Why did I wet the bed last night?
December 11, 2009 9:07 PM   Subscribe

I wet the bed last night. WTF?

First off, I know that YANMD but IDNHHI (I do not have health insurance) and I'm hoping that this isn't serious enough to warrant a trip to the community health center.

I am a 23 year old healthy female. Daily, I take Acyclovir for Type I genital herpes, Yaz, and folic acid.

Soo I was dreaming last night (about 5 hours after I went to sleep), and in my dream I wanted to pee so I did. In my dream it felt so good but also really real, so I think in my head I thought "uhoh, time to wake up". I immediately realized that I was actually peeing and stopped, but there was already a good sized puddle on my bed.

I can't think of why this happened. I didn't drink anything for probably two hours before I went to sleep last night. I've had some pain peeing for the past two days which I interpreted as my HSV I acting up (I was only diagnosed about two months ago).

I also wet the bed about a year ago, after a night of extremely heavy drinking. That time, I didn't realize what had happened until the morning and that time was a LOT of pee. I don't know if this time was related because I hadn't had anything alcoholic prior to bedtime.

WTF could be going on?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Stop drinking 4 hours before bedtime.
posted by sanka at 9:11 PM on December 11, 2009

in my dream I wanted to pee so I did

This is the reason. There's nothing wrong with you or else to say really. It's extraordinarily common. It's weird how all the body's systems are linked together.
posted by spatula at 9:14 PM on December 11, 2009 [12 favorites]

Have you been under any stress lately? I went through a similar thing (although yours is most likely a once-off) when I was little and it was apparently caused by stress.

As for the time when you were drinking quite heavily, I've heard of this happen to a few people and it seems to just have been that they were too drunk to wake up and go to the toilet properly.
posted by saileyn at 9:17 PM on December 11, 2009

I have had this happen. I trained myself out of it by reminding myself that if I'm NOT COLD when I am on or at the toilet, then I AM STILL ASLEEP!!

I've been able to stop myself by remembering this little tip, and have only had a small spot or just a wet thigh.

Usually now my bladder pressure wakes me up, and I don't dream about going, I just have to get up a few times to go!

PS, you need to talk to a doctor about Yaz, there are recalls on it!!!!!
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 9:20 PM on December 11, 2009

Previously, also. Doesn't seem to be a big deal if it only happens once?
posted by unknowncommand at 9:21 PM on December 11, 2009

This happens. This has probably happened to just about everyone at some point in their lives -- I REALLY doubt it's a sign that you are having any kind of serious medical problem.

Also, bear in mind that each of our individual "dreams" are only about seven seconds long -- we just think they're longer because that's how our brains process them. So it's not that you peed because you dreamed you were peeing, it's that you dreamed you were peeing because you WERE peeing. So just make sure you pee before you go to bed, and you won't have to pee while you're IN bed.

It's really common. You're not a freak.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:36 PM on December 11, 2009

If it happens frequently, then you'll want to start looking for medical reasons. As a one-off thing, it's not a big deal. Never had it happen myself, but I know it happens to plenty of other healthy individuals.
posted by chrisamiller at 9:38 PM on December 11, 2009

Same thing happened to me once. Dreamed I was peeing, and next thing I knew, I was. It didn't happen again. I bet you're fine.
posted by Gilbert at 9:48 PM on December 11, 2009

Also, bear in mind that each of our individual "dreams" are only about seven seconds long -- we just think they're longer because that's how our brains process them.

I'm pretty sure that's not true. Googling makes it seem like they last between 5 and 45 minutes as they coincide with our rem cycles. Citation?
posted by kylej at 9:58 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yeah, the pee dream is all kinds of psychologically awful, but a singular occurrence probably isn't indicative of any serious woe. After you do it once, toilets in your dream become a giant red flag and you'll probably just wake up before anything happens.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:58 PM on December 11, 2009

Is it possible that you have a UTI? That can make peeing painful, and when you have to go, you really have to go!
posted by iamkimiam at 10:31 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

You might need to go to a clinic if you experience symptoms of a UTI, but if that is not the case then there exists a medication which can help you retain urine while you sleep if this becomes a problem: Uri-Control (and it is over-the-counter)


This medication contains an anticholinergic (atropine) which will help you retain urine. You can take a tablet before you go to bed to prevent this kind of thing from happening.
posted by verapamil at 10:53 PM on December 11, 2009

Have you ever had that dream where you're falling, and just before you land, you wake right up and your legs jerk as though someone has given them an electric shock?

This is the same kind of thing.

It seems like a big deal because peeing the bed is a big deal in childhood, and that "big deal switch" is never turned off. It's not a big deal, though. It's just your subconscious not knowing what is going on. It happening a year apart probably* means it's nothing to worry about.

*I'm not a doctor.
posted by Solomon at 12:11 AM on December 12, 2009

I had the exact same thing happen once - dreamed that I was peeing, it was a *really* vivid dream, and voila! I was lying in pee!

Too bad the same thing doesn't happen in my 'I just won the lottery!' dreams...
posted by spinifex23 at 1:13 AM on December 12, 2009 [3 favorites]

in my dream I wanted to pee so I did

Yeah. That's why, as others have said.

Every once in a while I have a dream where I want to pee. I force myself awake at those times. I learned how to force myself awake when I was a kid and had terrible nightmares. I console myself that, yeah, the nightmares were bad but at least I will never pee myself through dream-peeing.
posted by Justinian at 4:08 AM on December 12, 2009

Ingredients of Uri-Control: (some left out for brevity/wit)
Belladonna - atropine (high doses, aka poisoning, cause retention)
Apis mellifica - BEES. Whole ground up bees. Really.
Argentum nitricum - Silver nitrate
Cantharis - Ground up Spanish Fly (allegedly, also illegally if true), "a strong poison that primarily affects the urinary tract and causes burning pain"
Pulsatilla - Just read this one for a laugh
Petroselinum sativum - Parsley
Terebinthina - Turpentine

Just so you know, in case you have the urge (no pun intended) to take that crap.

It sounds like a one-time event, but the burning with urination for two days concerns me. I suggest strongly *not* masking it with any treatment of the symptoms but instead watching for more burning, frequency, urgency and other signs of a UTI. Those can suck big, but the good news is that treatment is easy and very inexpensive. Don't hesitate to see a medical practitioner if you think you may have a UTI because untreated it can lead to a serious kidney infection.
posted by nursegracer at 4:36 AM on December 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oddly enough, I had a peeing dream last night. I was hiding in a room and had to go. Fortunately there were some wide-mouth glass jars available but man, it was a lot o' pee--enough to overflow the jar. But I did not actually pee in the bed. This may bolster the comments above re the urge comes first, hence the dream.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:16 AM on December 12, 2009

in my dream I wanted to pee so I did

This happened to me once, when I was 12, while visiting my grandparents, and sharing a bed with my sister and younger cousin. I was mortified and freaked out, but now I've gone 20 years without it happening again. Worry about it only enough to wake yourself up next time you have a dream like that!

The burning-with-urination thing is a separate issue, though -- UTIs are serious business.
posted by palliser at 7:18 AM on December 12, 2009

> Also, bear in mind that each of our individual "dreams" are only about seven seconds long -- we just think they're longer because that's how our brains process them.

I'm pretty sure that's not true. Googling makes it seem like they last between 5 and 45 minutes as they coincide with our rem cycles. Citation?

I'll admit I don't have one -- it's one of those "I swear I remember reading it somewhere" things.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:23 AM on December 12, 2009

I am a 23 year old healthy female. Daily, I take Acyclovir for Type I genital herpes, Yaz, and folic acid.

The type of progesterone in Yaz is a diuretic (which is why it, and the similar drug Yasmin, are associated with weight loss rather than weight gain, like most pills), so that might have something to do with it. I peed very, very, very frequently on Yasmin.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:56 AM on December 12, 2009

Just chiming in to agree that it could be a UTI. I have wet the bed shortly before UTI symptoms appeared.
posted by teragram at 10:11 AM on December 12, 2009

This has happened to me a couple of times as an adult. I think my dream state converted a full bladder into a dream desire to pee, which I did in the dream, which led to....oops. Nothing major, but definite disaster if I hadn't woken up pretty quickly knowing what was going on.
The dream system and the body's motor systems are pretty disconnected during REM dreams. Your body goes offline so you don't go flailing about when doing something physical in a dream. But given a deep REM state and the right signal maybe things just occasionally go awry. I wouldn't take it too seriously. Just one of life's little mishaps.
posted by diode at 10:35 AM on December 12, 2009

Be extra careful to pee thoroughly just before bed. Some people don't fully empty the bladder, so try to make sure you are. Teach yourself to get out of bed if you have to pee, at all. And be really watchful for any sign of UTI, esp. fever.
posted by theora55 at 11:23 AM on December 12, 2009

At some point in my late twenties/early thirties I got up to go to the bathroom. Standing there, in front of the toilet, about to do my think, I asked myself, "How is it, in the middle of winter, standing on this tile floor, my feet are warm?" At this moment I woke up and merely came close to having the experience you just did.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:00 PM on December 12, 2009

This happened to me once in the middle of an 8-day camping trip during which I had developed a raging UTI. Given the burning, I'd encourage you go get checked out. If it's that it could make you a lot more miserable before it's over, and antibiotics are such a quick, cheap and wonderful fix for it.
posted by charmedimsure at 9:15 PM on December 13, 2009

Urinary incontinence can be a sign of Type 1 Diabetes, especially if you are also experiencing excessive thirst and hunger and inexplicable weight loss. You didn't mention any of those other symptoms, but on the off chance you are experiencing them and didn't feel they were related (and thus didn't mention them), I suggest you get tested for T1D. Good luck.
posted by shannonm at 12:01 PM on December 14, 2009

shannonm: I could see being worried about urinary incontinence if it's a regular thing, but it sounds like the OP just had one single instance. I think we're safe.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:08 PM on December 14, 2009

EmpressCallipygos: I hovered over the "Post Comment" button for a while, wondering if I would be making the OP unnecessarily paranoid, but then I considered future AskMe questioners who might come across this post in a search and thought it was worth mentioning, just in case they were having similar symptoms to the ones I listed above.

[My daughter was diagnosed with T1D a few months ago and before then I did not realize urinary incontinence was a symptom, so I may be overeager to raise awareness of the warning signs. I agree with you that the OP is probably safe, and possibly should have framed my response with a "for any future askme-ers coming across this in a search" disclaimer.]
posted by shannonm at 2:28 PM on December 14, 2009

OP here, coming out of my anonymous shell. I sucked it up and went to the doctors' and I do indeed have a UTI, which was on it's way to my kidneys an accompanied by a low-grade fever. Thank you everyone who suggested I get medical attention. What was a pretty affordable and no-big thing could have turned into a much bigger deal. Thanks, metafilter!
posted by pintapicasso at 10:13 PM on December 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

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