If you’re experiencing incontinence, you might need protection full-time or just at night. Managing incontinence overnight requires specific steps to keep you feeling dry so you won’t be woken up by a leak. That in itself is a key benefit because a pattern of interrupted sleep can lead to its own set of issues.
Your first line of defensive is an incontinence brief made for overnight wear. You probably have a good idea of the amount of protection you need; read the descriptions of overnight adult briefs to know how much liquid they can absorb—anywhere from one cup to more than one quart. Look for other features like material that draws liquid to absorbent inner layers so that the top layer next to your skin remains dry. For comfort, you might want the material of the outer layer to be pliable; this way, it won't make noise if you move around in your sleep.
Another decision you will want to make concerns overall styling—adhesive tab closures or a more underwear-like pull-up. Tabs allow you to adjust the fit closely and, after use, easily remove the adult diaper. Pull-up incontinence briefs may feel more natural to you; styles with tear-away sides enable you to remove them without having to pull them down.
Overnight styles are available from well-known names like Depend and Tena, but there are other choices to consider, including Abena, Tranquility, Molicare, Unique Wellness and private label choices from leading medical supply manufacturers.
If nighttime incontinence is concern, double up on sensitive skin protection by applying a barrier cream at night before putting on your brief, and follow up in the morning by cleansing with a gentle body wash, cleanser or disposable adult wipe.
As great as overnight incontinence briefs are, consider taking steps to protect your bedding and, most importantly, your mattress. It’s difficult to predict when leakage might be too great for even the most absorbent adult diaper to contain. Buying these additional inexpensive items can minimize the amount of laundry you’ll have to do as well as any permanent damage to your expensive mattress, which is almost impossible to thoroughly clean.
Start with mattress protection that guards against all types of accidents (and has the added bonus of providing a barrier to bed bugs): a vinyl, zippered mattress cover that totally envelops your mattress and easily wipes clean if necessary. Then add another layer of protection with a waterproof bed pad. You can choose from reusable or disposable pads, depending on the convenience you’re looking for. Disposables, often called Chux pads, have a waterproof backing and a soft, padded front. Reusable sheeting or pads often have a flannel or other soft fabric top layer for comfort against your skin with waterproof materials within; they’ll hold up well through many, many washings.
You can sleep directly on a waterproof bed pad or, if you don’t like that feeling, place it between your sheet and your zippered mattress cover—the difference being you will have to launder the sheets in case of leakage. Before you start shopping, determine the area you want the pad to cover. You can get flat sizes that will fit sections of any size bed or fitted sheeting or pads with flaps to help hold them in place.
This multi-layer strategy protects not just your bedding, but also the quality of your sleep and the amount of attention needed by you or your caregiver in the morning.