If you have frequent urination at night, also known as nocturia, you’re probably not getting enough restful sleep, which makes you cranky and frustrated with your body. Here’s how to naturally control your overactive bladder.
What exactly is nocturia?
You are not alone if you find yourself getting up more than once during the six to eight-hour period when you should be sleeping. According to the Urology Care Foundation, one in every three adults over the age of 30 has nocturia (an excessive need to urinate at night). It’s possible that your body produces too much urine, that your bladder can’t hold it for long periods of time, or that it’s a combination of the two.
Researchers believe that nocturia has a significant impact on people’s overall health and well-being. It contributes to fatigue, memory problems, depression and anxiety, an increased risk of heart disease, gastrointestinal distress, and a higher risk of falling. Sleep is intertwined with everything — and without it, our bodies suffer.
What causes nocturia?
The presence of nocturia is affected by a variety of lifestyle factors, medical conditions, and medications. Aging is one of the most common. That’s because as we get older, our bodies produce less of the hormone that tells our kidneys to take it easy while we’re sleeping. Furthermore, as we age, the bladder loses its elasticity, making it unable to hold as much urine as it once did. As a result, Frequently go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
In older men, nocturia may be caused by an enlarged prostate. This happens because the bladder is unable to completely empty, resulting in more trips to the toilet around the clock. Women who have had children may have weaker pelvic floor muscles if they have not worked on them. Furthermore, women who have gone through menopause have lower estrogen production, which can have an effect on the urinary tract.
Additional causes of nocturia
Make an appointment with your doctor right away if you suspect you have a serious medical condition. Here are some other common causes of nighttime urination:
- Heart issues
- Liver failure
- Prostate tumor
- Overactive bladder
- Interstitial cystitis
Keep a diary next to your bed and record how frequently you use the restroom so you can report back to your doctor. You can also use the BladderTrakHer web app to record each trip to the restroom. In the meantime, here are some tips for dealing with nocturia:
Drink less before bed
Are you drinking several cups of tea before going to bed? Have you had a few too many glasses of wine in your pajamas? Before you do anything else, experiment with changing the amount of liquid you drink before going to bed to see if you can effectively reduce nighttime urination.
You might get immediate relief! Also, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and alcohol in the late evening, as both will disrupt your natural urination cycle.
Having said that, it’s critical not to drastically reduce your overall fluid intake. This may appear to be a simple way to stop nighttime peeing, but it could have negative health consequences, such as a urinary tract infection. And speaking of which…
Examine your urinary tract
When you have the early stages of a urinary tract infection (UTI), you may feel the need to “go” more frequently than usual, particularly at night. Stay hydrated every day, add probiotics to your diet, and always pee after sex to avoid a full-blown infection. If your nighttime urination is accompanied by stomach pain, a fever, and blood in your urine, you may have an infection. If this is the case, see a doctor as soon as possible to confirm your diagnosis.
Discuss your medications with your doctor
Nocturia is a common side effect of many medications. For example, if you have heart failure, your doctor may have prescribed a diuretic to treat edema (fluid buildup) in your lower extremities. Unfortunately, you may need to pee more frequently at night. Consult your doctor about changing your medication or taking it earlier in the day.
Relieve your sleep disorder
It’s possible that what’s waking you up isn’t the urge to pee, but something else entirely. Do you suffer from chronic pain? What is sleep apnea? Have you recently felt anxious or depressed? All of these factors can disrupt your normal sleeping pattern, keeping you awake at odd hours of the night. Naturally, consult with a physician you trust about your sleep disorder. You might find that your peeing problem disappears as well.
Consume a handful of raisins
Although the evidence is purely anecdotal, many nocturia sufferers have reported positive results from eating a handful of raisins before bed. To test whether this works for you, eat 1/4 cup of raisins (about 30) before going to bed. Experiment with this for a few nights in a row to see if it makes a difference. Even if it’s just a placebo effect, it works for some people!
Avoid ‘irritating’ foods and beverages
Several foods and beverages have been shown to aggravate bladder irritation. Stop eating or drinking any of these and see if your nocturia improves:
- Tea and coffee
- Processed foods
- Salsa, tomato sauce, and tomatoes
- Hot sauce, chili peppers, wasabi, or any other spicy ingredient
- Orange and grapefruit juices are examples of acidic fruit juices.
Make sure to read the Cleveland Clinic’s complete list of foods to avoid.
Improve your pelvic floor strength
Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, which support a woman’s uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum, is always a good idea. Strong pelvic floor muscles in men support the bladder and urethra, aiding in the prevention of incontinence and other problems.
So, what is the answer for both men and women? Exercises for the Kegels! Kegel exercises performed on a daily basis have been shown in studies to significantly strengthen pelvic floor muscles, thereby addressing many of the most serious problems associated with urinary issues.
To begin, identify the muscle group by stopping the flow of urine. Hold for five seconds before resuming peeing. Once you’ve mastered the right muscles, lie down on your back in a comfortable position. Tighten the pelvic floor muscles for five seconds, hold the contraction, and then relax for five seconds. Perform the exercise four to five times in a row, several times per week. Take care not to overextend your bladder and irritate it further. You should have a stronger pelvic floor in a few weeks, especially if you try this next tip…
Roll out your yoga mat
Yoga exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor are one of its many benefits. Go to your local yoga studio or look up “yoga and pelvic floor” exercises on YouTube. The following are some of the best pelvic asanas:
- Warrior II