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What is Nocturia?

Nocturia is a condition where individuals find themselves waking up frequently during the night to urinate, disrupting sleep patterns. This can stem from various causes, ranging from lifestyle choices to underlying health issues. Understanding nocturia is key to managing its impact on your well-being. How might adjusting your daily habits offer relief? Continue reading to uncover strategies for a restful night.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Nocturia is the need to get up several times a night to urinate and can have many causes. Even when these are relatively benign, it can still be a challenging condition because it interferes with getting an appropriate amount of sleep at night. People who frequently need to urinate during their regular sleep hours often get less deep sleep than they should, and may exhibit sleepiness or exhaustion during the day.

Normally, when we sleep at night our urine becomes more concentrated, enabling us to sleep for a six to eight hour stretch without the bladder feeling uncomfortably full. When the bladder feels full, this signals the brain to wake up. Nocturia be a result in people and children who have had bed-wetting issues in the past. The fear of accidentally wetting the bed may cause the person to be hypersensitive to any sense of fullness in the bladder.

Exhaustion can be a symptom of nocturia.
Exhaustion can be a symptom of nocturia.

Sometimes the causes of nocturia are simple and easy to treat. Drinking a lot of liquids prior to bed can result in the occasional case. This may be resolved by abstaining from liquids a few hours before bedtime, and especially by avoiding intake of alcohol or caffeine.

Certain medications may result in nocturia, too. Diuretics, which help the body shed excess fluids, are a direct cause of the condition. This may be addressed by taking diuretics at different times of the day. Other medications, like those for cardiac conditions and bipolar disorder may need to be taken at specific times of the day. The importance of these medications generally outweighs the side effects of nocturia.

Nasal strips are sometimes used to treat sleep apnea, which can nocturia.
Nasal strips are sometimes used to treat sleep apnea, which can nocturia.

Nocturia may be symptomatic of certain illnesses or conditions. A bladder or kidney infection can easily cause transient nocturia, but is usually resolved through treatment with antibiotics. Both early and late pregnancy result in more frequent urination, and are naturally resolved when the pregnancy is over. Enlargement of the prostate gland translates to more frequent cases of nocturia. At other times, nocturia indicates serious health conditions including diabetes, congestive heart failure, prostate cancer, or kidney failure.

Another serious cause of nocturia is sleep apnea. This is when a person stops breathing for several seconds, several times a night. This may translate to lighter sleep patterns and more of a sense that you should get up and use the bathroom.

An enlarged prostate may lead to nocturia.
An enlarged prostate may lead to nocturia.

Since nocturia can indicate some serious conditions, it is important to report nocturia to your physician. Sometimes the cause is easily treated, but at other times, the condition may indicate significant health risks. Further, even the most benign cause may still prove dangerous when it translates to exhaustion or sleepiness during the day. Lack of sleep is considered a high risk factor for accidents on the job and while driving.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent TheHealthBoard contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent TheHealthBoard contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Learn more...

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Discussion Comments

anon142324

I've been getting up middle of night three times to urinate, even without drinking, and I haven't drunk alcohol for 10 years.

anon113783

i have some problem. if i'm not drinking water also i will pass urine at night. why? i can't wake up. only after passing will i wake up. please tell me what i have to do.

medicchristy

@anon79053: There could be different factors contributing to the frequent urination.

My dad was having the same problem. He saw a urologist and ended up having to have a minor prostate surgery.

He now takes a medication called Flomax and seems to be doing much better.

I would definitely try to see a urologist if the problem continues.

anon79053

I am drinking water, three to four liters but I feel I have to urinate every hour in the day I am doing exercise every day for one to two hours. Jacking and some yoga I used to go bed at 11 p.m. but I am going to urinate three times but I do not have any tiredness. please advise me why.

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    • Exhaustion can be a symptom of nocturia.
      By: lassedesignen
      Exhaustion can be a symptom of nocturia.
    • Nasal strips are sometimes used to treat sleep apnea, which can nocturia.
      By: flairimages
      Nasal strips are sometimes used to treat sleep apnea, which can nocturia.
    • An enlarged prostate may lead to nocturia.
      By: tomschoumakers
      An enlarged prostate may lead to nocturia.
    • Lack of sleep is considered a high risk factor for someone while driving.
      By: Adrin Shamsudin
      Lack of sleep is considered a high risk factor for someone while driving.
    • Nocturia can cause people to experience fatigue throughout the day.
      By: ChenPG
      Nocturia can cause people to experience fatigue throughout the day.
    • Nocturia is the need to get up several times a night to urinate.
      By: Chatchai
      Nocturia is the need to get up several times a night to urinate.