Do you wake up more than once at night to go to the toilet? Frequent urination at night is known as nocturia or nocturnal polyuria, and it's often a symptom of an underlying health problem. If you wake up to urinate more than once at night, it’s time to understand what’s going on with your body.
Nocturia: Frequent Urination at Night
To stop nocturia you need to understand what it is. Your body should be able to go all night without needing to go to the toilet, for at least 6-8 hours. Your body is smart and while you’re sleeping you create less urine so that you get the rest you need. However, if you suffer from nocturia, you’re going to need to get up during the night. And while we all suffer from nocturia as we age, there are other health and lifestyle factors that can bring it on sooner. One out of three adults over just 30 years of age urinate at least twice during the night.
So, what causes nocturia? Well, it may all come down to whether you’re a man or woman. For example, as a man, an enlarged prostate may be the cause. And, if you’re a woman, menopause, prolapse or childbirth may cause frequent urination at night. Aside from these, there are other causes of nocturia you need to be aware of.
A few medications have diuretic properties. That means the medicine you're taking may pull water from your body which makes you need to urinate more. Even if you’re only taking it for a brief period, it's best to chat with your specialist about your frequent urination.
Caffeine and alcohol are also diuretics. So, as much as you won’t like hearing this, stay away from both at night. Not only will they cause you to urinate more, but they may also cause sleeplessness. And, the more often you wake up, the more likely you’ll need to go to the toilet.
It’s an understatement to say there’s a lot of discomforts associated with pregnancy. So, if you’re pregnant and urinating more frequently you’ve probably already worked out why. As your baby grows so does your womb and it pushes on your bladder. Rest assured that when your beautiful bundle of joy is in your arms, your need to run to the toilet will dissipate. But, if you have any concerns at all, like everything when you’re pregnant, talk to your OB or specialist.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if you have a bladder condition, you may suffer from nocturia. Diminished bladder capacity, bladder prolapse, an infection or an overactive bladder may be causing frequent urination at night. Talk to your specialist about managing your condition.
If you experience pain when you urinate, stomach cramps and frequent urination, you may have a urinary tract infection (UTI). Make an appointment to see your doctor for a UTI test and treatment.
6. Heart Health
If your heart isn’t functioning well, fluid builds up causing water retention in other parts of your body, especially your feet, ankles or legs. When you lie down at night to sleep, your body flushes the fluid out by filling up your bladder. Keeping your legs elevated during the day as much as possible will help reduce water retention.
Underlying Health Conditions
A physical or mental health condition such as obesity, diabetes, anxiety, depression or a neurological disorder, may be causing frequent urination at night. If you suffer from an underlying health condition, talk to your doctor.
1. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea makes you wake up hundreds of times during the night. And often, you won’t even realise it. Once your body wakes from the sleep cycle, you will probably feel the need to urinate. Frequent urination at night is often a symptom of snoring, sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Treating a sleep disorder such as snoring or sleep apnea is easy and may be life-changing. Contact us today for a free sleep self-assessment and put an end to your restless nights.
As crazy as this sounds, you may have unconsciously conditioned your body to get up at night to urinate. It’s a common behavioural pattern and can be a tricky habit to break. Another habit is drinking excess fluid before bed. Instead, try to drink most of your fluids early in the night. To break a habit you need to replace your bad habit with a good one. Developing good sleep hygiene can help form better habits.
In some cases, nocturia diagnosis can be difficult. Your doctor will need to discover the cause. You may need to keep a diary recording how much you drink and how often you go to the toilet. Your doctor may ask questions about your lifestyle, symptoms and family medical history. Or, you may have some tests to determine the cause.
Once your doctor has made a diagnosis, treatment will be determined. Nocturia is usually a symptom of an underlying health problem so your treatment will most likely be for your health problem rather than nocturia alone.
So, now you know how nocturia can be stopped in its tracks. But while you’re waiting to see your specialist and for your diagnosis, there are some things you can do to manage frequent urination at night:
- Reduce water retention by elevating your legs more
- Don’t drink too many fluids before bed
- Limit caffeine and alcohol
- Ask your specialist about pharmaceutical treatments
- Chat with a Sleep Therapist.
If you experience frequent urination at night, it’s really important to talk to your doctor. And if you or someone you know suffers from snoring or sleep apnea, it could be an underlying cause. Take our free self-assessment questionnaire today. Your health is worth it.