Do you wake up once or more per night because you “gotta go”? Frequent urination at night is quite common. A Sleep in America poll revealed that as many as nearly two-thirds of us report having to get up at night to go to the bathroom.
Frequent urination at night is called nocturia. It’s quite different than bed wetting (enuresis) whereby the person wets the bed while asleep. Nocturia, on the other hand, involves a person waking up one or more times a night with the need to empty his or her bladder. In addition, frequent urination at night is not the same as urinary incontinence; the latter of which occurs when a person has lost partial or complete voluntary control of their bladder function. Lastly, polyuria is the medical term used to identify excessive urination, but not necessary at night.
Causes of Frequent Urination at Night
Getting up at night to urinate frequently could be caused by many numbers of reasons, including:
- Drinking fluids at night (especially alcohol or caffeinated beverages)
- Urinary tract infection or infection of the prostate
- Enlarged prostate
- Interstitial cystitis (inflammation of the bladder wall)
- Certain medications (diuretics)
- Overactive bladder
- Anxiety, including sleep anxiety
- Radiation therapy
- Bladder stones
- Tumor or growth in the pelvic region
- Cancer of the bladder
Coping with Frequent Urination at Night
First and foremost, if your frequent urination at night is a new occurrence or if it is excessive, it’s important to consult with your doctor right away. It may be beneficial to keep a sleep diary to record the number of times you get up to urinate, and bring that with you to your doctor’s appointment. In order to diagnose your cause of your nocturia, your doctor may order diagnostic tests, such a urinalysis cystometry (measures the pressure in your bladder), ultrasound of your bladder and urinary tract system, urinalysis, neurological tests for urgency issues, or he may recommend testing at a sleep center. Your physician may recommend medications that can help to reduce your need to get up and urinate at night.
Home Remedies for Frequent Urination at Night
If no underlying medical conditions are found to cause your frequent urination at night, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to reduce or eliminate your episodes.
- Drink beverages earlier in the day.
- Reduce alcohol and caffeinated beverages, especially later in the day.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners that cause diuretic-like effects.
- Perform kegel exercises, which support the muscles of the bladder and urethra.
- Extend time between voids to train your bladder.
Because the benefits of uninterrupted sleep cannot be underestimated, it’s important to take steps to figure out the underlying cause of frequent urination at night and take action to treat it.
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