Are you part of those who always wake up more than once to use the bathroom at night? You may have nocturia, a condition that causes you to need to get out of bed to pee 2 or more times in one night. Frequent peeing at night is actually incredibly common but doesn’t mean it’s normal. There are small but effective changes you can make to stop frequent urination at night.
A couple extra trips to the bathroom at night may seem harmless but, it can lead to sleep deprivation. If you’re lucky, you’ll fall right back asleep, and stay in dreamland until morning. But if you’re not, you’ll either end up tossing or turning in bed. Even if you fall back asleep, you will only wake up again with the must-pee-now urge a couple hours later.
Frequent urination is a symptom of many conditions. It can affect your ability to work, exercise or perform daily functions. This can leave you feeling tired and cranky the next day. This in general can affect your quality of life such as feeling fatigue, mood and appetite changes.
How to Stop Frequent Urination at Night
Only your doctor can know for sure what’s causing your nocturia. Therefore if you’re bothered by your nightly habit, make an appointment to have him or her check things out. But here are some things you can try to stop frequent urination at night.
1. Keep a Voiding Diary
It may sound funny to track your bathroom visits. But a bladder diary is a great tool in identifying the causes of frequent urination at night. Monitor your drinking and your urine output. Take note of whether you are urinating too much around the clock, or just at night. If you’re urinating more than eight times in 24 hours, that’s too much. A lot depends on your age. And if you’re between age 65-70 and going more than twice a night, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Also, see a doctor if you are getting up more than once a night if you are between age 60-65. Also see a doctor if it’s more than three times each night and you’re age 70 or older. While your bladder’s capacity does not necessarily decrease with age, the prevalence of overactive bladder increases with age.
2. Watch Your Fluid Intake
It’s important to watch your fluid intake because you need to make sure you’re drinking enough fluids to stay hydrated. But at the same time, you also don’t want to overdo it with drinking fluids. And alcohol and caffeine — bladder stimulants should be avoided all day long. It can be helpful to reduce your fluid intake before bed so you’re not up in middle of the night to urinate. Also try not to drink any liquids at least 2 hours before bedtime, unless you are feeling particularly thirsty or dehydrated.
3. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Setting yourself up for a good nights sleep can help fight off insomnia, which may be part of the reason you’re up in the first place. While waking up to go to the bathroom may be the culprit of your sleeplessness, it could also be that not being able to go or stay asleep could be contributing to nocturia.
Many people only think they have to go to the bathroom at night but when they get up to go, they produce just a trickle. This may mean that insomnia, and not nocturia, is actually the culprit and can be caused by a host of different reasons. Be sure to practice good sleep hygiene to ensure your body’s natural clock works well. This can help stop the frequent urination at night. Check out the National Sleep Foundation’s article on sleep hygiene.It discuses the tips below in greater detail:
- Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime.
- Set a consistent sleep and wake time.
- Exercise regularly (but not right before bed)
- Avoid foods that may be disruptive right before sleep (like spicy or heavy, rich foods)
- Reserve the bed for sleep and sex
- Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine
- Keep your bedroom quite, comfortable, and dark.
4. Re-schedule Your Medications
If you take a diuretic, try to take in the morning rather than bedtime. Diuretics help your kidneys eliminate sodium and water from your body. This decreases your blood volume so your heart doesn’t work as hard to pump it. It also include some meds used to treat high blood pressure. Taking them in the morning is better, since though they still will make you pee more, but at least you won’t have to wake up to do it.
5. Exercise and Also Wear Compression Socks
If you experience swelling in your feet or legs, you’ll probably wake more often overnight to urinate. That’s because the fluid pooling in your extremities during the day will be reabsorbed into your system once you lie down with your feet at the level of your heart. Then the fluid will head to your kidneys to be processed.
To help with this issue, exercise and wear compressive socks to try to get that fluid processed before bedtime. The socks may prevent fluid accumulation in the legs, thus helping to diminish the need to pee at night. If your legs are swollen, take time during the day to raise your legs, not just when you lie down in bed at night.
6. Check for Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition where you actually stop breathing in your sleep. With sleep apnea, you often jolt awake when you stop breathing. Most at times this happens without you realizing it. But those breaks in your deep sleep may be enough to allow your body to recognize the subtle gotta-go signal, rather than simply waiting until morning to relieve yourself.
Additionally, during deep sleep, our bodies produce antidiuretic hormone (ADH). This allows us to retain more fluid overnight. But people with sleep apnea do not get into the deep stages of sleep. Therefore their bodies don’t make enough of this hormone.
In addition, the drops in oxygen levels during apnea episodes trigger the kidneys to excrete more water. In this case, treating sleep apnea should take care of the problem.
7. Bladder Training
Did you know that you can train your bladder? Some people are teaching their bladders some pretty bad habits and they don’t even know it. For instance, some people dealing with frequent urination may be training their bladder to empty more often, before it is actually full. So you are getting the urge to urinate, even though you don’t really have to just yet.
But with bladder training, you can work on setting a new urinating schedule. Here’s how bladder training works: start by recording the times you urinate in a journal for 1–2 days. You need to figure out about how much hours you wait between bathroom breaks. Then you’ll choose an interval for training. For example, if you urinate every 2 hours and you choose the starting interval of 10 minutes, then you’ll work on urinating every 2 hours and 10 minutes as part of your training.
Do your best to wait the set amount of time before you urinate again, and if you find that you don’t have to urinate when you’ve hit your interval, do it anyway. If you get the urge to urinate before it’s time, try some distraction techniques like taking deep breaths, sitting in a chair and leaning down, which should relieve some pressure.
Once you are comfortable with your first interval, increase it by 10-15 minutes and keep following this pattern until you urination frequency is reduced.
While the above tips may help stop frequent urination at night a bit, it’s usually a good idea to see a professional for treatment . Behavioural changes don’t always address the causes of nocturia. Nocturia is most often caused by numerous conditions. That’s why treating the source is so important.