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How Frequent Urination at Night is Affecting Your Health
Do you wake up more than once during the night to go to the bathroom? You may have an underlying health problem and not even know it. Frequent urination at night is known as nocturia or nocturnal polyuria, and it’s often a symptom of something more sinister. If you wake up to urinate more than once during the night, this article is a must-read.
What is Nocturia?
Usually, your body should be able to go for 6-8 hours of sleep without the need to get up and go to the bathroom. That’s because at night while you’re asleep your body produces less, more concentrated urine. Nocturia, on the other hand, is a condition where you suffer from frequent urination at night. While it becomes worse as you age, you may experience nocturia for a number of health and lifestyle reasons. And, it’s more common than you think. One in three adults over the age of 30 goes to the toilet at least twice during the night.
What Causes Frequent Urination at Night?
The cause of frequent urination may depend on if you’re a man or woman. For example, as a woman, childbirth, menopause or prolapse may cause frequent urination at night. And, if you’re a man, an enlarged prostate may be the cause. But there are many other causes aside from these.
1. Your Bladder
If you have a bladder condition, you’ve probably already made this connection. Diminished bladder capacity may be causing nocturia because your urine production exceeds your bladder’s capacity. Or, you may have bladder prolapse, an infection or an overactive bladder. Talk to your doctor about treatment and management of your condition.
2. An Infection
A urinary tract infection (UTI) causes the need to urinate more frequently. You will most likely have other symptoms such as pain when urinating or your stomach may ache. Your doctor will be able to diagnose and treat a UTI.
3. Sleep Apnea
If you suffer from snoring, sleep apnea or any other sleep disorder it’s likely you will also suffer from frequent urination at night. That’s because sleep apnea can make you wake up hundreds of times during the night, without you even realising it. And, once your body comes out of the sleep cycle it’s more likely you will feel the need to urinate.
Sleep disorders have serious health consequences. Frequent urination at night is only one of the many side effects. 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.
4. Your Heart Health
An underlying heart condition may be affecting the way your body functions at night. If your heart isn’t functioning at its best, fluid builds up. You may notice water retention in other parts of your body, especially your feet, ankles or legs. When you lie down your body uses the opportunity to flush the fluid out filling up your bladder.
5. Underlying Health Conditions
Frequent urination at night may be caused by an underlying physical or mental health condition such as obesity, diabetes, anxiety, depression or a neurological disorder. If you suffer from an underlying health condition, talk to your doctor about your frequent urination.
If you’re pregnant, you’re probably already experiencing frequent urination and restless nights. Nocturia may start early in your pregnancy but it’s most likely going to be later. As your baby grows, your womb will push against your bladder. Not to mention the need to pee every time your baby kicks your bladder. After you have had your baby and your body returns to normal, your visits to the bathroom should reduce. If you are concerned it’s always best to talk to your OB or doctor.
Some medications have diuretic properties. That means the medication you’re taking may pull water from your body which makes you need to urinate more. Even if you’re only taking your medication for a short period, it’s best to talk to your doctor about your frequent urination.
You may not like hearing this but it’s best to avoid caffeine and alcohol at night if you suffer from frequent urination. They’re both diuretics which means they draw fluid away from the body causing the need to urinate more often. Not only that but caffeine and alcohol also cause nighttime waking. And waking up during the night signals your body that it’s time to pee.
Believe it or not, your frequent urination at night may be from a behavioural pattern. For any number of reasons, you may have conditioned your body to form the habit of getting up at night to urinate. Another habit is drinking excessive fluid before bed. Instead, try to drink most of your fluids earlier in the night. Breaking a habit isn’t easy and usually you need to replace your bad habit with a good one. Practicing good sleep hygiene is a great place to start.
How is Nocturia Diagnosed?
Diagnosing nocturia isn’t a straightforward process. Your doctor will need to work out what’s causing it in the first place. To do this you may need to keep a diary recording your urination and how much you drink. Your doctor may ask questions about your symptoms and lifestyle. In some cases, your doctor may carry out some tests to determine the cause. It’s also helpful to provide any family medical history you are aware of. Once your doctor has made a diagnosis, treatment will be determined.
Treating nocturia all comes down to the diagnosis, ie what’s causing it in the first place. Because nocturia is usually a symptom of something else, once the underlying problem is treated, your nocturia should stop. Nocturia is a relatively new area of research so there aren’t a lot of treatment options for nocturia alone.
How to Manage Nocturia
There are steps you can take in the meantime to manage your nocturia so you have a better night’s sleep:
- Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine at night
- Limit how much you drink of any fluids before bedtime
- Elevate your legs more often if you suffer from water retention
- Talk to a Sleep Therapist about any underlying sleep disorders
- Talk to your doctor about pharmaceutical treatments.
If nocturia is left untreated it can cause sleep deprivation which leads to other health complications. So, it’s really important to talk to your doctor if you experience frequent urination at night. And remember, sleep disorders are a common underlying cause of nocturia. If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea take our free self-assessment questionnaire today.
Don't put it off any longer. Snoring and sleep apnea should be treated, not tolerated. Call us today on 1300 246 637 or submit the contact form below for a obligation-free chat with a friendly professional Sleep Therapist - we're here to help. Contact us now.
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