What Is Nocturia?

Nocturia is one of the most common sleep-associated problems, which is characterized by the need to urinate at least twice a night. It is estimated that 5-7% of the adult population experience this condition, with the prevalence of the disorder strongly linked to age, with older age groups being the most affected and those in the 65+ age group being more than 8 times as likely to be affected.

Common Causes of Nocturia

The most common causes of nocturia are:

  • Diuretic medications – prescribed for a variety of medical conditions including heart failure and high blood pressure, diuretics can cause high urine production and frequent urination.
  • Bladder infection – urinary tract infections can cause inflammation of the bladder, increasing the need to urinate.
  • Overactive Bladder – also known as urge incontinence, this condition causes sudden urges to urinate with little warning, often leading to frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom.
  • Diabetes – those with diabetes can experience increased thirst and urine output, which can lead to more nighttime urination.
  • Enlarged Prostate – this condition is more common in men, and an enlarged prostate can press on the urethra, obstructing the normal flow of urine and making urination more frequent.

Treating Nocturia

Treatment for nocturia depends on the underlying cause. Some common treatments include:

  • Behavioral changes – changing your daily habits to accommodate for a need to urinate more frequently can help reduce the need for nighttime trips to the bathroom.
  • Medication – depending on the cause of the nocturia, medication can be prescribed to reduce the symptoms.
  • Surgery – in some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat the underlying condition.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) treatment – certain medications may also help treat RLS, which can lead to needing to urinate more frequently.

In addition to these treatments, there are also lifestyle changes that can help reduce the symptoms of nocturia. Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, drinking plenty of fluids during the day, avoiding overly heavy meals before bedtime and using the bathroom before going to bed can help reduce the need to urinate at night.