What is Nocturia?

Published: February 13, 2019

We’ve all had nights where we drink too much water before bed. And on those nights, our bladder wakes us up to use the restroom. But if you are waking up two or more times on a regular basis, you may have nocturia – which is the term for excessive night time urination. (1) 

If you’re waking up multiple times per night to empty your bladder, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough restful sleep. And when you don’t get enough sleep, your energy levels can suffer during the day. 

Sound familiar? Are you reaching for another cup of coffee as you read this?

We can help. 

Causes

Nocturia isn’t a disease itself. It’s usually a symptom that something else in your body is out of balance. It’s also quite common, with approximately 1 in 3 adults (over aged 30), experiencing nocturia. The risk seems to increase with age, but anyone can find themselves dealing with multiple bathroom breaks each night. Lifestyle habits and certain health conditions can contribute to nocturia, but the main causes fall into the following categories: (2) 

1. Polyuria. Too much urine is made by the body in 24 hours. 

2. Nocturnal polyuria. Too much urine is produced at night. 

3. Problems with bladder storage. When the bladder has issues storing or emptying correctly. 

4. Mixed nocturia. When a combination of these problems are contributing to your symptoms.

Treatment

In the case that an underlying health condition is at fault, treating or resolving the condition itself also remedies the nocturia symptom. Diabetes, bladder obstruction, overactive bladder, prolapse, and high blood pressure are just a few of the health issues that can lead to nocturia. (2) 

If there’s no health condition at play that requires treatment, sometimes a few simple lifestyle changes can reduce nocturia symptoms. (2) 

  1. Reduce your fluid intake. Hydrate during the day but limit fluids2-4 hours before bed – especially beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol. 
  2. Take diuretics strategically. Talk with your physician about the timing of any diuretic medication. Sometimes taking a prescribed diuretic earlier in the day can be helpful for reducing nocturia. 
  3. Try compression socks. If fluid is building up in your legs, elevating them and using compression socks can help. 

If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to help you get adequate shut-eye, you still have options.

You can work with your urologist to determine if medication is a good fit for your case. Some medications can be helpful for finding relief because they regulate urine production or calm Overactive Bladder. In addition, talk with your urologist to see if pelvic floor physical therapy is a viable option for strengthening your bladder control. 

The take away? Sleep is crucial to your overall health. And if your bladder is preventing you from getting your 7-8 hours, it’s time for a change. 

Let us help. 

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/urination-excessive-at-night
  2. https://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/nocturia