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Nocturia: Getting Up to Go to the Bathroom at Night

Posted On November 4, 2014
November 04, 2014

Almost every night like clockwork, Ozzie gets up to use the restroom. Not once, but several times. Yes, he gets up out of bed but there have been some close calls where he almost did not. Ozzie shutters to think about how close he has come to wetting the bed like a child. What could be happening to Ozzie? Why is he getting up to go to the bathroom at night? Ozzie will be relieved to know that there’s a good chance he is suffering from nocturia.

Waking up at night, more than once, to go to the bathroom to urinate is a condition called nocturia. Obviously, sound and restorative sleep is disrupted when this occurs, which might very well prompt a visit to your physician. In fact in the 2003 National Sleep Foundation poll, 65 percent of survey participants admitted they are disturbed by nocturia a few times per week.

As the day winds down moving toward night, urine production decreases and becomes more concentrated. For most people, it is fairly easy to not need to use the bathroom at night. They can easily hold their urine for 6 to 8 hours. And for others, it is a daunting task. Yet as we age, inevitably the incidence of nocturia will increase. Nevertheless, what to do about nocturia depends on what’s triggering the nightly jaunts to the bathroom.


Causes of Nocturia

There are various causes of frequent nighttime urination ranging from lifestyle to medical. If due to a lifestyle cause, here are some hints to help decrease nighttime trips to the bathroom.

Keep a journal: It is helpful to keep track of your urination habits during the day and night. It is a good idea to include both food and fluid intake, and timing for each. Also keep track of sleep habits, i.e. time to bed and rise.

Bladder training: Try to establish a set schedule to visit the bathroom, day and night. Or at the very least, you should visit the bathroom as soon as the urge to urinate occurs. It is important to not go for long stretches of time holding urine. You can also learn stretching exercises that can assist in training the bladder to hold more urine.

Be smart about liquids: Do not restrict fluid intake to excess but rather you can limit beverages a few hours before going to sleep. Decrease alcohol and caffeine, especially before bedtime, as it will increase trips to the bathroom. And lastly, empty your bladder right before bedtime.

Some of the medical causes behind nocturia are frequent urinary tract infections, obstructive sleep apnea, benign prostatic hyperplasia (non-cancerous growth in the prostate gland that can block proper urine flow), untreated diabetes and congestive heart failure. There are also some medications that will cause nocturia, which are basically diuretics (increase urination), such as lithium, phenytoin, and demeclocycline.

Depending on the cause of nocturia, your doctor might prescribe a mediation to treat. There are several options that have been successful. First, there is desmopressiomn (DDAVP) that works by decreasing urine production at night and can be used on a short-term or long-term basis. Also helpful is an anticholinergic medication that will decrease symptoms of an overactive bladder.

If you have problems sleeping or believe you have sleep apnea, we can help. Please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a free consultation.

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