Nocturia is the medical term for sleep interrupted by the urge to urinate. It is one of the most common causes of sleep loss among older adults, and nearly two-thirds of those between 55 and 84 deal with it multiple times per week.
A mild case may see you getting up once or twice per night. Severe instances can lead to five or more trips to the bathroom when you should be sound asleep, recharging for the day ahead.
Instead, you’re left fatigued and exhausted.
There are four main reasons you could be experiencing nocturia. Aside from age-related bladder changes, it could be the result of:
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Side effects from medications
- Drinking liquids in the couple of hours leading up to bedtime, particularly if they contain alcohol or caffeine
Doctors will typically recommend three ways to treat nocturia. The first approach is to determine if there is a medical cause. That way, they can address the more pressing problem. For example, if nocturia is caused by diabetes, diabetes treatment is the focus.
Next, your doctor will suggest a behavioral approach. This may include trying things like limiting liquids in the evening and trying to avoid nighttime alcohol and caffeine. A bathroom schedule during the day – bladder training – may also come into play.
Lastly, medications may be presented to help slow down your bladder.
An active bladder overnight does not always indicate a severe problem, but it’s always worth having it checked out, particularly because it can be a major impediment to quality sleep.
Poor sleep can boost the risk for a host of chronic health conditions while severely limiting your quality of life in the short-term as well.
If you’ve been struggling to stay asleep because you keep having to get up to go to the bathroom, give your doctor a call to discuss potential causes and your options.