My last dog pants a lot when he needed to pee really badly, maybe your dog need pee more as it getting older. Can you try removing the water bowl a couple hours before bed time and take the dog just before you go to bed and see this helps?
I could see this being a possibility, my dogs do that too! Sometimes they'll wake me up in the middle of the night panting, I let them outside and they run downstairs to take care of their business!
Also, ditto to what everyone else is saying about crate training! I did it with my GSD puppy, she absolutely LOVES her crate now. When she was young I even use to let her sleep on the bed, that way if she woke up having to potty it'd wake me up and I'd take her out. I think now though, she actually prefers her crate over my bed. Occasionally I let her on my bed, but after a while she'll get down and go snuggle in her crate!
There are lots of great threads and videos out there on crate training. It may be different for you because your dogs are older. What I did though, was I made sure her crate was the best place on earth! Whenever I'd play with her, I get her into a toy and toss it in there. Then maybe play a game of tug while she was in her crate (so she was trying to pull her tug inside the crate.) I'd toss small treats in there for her to find and eat. I'd put her toys in there so she'd go in to grab one. Also, when you tossed a treat in there, it made it more fun to find. Then, finally when she wasn't paying attention, I'd put 2 or 3 small treats around in it. That way, when she happened to walk in there TA-DA! Magic!
Then, once she was 100% comfortable being in there, I'd shut the door -then immediately open it. Like for the first you times, maybe 10 seconds. I'd make sure I opened it before she showed any discomfort (which she never did because I made sure she genuinely LOVED her crate). Then I just worked my way up, 10 seconds, 20 seconds ecttt... 1 minute, 2 minutes, ectt... Then walking out of site then directly coming back and opening it and lengthening that time. That way she never felt trapped or like once the door shut she wasn't getting out for another couple hours. It helped big time with potty training at night though, because then I could put her in her crate at night and in the morning she'd wake me up by wagging her tail and I'd take her out in the morning.
Now, if my bedroom door is shut, she'll walk up too it and wag her tail. I open my door and she makes a bee-line to her crate. Just make sure you never use the crate as punishment or lock them up before they're comfortable in there. Their crate and bed should always be associated with good things!
I don't know if this will work for you, it's just what worked for me. Good luck!