belly towards your spine and rounding your back. Shift the crown of your head so its facing the floor.
- Repeat the cycle five times.
A standing variation of cat-cow can help reduce pelvic tension if getting on your hands and knees is uncomfortable, or if you have abdominal separation or diastasis recti.
You can do the pose just by bending over the back of a chair or countertop and rounding your neck and pelvis throughout the day as needed. This will release any lower back pain or pressure that comes up and could potentially also help with your bladder.
Give it a try.
That’s it for now; see you all the next time.