Does your bladder nag you out of bed overnight? If you have to go to the bathroom more than once during 6-8 hours of sleep, you might have nocturia.
Nocturia is the increased need to urinate at night. While asleep, we produces more hormones that slow down kidney function and decrease urine production.
This combination reduces the need for us to urinate during the night and helps with uninterrupted sleep. Repeatedly getting up can reduce both the duration and quality of sleep.
Your body may make too much urine, or your bladder can’t hold enough. Sometimes it’s both.
There are many possible causes. Some need medical treatment, others you can manage on your own so let’s look at what might be affecting you?
What causes it?
There are four different types of incontinence affecting millions of women. These are:
1. stress incontinence – when urine leaks out at times when your bladder is under pressure; for example, when you cough or laugh
2. urge incontinence – when urine leaks as you feel a sudden, intense urge to pass urine, or soon afterwards
3. overflow incontinence (chronic urinary retention) – when you’re unable to fully empty your bladder, which causes frequent leaking
4. total incontinence – when your bladder can’t store any urine at all, which causes you to pass urine constantly or have frequent leaking
It’s also possible to have a mixture of both stress and urge urinary incontinence.
What you drink, and when, will affect you
You may just be taking in too much fluid, or too close to bedtime, and if you have nocturia you should avoid drinking water in the late evening
Drinking an adequate amount of water during the day is still important because unless you are drinking too much, reducing total intake does not usually help.
However, close to bedtime, try to reduce or avoid alcohol, ,tea, coffee, cocoa or hot chocolate and colas or carbonated drinks.
The need to urinate is increased by caffeine and alcohol and caffeine can also make it more difficult to fall asleep.
People should see a doctor to rule out other possible underlying conditions if they are experiencing persistent nocturia.
Best advice? Drink less several hours before you go to sleep, don’t have alcohol or caffeine late in the day and always go to the bathroom before you go to bed.
Infection might be a contributory factor
A urinary tract infection (UTI) triggers a need to pee more during the day and at night. Some common symptoms include: pain when you pee, your stomach may ache, and you might have a fever.
Your doctor can diagnose and treat a UTI but initially you can try these simple tips: stay hydrated, drink plenty of water so urine is not concentrated, always go to the toilet immediately you have the urge – don’t hold on to it.
Cranberry juice, probiotics and vitamin C help some women and so does good sexual hygiene and always wiping from front to back to avoid any contamination.
Is it menopause?
Unfortunately, the older you are, the more likely you are to need to pee at night. Urinary incontinence, or loss of bladder control, is a frustrating problem because as you age, your body produces less of a hormone that helps concentrate urine so that you can hold it until the morning.
When you’re older you’re also more likely to have other health problems that make you need to pee overnight. Your gender can play a role, too:
After menopause, you make less oestrogen and that can cause changes in the urinary tract that make you have to go more often.
If you’ve had children, the muscles in your pelvis may be weaker, too.
Check your medications
Some medicines pull fluid out of your system and make you pee more. If you think this is related then ask your doctor and you might solve the problem by taking them earlier in the day, or the doctor may be able to change your medication.
Sometimes it’s not the urge to pee that wakes you — but once you’re up, you need to go. That can happen if you have restless legs syndrome, hot flushes, ongoing (chronic) pain, or depression.
There’s also a connection between sleep apnea and having to go at night but treating the sleep disorder usually solves the nighttime peeing problem, too.
If you have a sensitive bladder there are many things that can trigger urination, bo this article might be helpful too.
12 Everyday Items That Can Irritate the Bladder