10 Common Causes of Frequent Urination at Night

Causes of frequent urination at night

For many of us, we can’t seem to get through the night without visiting the bathroom. This mostly occurs at various inconvenient hours. This can disrupt your sleep making you feel fatigued, drowsy and even have headache. A frequent need to use the bathroom to urinate at night is called nocturia. If you find yourself waking up to urinate more than twice each night, you have nocturia. There are many causes of frequent urination at night. This article explore some of the most common culprits.

Urinating at night is not the same as enuresis or bedwetting. Bedwetting occurs the person does not arouse from sleep but the bladder empties anyway. Nocturia is a common cause of sleep loss, especially among older adults. Normally, the amount of urine your body produces decreases at night. This allows most people to sleep 6 to 8 hours without having to urinate.

Frequent urination at night is not a disease in and of itself. But in many cases it is a symptom or an effect of an underlying disease or condition. In other cases, it may have no obvious cause. However, it is always best to see a doctor if you urinate frequent at night, so that you can identify its causes. This window of opportunity will also help to treat this condition early.

Common Causes of Frequent Urination at Night

The following are ten common causes of frequent urination at night.

1. Increasing Age

Aging is one of the biggest cause of frequent urination at night. The older you are, the more likely you will be urinating frequently at night. As you age, your body makes less of the hormone that tells your kidneys to work less while you sleep. Also, when you are old, your bladder will no longer stretch like when you are young therefore, your bladder cannot hold as much urine as you use to.

For MEN, when you are older person, you are more likely to have other health challenges such as prostate enlargement which is one of the causes of your frequent urination at night.

For WOMEN, after menopause you make less estrogen. This may cause changes in your urinary tract and this can make you pee more often.

2. Diabetes

If you are diabetic, then you cannot do without night frequent urination. Diabetes is a serious health condition. It is a disease in which body ability to produce or response to hormone called insulin is impaired. This results in abnormal breakdown of carbohydrate and elevated levels of glucose(sugar) in the blood.

When you have diabetes, excess sugar(glucose) builds up in your blood stream. This puts pressure on your kidneys are to work overtime to filter and absorbed the excess sugar and remove it out through urine. This always causes frequent urination especially at night.

3. Sleep Apnoea

This is one of the possible causes of frequent urination at night. This happens when the disrupted breathing of a sleep apnoea person causes wakefulness briefly during the night. This results in the person getting up to go to the bathroom.

4. Drinking Close to Bedtime

Drinking a lot of beverages—especially those that contain high amounts of caffeine (such as coffee, tea, or soda) or alcoholic beverages late in the day—may contribute to a need to urinate during the night. Therefore, drink less several hours before you go to sleep. Don’t drink alcohol very late in the day and also be sure to use bathroom before you go to bed.

5. An Infection of the Urinary Tract

An infection of the urinary tract can make you urinate frequently at night. Without early treatment, it may lead to serious health problems such as pain, reduced sex capabilities, strong and frequent urge to urinate, cloudy or strong smelling urine when urinating. Having bladder stones lodged in the urinary tract, creating a blockage in the ureters or bladder, can also lead to more frequent urination while you’re trying to sleep.

6. Pregnancy

During pregnancy, especially from the second trimester, a woman’s blood volume rises by 25 per cent due to hormonal changes. This and the growing foetus in the womb compress the bladder to shrink its functional capacity to below the normal size. This makes you pee frequently even at night.

7. A Sleep Disorder

Sometime, it is not the urge to pee that wakes you up but once you are up, you need to go. Sleep disorder can happen if you have restless leg syndrome, hot flashes, a chronic pain. Treating all these causes of sleep disorder if you have one, usually solves the night time urination.

8. Heart Failure

During the day, fluid accumulates in the legs due to gravity and the heart’s inability to pump normally. This can be noticed especially in your ankles. As a result of this, your kidneys have to work overtime to get rid of excess fluid from the body. This causes large amounts of urine formation and frequent urination even at night.

9. Side Effect of a Medicine

Yes! Side effect of some medication is frequent urination. Some Medicine pulls fluid out of your system and makes you pee more often. Ask your doctor if any of your drugs do this. You might solve this problem by taking them early in the morning. Your doctor can also change these medications for you.

10. Prostate Enlargement

When the prostate enlarges, it presses against the urethra. This may constrict the flow of urine, making the bladder to work harder to empty urine. Over time, the bladder weakens and also does not empty completely. With residual urine, the bladder fills up faster, which causes you to urine frequent at night.


As you can see, some of the above medical causes are very serious. It is therefore necessary to seek early medical advice. Also getting up frequently at night results in sleep disturbance. This in turn leads to higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, which causes poor immunity and therefore poorer health.

Treatment depends on the cause, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer. In most cases, symptoms disappear once the underlying disease or disorder causing it is treated. You will be able to sleep through the night again. However, it’s important to remember that there might be several causes of frequent urination at night the same person.

About felclinic 593 Articles
Felix Ntifo is a Registered General Nurse who has so much passion to improve health care delivery. He founded FelClinic with the hope of making health information accessible to everyone who may not come in contact with him personally. "At felclinic.com we are very passionate about health and well-being of everyone. Our team is made up of professional doctors, nurses, midwives and lab technicians."

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