BP and bladder emptying in the morning - British Heart Fou...

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BP and bladder emptying in the morning

Brown_Rabbit profile image

I feel like a hypochondriac mentioning this but it has become a ‘thing’ and I want to understand what’s going on...

Anxiety makes going to sleep tricky, but eventually I drop off; after about only 5-6 hours I wake up, usually because my bladder is too full. I sit up, then sit on the edge of the bed, then stand, then walk to the loo, have a pee and make my way back... I try to do this all slowly and steadily (not easy with a full bladder!) but, regardless, when I get back to the bed I start to feel awful. Quite what ‘awful’ means is hard to describe... pressure in my chest, weakness, a bit light headed... inadequate description... let’s just say really unwell. After a few minutes it passes but it’s unpleasant and I’d like to avoid it... does anyone know what’s happening please?

26 Replies

That sounds unpleasant, I'd have a chat with your GP if I were you.

Two things come to mind that may help:

1. Are you doing shallow breathing when you get out of bed? Try taking a few deeper breaths, especially before standing up and as you return to bed and see if that helps. Do not over breathe though i.e. don't deep breathe constantly throughout. Just a few deep breaths here and there.

2. Are you straining hard to wee? Try and be more relaxed about it if you are. Straining can trigger heart arrhythmias.

Hope some of these ideas can help you. I've had the same thing and they have helped me.

I believe as we grow older we become a little lazy and forgetful about breathing a little deeper when we exert ourselves.


Hi... I’m trying to breathe deeply (to calm myself) then move a bit at a time. I don’t have any problem with the bladder emptying either, which would be normal from me.

I’ve now come to understand that a full bladder causes an increase in blood pressure and therefore a rapid emptying may precipitate a rapid drop in bp... the effects of that may be what I’m experiencing... it’s an unknown experience for me, presumably because having had a heart attack 17 days ago, I’m not yet used to the new drugs I’m on. I’ve certainly been taking in more fluids that I used to so perhaps, if I cut down drinks in the latter half of the day it’ll not fill my poor bladder up to the point where it wakes me up in the early hours when I ‘should’ still be asleep?

Has this only started since taking your new drugs? I think most of we older people have to get up in the night, for me it's sometimes twice. You can take drugs to prevent this, but I really don't want to add any more to those I take already. So know that there is a pill that will stop you needing the toilet at night. A nurse friend kept wanting to wee often and she discovered that she wasn't completely emptying her bladder each time. I try to make sure I do that now.

I used to find my heart beating erratically when returning to bed, but the deep breathing stopped that.

You are certainly not a hypochondriac so don't worry. It will be interesting to see what other forum members have to say.

Thank you... if I’m not a hypochondriac that is one less thing to worry about 😁

I’m female and 70 but I’ve not had this issue before, so possibly the drug(s), although none are diuretics. Also I’m keenly aware of the need to drink more fluids now... perhaps I should limit my intake in the later part of the day?!

Jeanjeannie50 said: “ I believe as we grow older we become a little lazy and forgetful about breathing a little deeper when we exert ourselves”.

Excellent advice! Thank you Jeanjeannie for mentioning this.

Brown_Rabbit profile image
Brown_Rabbit in reply to Tempo57

You have a point; I’ve always been a shallow, slow breather... the thought of exercising until I get out of breath is a novelty, frankly. I think after 70 years of breathing in and out all the time I’m probably just bored with it 😆

When I started on heart meds I was getting up at night but it gradually stopped I think one is generally nervous when on new meds, after a while it just becomes the norm and the anxiety wears off :) Then a good nights sleep works wonders

Know what you mean... sleep has escaped me... however tired I am, every time I drop off I wake with a start, like the hounds of hell are after me... I can do that several times in a row; it’s very frustrating because I would really prefer it if my body was on my side... right now it feels as though it’s working against me... like we’ve had a falling out 😁

Our body is our friend .., we are both on the same side of the fight ::)))

I have exactly same thing, wake up feel ok, go to loo, feel ok, then I start feeling dizzy and unwell - this can last for a while and I have to keep sitting down. I have taken my blood pressure and sometimes it has dropped low. All these feelings do pass but it does restrict mornings for me and I can’t arrange to go anywhere first thing, I have to allow at least an hour to get over these feelings. I feel like I am a hypochondriac, I seem to have more things wrong with me since I have been given a cocktail of drugs for Angina, I seem to have a long line of ailments now.

Brown_Rabbit profile image
Brown_Rabbit in reply to MaiaK

I *think* that having a full bladder raises the BP... the simple act of getting up, walking to the loo and doing the bizz causes a sudden drop in BP and one feels rubbish... so...

I have restricted my fluid intake in the evening to start with, but it doesn’t prevent my need to ‘get up and go’ at some point, so I move like a chameleon... very slowly. If you have amazing bladder control, which apparently is one of the few functional things I still appear to have, you can actually pee v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y too. I have to admit that it’s a boring process but.. then the chameleon like return to the pit and no ill effects. So, it appears to be the precipitous drop in BP that stresses the body. Works for me anyway 😊

I have experienced this night-time situation for a number of years now, certainly well before commencing heart treatment. I consulted my GP who suspected a well-known condition called micturition syncope (feeling faint whilst urinating or shortly after). He suggested getting out of bed very slowly, and sitting down for a pee instead of standing.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Dralex

I think you may have missed a word out here. Micturition simply means urinating

Dralex profile image
Dralex in reply to Qualipop

Thanks Qualipop, you are quite correct; - I omitted "syncope".

Original post now edited.

Qualipop profile image
Qualipop in reply to Dralex

Thanks- it's good to know the correct term. I'd never heard of it.

I generally do sit down for all of that stuff... I can’t imagine the chaos that would ensue if I didn’t... 😆

I’m not medically qualified and would firstly suggest talking to your GP. But it could be that your BP is dropping quite low whilst you’re lying down for a long period of time and then when you get up and go to the bathroom it takes a little while to catch up. The effect being that you feel faint/dizzy/grotty until it does. Perhaps try wriggling your toes,feet, legs before getting out of bed to start your circulation moving more before getting up.

Best wishes.

Maybe keep a bottle by the bed to wee in, as we use in hospital. It would save all the walking back and to. Or go back to the old Chamber pot.😅

Brown_Rabbit profile image
Brown_Rabbit in reply to Grayjay

Using a bottle would certainly focus the mind... I’m a woman.

Grayjay profile image
Grayjay in reply to Brown_Rabbit

Oops!😅 But what do women use in hospitals? Only trying to be helpful. There must be something that will make your life easier.

Brown_Rabbit profile image
Brown_Rabbit in reply to Grayjay

I’m not offended... of course you didn’t know... in any event I *think* I’ve cracked it (my comment is in somewhere) hopefully.

I’m afraid I can help trying to find the humour in my situation; I’d rather that than acknowledge the anxiety I’m beating down 🙂

As for what women are given in hospitals... if they’re not able to get out bed they probably get the legendary bedpan, such as is used for ‘other functions’ by everyone perhaps (I’ve never asked). If you’ve a poor sense of balance I expect it’s a bit of a to do. I’ve not been an inpatient in a medical ward before and I didn’t stay long enough to find out this time either!

There is a unisex urinal bottle ( it has an adaptor)but it is probably best used standing up.

Hi Brown Rabbit, just a couple of things that have helped me with my night time anxiety. I have now got myself into the following bedtime routine, No cups of tea or coffee after 20:00 at all if I need a drink just a couple of sips of juice. I get myself ready for bed at least 1 hour before I actually go to bed. ( I found getting myself washed and teeth cleaned just before I went woke me up again!) at bedtime I just go to the toilet and into bed. Once in bed I set my phone to do not disturb then I put music on my phone but specifically I put “ sleep music, relaxing music sleep meditation, calm music” ( if you put that in the search engine it will bring loads of relaxing music to fall asleep to.) ear phones in and leave it going all night. I also do breathing exercises “ in through the nose out through the mouth” I get myself really relaxed.

I have been doing this for a couple of weeks now and I have managed to sleep through without any nighttime attacks. Might not work for everyone but I find it really relaxing and am asleep within minutes. I also wake up quite relaxed and ready for the day.

With regard to how you feel after you have been to the loo sorry no idea perhaps speak to your heart team they may be able help you.

Best of luck.

I’m similar in some ways, inasmuch as I don’t have a drink after 8pm (not made much difference to the early rising so far, but it’s early days). I understand the sound thing completely... I like music very much because it’s very uplifting; I suppose I could play Tibetan bells and fade away to that, but I use that sound exclusively for meditation.

I have, for years, put the radio on... the spoken voice I can easily ignore but listening to music is a sort of activity. So I put on Radio 4... which automatically clicks over the World Radio at about 1pm. Naturally, the National Anthem grabs my attention and I may lie to attention (I was in the army years ago 😆). On a good night ‘Today in Parliament’ at 11.30 bores me to sleep. Sadly, none of this works right now so I’m having panic attacks with Boris Johnson. No wonder I’m such a mess 😁

Gladwyn profile image
Gladwyn in reply to Brown_Rabbit


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