Ask the Experts: Why Do I Have to Get Up so Often at Night to Urinate?

Ask the Experts: Why Do I Have to Get Up so Often at Night to Urinate?

If you wake up two or more times each night to go to the bathroom, you could have nocturia. Nocturia is the medical term used for nighttime urination, and it can often get in the way of a good night's sleep. It is important to note that Nocturia is not a disease in and of itself, but rather a sign of something else going on in our bodies. It can be caused by a lifestyle habit or a hidden health problem.

Common causes of nocturia:

  • Polyuria - making too much urine in 24 hours 
  • Nocturnal Polyuria - making too much urine at night 
  • Bladder Storage - bladder having problems storing and releasing urine 
  • Mixed Nocturia - more than one of these problems occurring at the same time

Things that can impact nocturia:

  • Drinking too much fluid or caffeinated drinks close to bedtime 
  • Underlying health issues like sleep disorders, bladder or urinary tract infections, an overactive bladder or high blood pressure 
  • Timing of medications like diuretics, which are also known as "water pills" 

Common ways to treat or manage nocturia:

  • Lifestyle changes (diet/exercise)
  • Behavior changes (curbing your fluid intake before bed)
  • Medication 
  • Review the times you are taking current medications (if you are taking diuretics, it may be helpful to take your pills earlier in the day)

Talk with your health care provider if you feel you may have nocturia.

Aaron Spitz, MD is a urologist in Orange County, California. He is also the author of a new book (now available) called The Penis Book: A Doctor's Complete Guide to the Penis From Size to Function and Everything in Between.

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