The sneaky problem keeping you up at night

It's one of those things that could have the BIGGEST impact on your day-to-day quality of life.

It can often mean the difference between feeling great and ready to tackle anything that comes your way... and feeling slow and weak, even if there's nothing "wrong" with you.

The cause?

A hidden sleep problem -- one so sneaky that you might not even know you have it.

Now, the latest research reveals how catching and fixing this "secret" condition could the key to improving your sleep at night... so your days are better and more enjoyable.

The cause? A bladder problem.

Some folks wake up to pee more often than a toddler learning to use the toilet... and not all of them know it.

You can be so groggy that you may not remember it the next day. Even if that pesky bladder pokes you awake two or three times -- or more -- you might have only the vaguest recollection by morning.

All you know is that you don't quite feel rested.

Now, the new study of older women suffering from bladder problems (such as urgency and incontinence) shows what a difference a little detective work can make.

Find the problem and fix it, and you'll see dramatic improvements in sleep.

Even just one less bathroom run per night -- just one! -- can give you better sleep by three important measures.

You can enjoy better overall sleep quality, which is just what it sounds like: how well you sleep.

It'll improve what's known as sleep efficiency, or how much time you spend in bed actually asleep versus tossing and turning or getting up to use the bathroom.

And it can boost your sleep duration, or the total amount of time asleep.

The one downside to the study is that the women took bladder control drugs, which can help with bladder problems -- just a little -- but come with the risk of serious side effects.

There's an easier way.

First, recognize the problem. If you're groggy in the morning and don't know why, it could be a sign of a bladder issue.

If you find that you head to the bathroom a little more often than you'd like during the day, then odds are it's a problem at night even if you're not always aware of it.

And second, once you know -- or suspect -- a problem, don't turn to bladder meds.

Start with simple solutions, including the easiest one of all: Limit your fluids after dinner.

Reducing how much you drink in the evening will often improve nighttime bladder struggles by at least as much as drugs, but without the risks.

If you need a little more help, try bladder training -- such as practicing holding out between toilet trips during the day for increasing periods -- as well as bladder-strengthening Kegel exercises.