Why Do I Feel Like I Have to Pee When I Lie Down? (2024)

Why Do I Feel Like I Have to Pee When I Lie Down? (1)Share on Pinterest

Frequently needing to pee when lying down is a common feeling that many people experience, and many conditions can contribute to it.

When you lie down, fluid pooled in your legs is able to circulate through your body more easily than when you stand. Your kidneys filter this fluid and send it to your bladder. Having a condition that impairs your circulation, such as congestive heart failure or diabetes, can lead to excessive swelling in your legs that fills your bladder faster.

Many people experience an increased need to pee when lying in bed at night, a condition known as nocturia. It becomes more common with age and is estimated to affect more than 50 percent of men and women over the age of 60. It isn’t a disease but a symptom of many other conditions. People who have obesity are 2-3 times more likely to experience nocturia.

Keep reading as we look at some of the reasons why you may feel like you need to pee when you lie down.

Urinary tract infection

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are more common in women than men. About 40 to 60 percent of women get at least one UTI.

UTI symptoms commonly include pain in your lower abdomen, a persistent need to urinate, and pain when urinating.

Some people find lying down relieves their discomfort, but it can also potentially make it more noticeable. Lying in some positions can put pressure on your bladder and stimulate the need to urinate.

People with bladder infections often find the urge to pee gets worse at night. Fewer distractions at night compared to the day may make you focus on the sensation and may make it feel stronger.

Leg edema

Excessive edema (swelling in your legs) can contribute to the need to urinate when lying down. When you move from a standing to a lying position, the fluid in your lower body can more easily enter your circulatory system and then your bladder, via your kidneys.

Conditions that can cause mild edema include:

  • being inactive for a prolonged period
  • eating a lot of salt
  • pregnancy
  • some medications
  • being in the premenstrual phase of your cycle

Medical conditions that can cause edema as a symptom include:

  • kidney disease
  • cirrhosis
  • congestive heart failure
  • damage to blood vessels
  • conditions affecting your lymphatic system
  • protein deficiency

Cardiovascular disease

Up to 50 percent of people with heart failure have involuntary bladder leakage and an overactive bladder. Some medications like diuretics, used to treat heart failure, can also increase frequency of bladder symptoms.

People with heart failure are often not able to clear edema from their lower body effectively due to heart weakness. But when they lie down, the heart doesn’t have to work as hard against gravity and the swelling can circulate. When fluid from the swelling reaches the bladder, it can lead to the need to pee.


A common symptom of diabetes is the need to urinate more frequently due to elevated blood sugar levels. Diabetes is associated with a number of other conditions that can increase lower body edema, which may lead to an increased need to urinate when lying down.

These conditions include:

  • obesity
  • cardiovascular disease
  • kidney disease
  • medication side effects
  • poor circulation

Diabetes can also weaken your immune system and raise your risk of developing a UTI. A 2014 study that compared 89,790 pairs of people with and without diabetes found people with diabetes developed 65 percent more bladder infections.

Additional reasons women may feel like they need to pee when lying down can potentially include the following:

Enlarged uterus or ovaries

Some medical conditions can lead to an enlarged uterus or ovaries. These include:

  • pregnancy
  • abnormal growths (fibroids)
  • adenomyosis
  • cancer

An enlarged uterus can put pressure on your bladder and give you the urge to urinate. Lying in a position that puts pressure on your bladder may make the feeling worse. Many women notice the symptoms before bed when lying down.

Giving vagin*l birth

Pregnancy and vagin*l birth can both lead to dysfunction of your pelvic floor muscles and symptoms like frequent urination or urinary incontinence. Dysfunction may occur shortly after birth, or may not appear for several decades.

As with other conditions above, lying in certain positions may put excess pressure on your bladder and increase the urge to urinate.

The following two conditions may also lead to an increased need to urinate when lying down in men:

Enlarged prostate

An enlarged prostate, otherwise known as benign prostate hyperplasia, is a common condition in men over the age of 50 and usually isn’t serious. An enlarged prostate can put pressure on your bladder and lead to a frequent urge to urinate or make it difficult to fully empty your bladder.

Lying in certain positions may put pressure on your prostate and bladder and make the urge to urinate worse.


Prostatitis is inflammation of your prostate gland that most commonly occurs in men between the ages of 30 to 50. It can come on suddenly or be a chronic condition.

Prostatitis can cause a frequent need to pee, especially at night, and give you trouble fully emptying your bladder. Lying in certain positions may make the urge to pee worse.

It’s a good idea to make an appointment with a doctor if you have painful urination or if you’re urinating more frequently than usual with no obvious cause. Frequent or painful urination can be an early symptom of conditions like thyroid disorders or diabetes.

Here are some of the potential treatments for the underlying conditions that may be contributing to your urge to urinate when lying down.

Leg swelling-treating the underlying cause
-prescription diuretics
compression stockings
reducing salt intake
Cardiovascular disease-medications
-lifestyle modifications
Diabetesinsulin (type 1 diabetes)
Enlarged ovaries-treating the underlying cause
Pelvic floor dysfunctionKegel exercises
Enlarged prostatemedications

If you frequently need to urinate when lying down, it may be because of swelling in your lower body. Fluid trapped in your lower body can more easily circulate through your body when you shift from a standing to a lying position. Many different medical conditions can cause swelling in your legs.

If you’re dealing with a urinary tract condition that leads to a frequent urge to urinate, lying in certain positions may put pressure on your bladder and make it feel worse.

Why Do I Feel Like I Have to Pee When I Lie Down? (2024)


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