If one wakes up in the middle of the night to relieve oneself, what is the proper procedure regarding washing and the brachos of asher yatzar and hamapil?

2 Answers 2


The answer I was always told (need to look this up; I think it's Mishnah Brurah?) is:

A.) If you'd already fallen asleep, there's no problem of talking-after-HaMapil as you already slept some. B.) If it's just urination, no bracha is needed as it will be covered by the Asher Yatzar you say in the morning. Just go back to sleep. (Well, washing for hygiene purposes is always a good idea ...)

C.) If it's defecation, that requires its own asher yatzar, which in-turn requires washing "negel vasser" (right-left-right-left-right-left). So first do a hygienic washing with soap, (I believe it's preferable to then dry your hands), then do a ritual washing (no bracha), followed by asher yatzar.

UPDATE: From TorahMusings.com:

there are those who rule that one who goes to the bathroom several times during the night need not recite asher yatzar each time and need merely recite it once in the morning. (Rivevot Ephraim 6:123:2.)

Sweet dreams!

  • And does one do negel vasser after first waking up?
    – Tzvi
    Apr 26, 2010 at 12:18
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    I've heard of some people who are concerned for the kabbalistic effects of relieving themselves before washing their hands, so they wash "negel vasser" before also. (This would mean wash - use bathroom - wash again.) I really don't think this is the standard practice (for non-Hassidic Jews?), or a requirement on the books.
    – Shalom
    Apr 26, 2010 at 13:51
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    Why is there is difference in the requirement to make Asher Yatzar depending on whether it's Gadol or Katan? Is it more stringent in the latter case? If so, how does that effect other situations (i.e. using the bathroom in the middle of the Brachos of Shema)?
    – chaimp
    Sep 7, 2010 at 6:29
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    Please do not rely on this, or any other, answer for halachic guidance. While I can't follow up with sources at this moment, you do recite Asher Yatzar after urination, even in the middle of the night.
    – Barry
    Sep 14, 2010 at 21:38
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    Barry, when/if you and I get sources, let's please put them in here.
    – Shalom
    Sep 14, 2010 at 21:51

You should also remember to wash hands after using the restroom before saying Asher Yatzar.

  • You're right. I figure it was implied by saying Asher Yatzar.
    – Tzvi
    Apr 25, 2010 at 17:55
  • how should one do this washing? with a kli, or just under the sink?
    – Jeremy
    Apr 25, 2010 at 22:30
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    Since our bathrooms (mei'ikar hadin) do not have the status of a "beis HaKisei" since the waste is flushed away (Rav Y.E. Henkin in Lev Ivrah, and Rav Moshe Feinstein Mipi HaSh'muah) so one does not have the obligation of washing as he would for N'tilas Yadayim. Under the faucet is good enough since the only reason you are washing is in case you touched a normally covered spot and not in order to get rid of a Ruah Ra'a (evil spirit).
    – Yahu
    Apr 26, 2010 at 2:27

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