Nocturia, or nocturnal polyuria, is the medical term for excessive urination at night. Nighttime urination is likely excessive if you get up to use the bathroom twice a night or more.
During sleep time, your body produces less urine that is more concentrated. This means that most people don’t need to wake up during the night to urinate and can sleep uninterrupted for 6 to 8 hours.
However, some people may need to urinate more often during nighttime hours. Nighttime urination may be distressing and require treatment if you wake up to urinate
While it is more common among older adults, nocturia can occur at any age. Read on to learn more about nocturia, its causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention strategies.
Nocturia can happen as a result of certain lifestyle choices or medical conditions.
A variety of medical conditions can cause nocturia. Common causes of nocturia are a urinary tract infection (UTI) or bladder infection. These infections cause frequent burning sensations and urgent urination throughout the day and night. Treatment requires antibiotics.
Other medical conditions that
- infection or enlargement of the prostate
- bladder prolapse
- overactive bladder (OAB)
- tumors of the bladder, prostate, or pelvic area
- kidney infection
- edema or swelling of the lower legs
- obstructive sleep apnea
- neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, or spinal cord compression
Nocturia is a
Some medications may cause nocturia as a side effect. This is particularly true of diuretics (water pills), which are prescribed to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, or any type of fluid retention.
Urinating too much over 24 hours is called polyuria, which can be caused by excessive fluid consumption, typically more than
Alcohol and caffeinated beverages are also diuretics, meaning drinking them causes your body to produce even more urine. Therefore, consuming alcohol or caffeinated beverages in excess can lead to nighttime waking and needing to urinate.
Other people who have nocturia may have developed a habit of waking up during the night to urinate.
Learn more about alcohol use disorder.
Diagnosing the cause of nocturia can be difficult. Your doctor will need to ask a variety of questions. The doctor will also usually ask you to
Questions your doctor may ask you also include:
- When did the nocturia start?
- How many times per night do you have to urinate?
- Are you producing less urine than you did before?
- Do you have accidents, or have you wet the bed?
- Does anything make the problem worse?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
- What medications are you taking?
- Do you have a family history of bladder problems or diabetes?
They may also have you undergo testing such as:
If your nocturia is caused by a medication, taking the medication earlier in the day may help.
Treatment for nocturia can sometimes include medications such as:
- anticholinergic drugs, which help lessen the symptoms of an overactive bladder. However, recent research has associated these drugs with
an increased riskof dementia in older people.
- Beta-3 adrenoceptor agonists, like mirabegron (Myrbetriq), can help relax the bladder muscles and
reducesymptoms of overactive bladder
- desmopressin (Nocdurna), which causes your kidneys to produce less urine at night
However, nocturia can be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as diabetes or a UTI, that could worsen or spread if left untreated. Nocturia due to an underlying condition will usually stop when the condition is successfully treated.
Learn more about an overactive bladder at night.
There are steps you can take to lessen the impact of nocturia on your life.
Reducing the amount you drink 4 to 6 hours before going to bed can help prevent you from needing to urinate at night.
Avoiding drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine may also help, as can urinating before you go to bed. Some food items can be bladder irritants, such as chocolate, spicy foods, acidic foods, and artificial sweeteners. Kegel exercises and pelvic floor physical therapy can help strengthen your pelvic muscles and improve bladder control.
Pay close attention to what makes your symptoms worse so you can try to modify your habits accordingly. Some people find it helpful to keep a diary of what they drink and when.
Learn more about drinking water before bed.
Nocturia affects about
Talk with your doctor to discuss lifestyle changes and treatment options that can help you.