Best Routines for Sleep and Night Care

To help residents have a good night’s sleep, it’s important to provide personalised night care. We’re here to help you understand the functions of sleep, how it relates to incontinence, and tips for creating an efficient night care routine.

Why is sleep so important?

Sleep helps us recover and revitalise, and repairs muscle tissue after an active and stimulating day. While resting, the immune system identifies intruding elements and "charges" the recognition of those elements into its memory, to better resist infection. Sleep also consolidates memories, making us sharper during waking hours.

What can cause frequent visits at night?

For older residents in need of special care, broken sleep patterns can lead to mood swings, impaired judgment and memory, increased sensitivity to pain, heightened risk of infection, greater risk of falling, and difficulty coping with daily activities and rehabilitation programmes. 

Our bodies change as we get older and sleep becomes shallower, with a risk of frequent awakenings. Kidney function also declines and the bladder becomes less elastic, which results in needing to empty more frequently at night. 

Old age also increases the risks involved with nighttime trips to the bathroom. Research1 of over 400 falls that occurred among hospitalised patients over the age of 60, showed that more than 1/3 of all falls were related to toileting and almost half of these occurred at night. 

There are medical conditions and side effects of medicines that can cause and increase night time urination, such as heart and kidney disorders, diabetes, urge urinary incontinence and diuretic medicines. If you think you might have an underlying health condition, or that your medicine is causing night time urination, contact your doctor. Sometimes, a simple change in when you take your medicine can help reduce the side effects. 

Insomnia can also lead to more frequent nightly urination, as more urine is produced during waking hours. There are many chronic medical conditions that can cause insomnia, such as restless legs, sleep apnea, Alzhiemher’s and Parkinson’s. 

Many chronic illnesses also cause discomfort or pain, so treating any underlying medical disorders and delivering proper pain management will benefit sleep and reduce urine production at night.

Tips for an efficient night care routine

To help your residents get a good night’s sleep, we’ve created a few steps to help minimise sleep interruptions and make your nighttime caregiving routine more efficient.

1. Start with the basics

Before going to bed, make sure your resident has emptied their bowel and bladder. They should also avoid drinking coffee or too much liquid before bedtime. For a better chance of sleeping through the night, manage their daytime sleep schedule and reduce the frequency and length of day time naps.

2. Try using a night pad

If your resident is incontinent during the night, use a pad that’s specifically designed for use at night. Using a pad that's designed for use at night will absorb nighttime leaks if your resident isn’t able to go to the bathroom or leaks during the night without waking up.

3. Create good sleep habits

If your resident is suffering from loss of sleep, consider their activities during the day. Are they getting enough fresh air and exercise? Try to include some gentle stretching in their daily routine. Are they watching TV before bed? Try reading or listening to calm music instead. Are they drinking alcohol? Try cutting down on alcohol, because while it does induce drowsiness, it actually interferes with the body’s sleep-regulating mechanism. Make sure your resident has a wind down routine that promotes a healthy, restful state. 

Hurried trips to the bathroom alone at night carry a risk for older people. One solution is to install a chair-style commode next to the bed. But if that’s not feasible or desirable, make sure the resident has a clear path to the bathroom. Perhaps install motion sensor lights and remove loose hazards on the path. If your resident has dementia and night wandering is a concern, a bed alarm can alert you if the resident should wake up and wander off.

4. Keep your residents safe

Keep it dry

Keep it dry:

TENA ProSkin™ absorbent products, with ConfioAir® technology, provide fast absorption to reduce moisture on skin, while remaining breathable.

Keep it clean

Keep it clean:

TENA ProSkin™ Dry Washcloths are a soft, easy to use alternative to reusable washcloths. For effective, yet gentle cleansing of fecal residues, use with TENA ProSkin™ Cleansing Cream.

Keep it protected

Keep it protected:

TENA ProSkin™ Protective Cream protects skin from irritation caused by contact with urine and/or stool; helps prevent and relieve chafed, chapped, or cracked skin. TENA ProSkin™ Barrier Cream helps treat and prevent skin rashes due to incontinence; soothes chafed skin and helps seal out wetness.

5. Take care of fragile skin

The discomfort of a nagging skin condition can have a serious impact on a resident's sleep, and may contribute to an increased need to urinate at night. To help maintain natural skin health, we’ve developed a three-step skin care solution for those living with incontinence:

6. Offer protection, support, and comfort

In spite of your best efforts, night incontinence episodes may simply be a fact of life for some residents. But you can help make improve their quality of life with protective measures and purpose-made products. Incontinence products are a great solution, but make sure that it’s the right size, type and absorption level for your resident, and that it is fitted correctly.

1 Rose G, Decalf V, Everaert K, Bower WF. Toileting-related falls at night in hospitalised patients: The role of nocturia. Australas J Ageing. 2019;00:1-7. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajag.12696

2 Compared to TENA ProSkin Pants Super

3 5602: TENA Pants Night, Quant In-home CUT, Poland, Nov 2019, n=128

4 Lab tests show that TENA ProSkin Pants Night is significantly drier (32%) after 7 hours (Rewet Lab Data and 7th hr measurement of TENA ProSkin Pants Night vs TENA ProSkin Pants Super).