Why is cystitis worse at night?

Student Herbalist, Reflexologist, Yoga Teacher, Writer & Product Trainer

16 March 2021

Pelvic pain

One factor that influences worsening symptoms at night is that you notice them more. Especially if the symptoms are keeping you from having a good night's sleep. Anything that keeps me awake gets my full attention, and not in a positive way!


Without the distractions of daytime busy-ness, pelvic pain can absorb your attention completely. Especially if it's stopping you from relaxing into sweet slumber. For this reason I suggest focusing your mind with a guided meditation as soon as you get into bed. Draw your attention to breathing and relaxing, and divert attention away from pain.

Sleep position

The position you sleep in could increase pressure on your pelvic area and make pain more intense. Try a position that helps to relax the pelvic muscles. Try lying on your side and pulling your legs up into a foetal position. Or try spreading your legs apart if you sleep on your back.


Consider your nightwear. Ditch tight and constricting items. They will increase pain and worsen other symptoms too. Instead wear loose, non-restrictive pyjamas made from a soft, natural and breathable fabric. Cotton nighties are a great option.


Heat is a wonderful pain reliever and a simple solution to pelvic pain. A hot water bottle or heat pad on the pelvis helps release tense muscles that have contracted.


Try some gentle stretching before bed to release tense muscles around the pelvis. The less contracted these muscles are the less pain you will experience. I also find Atrogel super helpful for relieving and relaxing sore, constricted muscles.

Frequent urination

It might seem like you are peeing more often at night too, something that can go un-noticed during the day. Waking every few hours to pee interrupts your sleep and leaves you groggy the next morning. What can be done about this?


Treating cystitis requires drinking lots of water throughout the day. This is essential to flush out the infection, but minimise liquid intake 2-3 hours before bed. This ensures your pee trips don't interrupt your sleep. However, our menopause expert, Eileen recommends having a shot gloss of warm water as you go to bed to reduce night time loo trips. This simple tip seems to work a treat for most women and we have plenty of positive feedback to prove it.

Make sure you completely empty your bladder before you get cosy under the duvets too. Try double voiding before bed, this means you pee once, wait a few minutes and then pee again.

Broken sleep

If urinating at night is causing a broken sleep pattern, take Dormeasan Sleep drops as soon as you wake at night. Dormeasan Sleep helps you drift back into deep sleep swiftly. This will lessen feelings of grogginess the next morning.

My Top Tip:

I like to have a glass of 20 drops of Dormeasan and water prepared beside my bed before I go to sleep. This makes it really simple to take in the middle of the night if I wake up.

"Helps me sleep. I've used it on and off for years and it really helps."

Read more customer reviews

Stinging sensation

Many women experience worse stinging sensations when they pee at night or in the early morning. This is because urine output is at its lowest at these times. By the middle of the night, you have spent hours without drinking fluids so the urine in your bladder is very concentrated. The more concentrated your urine, the more irritating it is to your bladder.

Irritating food and drinks

Drinking as much plain, still water as you can throughout the day is a solution to this, as it will help keep the urine less concentrated and will help flush out infection too. Avoid drinks and foods that irritate the bladder lining, to minimise stinging and burning sensations. Foods and drinks such as tea, coffee, other caffeinated drinks including fizzy drinks, alcohol, processed meat, and spicy food. Simple carbs including sources of refined sugar, sugary foods and foods containing white flour, such as white bread or white rice.


Sex can worsen symptoms of cystitis, so even if it is your normal night time routine, avoid it until your infection has completely cleared. Otherwise you are likely to hamper a good night's sleep.

My self-care tip: Tips for dealing with cystitis

This video describes my tips for dealing with cystitis.

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What's being asked

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Is cystitis infectious?

No, it’s a bacterial infection that cannot be caught and cannot spread to another person. It may ...
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How is cystitis diagnosed?

A urine sample is given to the doctor, who sends it for testing. A urinary tract infection is ...
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Can cystitis and thrush be linked?

If you suffer from both recurring thrush and cystitis, or find that when you develop one, the other follows soon after, you’ll know how frustrating it can be.

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Here’s what I recommend

Emma our women's health advisor recommends Uva-ursi complex to help ease symptoms of cystitis and cranberry to maintain bladder health.

Learn more

Did you know?

Cystitis is sometimes known as ‘honeymoon cystitis’. Why? Well, during sex, bacteria can spread from the perineum to the urethral opening. The risk of developing cystitis is therefore increased depending on the frequency you have intercourse (sorry honeymooners!).

7 reasons you keep getting cystitis

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