How To Stop Waking Up At Night To Pee

How to stop waking up at night to pee.

Do you find yourself waking up more than once to use the bathroom at night? You may have nocturia, a condition that causes you to need to get out of bed to pee 2 or more times in one night. And while a couple extra trips to the bathroom may seem harmless, it can lead to fragmented, disrupted sleep, leaving you tired and cranky the next day. 

Below are 5 things you can try to stop those frequent trips to the bathroom at night.

#1 KEEP A BLADDER DIARY.

It may sound funny to track your bathroom visits, but a bladder diary is a great tool in identifying the culprits that may be causing you to use the bathroom more often at night. A bladder diary will track your fluid intake (type and amount), how often you use the bathroom during the day, how often you get up to use the bathroom at night, and whether or not that accompanies any bladder leakage.  Keep it for 4-7 days to help you spot any trends. This tool is also useful for your doctor so hang onto it and share it with him or her on your next visit.

Download the NAFC Bladder Diary for Nocturia Here!  

#2 MINIMIZE URINE PRODUCTION AT NIGHT

This one is pretty obvious, but it’s important. As we age, we tend to not be able to hold as much in our bladder, which can make us have to use the bathroom more often even if we’re drinking the same amount as we always have before. Be careful not to limit your fluids too much, but do watch what you’re eating and drinking in the few hours before bed to ensure you’re not falling asleep with an already too full bladder. 

  • Avoid excessive fluid intake 4-6 hours before bed (this includes both food and drinks)

  • Avoid caffeine after the morning and limit alcohol at night. Both alcohol and caffeine can make urine more acidic which can irritate the lining of the bladder, causing you to need the bathroom more frequently.

  • Empty your bladder before bed.

  • Take any medications that may act as diuretics earlier in the day if possible (check with your doctor on this first).

#3 REDISTRIBUTE FLUID

If your ankles or legs swell up during the day, the fluid that builds up then gets sent back into the bloodstream when you lie down to sleep, which increases your blood pressure. As a result, the kidneys start working overtime to create more urine so your body can flush the excess fluid out of your system, and consequently causing you to wake up to empty your bladder.  If you’re experiencing swollen ankles or legs, try some of these tips to help redistribute fluid throughout the day and minimize accumulation.

  • Elevate the legs periodically to avoid any fluid build up in the ankles and calves.

  • Use Compression Socks. These elastic stockings exert pressure against the leg while decreasing pressure on the veins, allowing fluids to be redistributed and reabsorbed into the bloodstream. (Check out these super cute ones from Vim&Vigr.)

#4 PRACTICE GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE.

Setting yourself up for a good nights sleep can help fight off insomnia, which may be part of the reason you’re up in the first place.  While waking up to go to the bathroom may be the culprit of your insomnia, it could also be that not being able to go or stay asleep could be contributing to nocturia. Many people only think they have to go to the bathroom at night but when they get up to go, they produce just a trickle. This may mean that insomnia, and not nocturia, is actually the culprit and can be caused by a host of different reasons. Be sure to practice good Sleep Hygiene to encourage a functional circadian rhythm (which is your body’s natural clock) and ensure you’re not sabotaging your own sleep. Check out the National Sleep Foundation’s article on sleep hygiene, which discuses the tips below in greater detail:

  • Limit daytime naps to 30 minutes

  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime.

  • Set a consistent sleep and wake time.

  • Exercise regularly (but not right before bed)

  • Avoid foods that may be disruptive right before sleep (like spicy or heavy, rich foods)

  • Reserve the bed for sleep and sex

  • Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine

  • Keep your bedroom quite, comfortable, and dark.

#5 TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR

While the above tips may help ease your nocturia a bit, it’s usually a good idea to see a professional to treat your nocturia. Behavioral changes don’t always address the causes of nocturia. Nocturia is most often caused by nocturnal polyuria, a condition where the kidneys produce too much urine.  That’s why treating nocturia at the source is so important.  If you’re only focused on curing, say, overactive bladder, you’re only targeting the bladder, not the kidneys. In reality, both conditions should be treated to effectively manage their respective symptoms.

“Nocturia has always been hard to treat, but it is now recognized as more than just a symptom of another medical issue,“ says Dr. Donna Deng, Urologic Surgeon at The Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Oakland Department of Urology.

Nocturia does sometimes have underlying causes so it’s important to get a thorough checkup done by your doctor to rule out any other conditions.

Download our guide to Preparing For Your Doctor Visit to help you talk to your doctor about nocturia. 

Why You Shouldn't Let Nocturia Go Untreated

Why You Shouldn't Let Nocturia Go Untreated

How often do you wake up at night to use the bathroom? Two times a night?  Three times a night? More than that? It may not seem like a huge deal, but waking up two or more times a night to empty your bladder is not normal, and is a condition that can and should be treated. It can be a huge bother to those who have it and is likely affecting your health in ways you may not even realize.

Nocturia, defined as going to the bathroom 2 or more times at night, happens to about 1 in 3 people over the age of 30, and becomes more common as we age.  Patients with severe nocturia may get up 5 or 6 times during the night to go the bathroom.  And while all these trips to the bathroom may feel more annoying than anything, they are having a big effect on your sleep patterns and put you at risk for a number of other issues. 

The impact of nocturia on your sleep

Sleep plays a big role in our physical and mental functioning.  Less sleep at night and lower sleep efficiency have both been associated with things like an increased risk of poor physical function, of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, as well as a reduced physical function and decreased cognitive function. Not only that, but quality of life is greatly affected:  A US study of 1214 women showed that nocturia had a significant impact on quality of life in patients who made at least 2 trips to the bathroom at night.  

It makes sense – the less sleep we get, the more tired we are the next day, affecting our abilities to do our daily tasks and be our best selves.  Even work is affected – lower work productivity and increased sick leave have been reported in patients with nocturia. Getting up often in the night also increases the chance of falls among older adults with nocturia.  Studies have shown that patients who make at least 2 or more trips to the bathroom at night have a greater than 2-fold increase in the risk of fractures and fall-related fractures.

The impact of nocturia on your partner

And if you’re the one with nocturia, its not just you that is affected.  Your partners are waking up with you. In one study 46% of women were waking up at night due to their partners nighttime bathroom visits.  Another study that looked at men with nocturia and their spouses showed that sleep disturbance was rated as the most inconvenient issue, with 62% of spouses reporting fatigue, and 36% reporting feeling dissatisfied, unhappy, or terrible.  Your nocturia is not only costing you a good night’s sleep – it’s preventing your partner from getting one as well.

If you have nocturia, don’t let it go untreated. There are lots of behavioral options you can try to fix the problem and if those don’t work, your doctor can prescribe a medication. New medications are now available to treat nocturnal polyuria specifically. Nocturnal polyuria is a condition where the kidneys produce too much urine, and is the most common cause of nocturia. 

“What’s exciting is that physicians are learning more about nocturia and now have more treatment options available for their patients,” says Eric Rovner, MD, a Professor in the Department of Urology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and the director of the Section of Voiding Dysfunction, Female Urology and Urodynamics in the Department of Urology at MUSC.

If you live with nocturia, talk to your doctor today about things you can try to stop those middle of the night bathroom trips, and get back to a full nights sleep.

Need help finding a doctor in your area? Use our Find A Doctor Tool!

REFERENCES:  1. SONIA ANCOLI-ISRAEL, DONALD L. BILWISE, JENS PETER NORGAARD. THE EFFECT OF NOCTURIA ON SLEEP. SLEEP MED REVIEW. 2011 APRIL; 15(2): 91-97.  2. KUPELIAN V, WEI JT, O'LEARY MP, NORGAARD JP, ROSEN RC, MCKINLAY JB. NOCTURIA AND QUALITY OF LIFE: RESULTS FROM THE BOSTON AREA COMMUNITY HEALTH SURVEY. EUR UROL. 2012;61(1):78-84. 3. CAPPUCCIO FP, COOPER D, D'ELIA L, STRAZZULLO P, MILLER MA. SLEEP DURATION PREDICTS CARDIOVASCULAR OUTCOMES: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND METOANALYSIS OF PROSPECTIVE STUDIES. EUR HEART J. 2011;32(12):1484-1492. 4. FISKE J, SCARPERO HM, XUE X, NITTI VW. DEGREE OF BOTHER CAUSED BY NOCTURIA IN WOMEN. NEUROUROL URODYN. 2004;23(2):130–3. 5. OHAYON MM. NOCTURNAL AWAKENINGS AND COMORBID DISORDERS IN THE AMERICAN GENERAL POPULATION. J PSYCHIATR RES. 2008 NOV;43(1):48–54. 6. KOBELT G, BORGSTROM F, MATTIASSON A. PRODUCTIVITY, VITALITY AND UTILITY IN A GROUP OF HEALTHY PROFESSIONALLY ACTIVE INDIVIDUALS WITH NOCTURIA. BJU INT. 2003 FEB;91(3):190–5. 7. NAKAGAWA H, IKEDA Y, NIU K, KAIHO Y, OHMORI-MATSUDA K, NAKAYA N, ET AL. DOES NOCTURIA INCREASE FALL-RELATED FRACTURES AND MORTALITY IN A COMMUNITY-DWELLING ELDERLY POPULATION AGED 70 YEARS AND OVER? RESULTS OF A 3-YEAR PROSPECTIVE COHORT STUDY IN JAPAN. NEUROUROL URODYN. 2008;27:674–5. 8. ASPLUND R. HIP FRACTURES, NOCTURIA, AND NOCTURNAL POLYURIA IN THE ELDERLY. ARCH GERONTOL GERIATR. 2006 NOV;43(3):319–26. [PUBMED] 9. SHVARTZMAN P, BORKAN JM, STOLIAR L, PELEG A, NAKAR S, NIR G, ET AL. SECOND-HAND PROSTATISM: EFFECTS OF PROSTATIC SYMPTOMS ON SPOUSES’ QUALITY OF LIFE, DAILY ROUTINES AND FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS. FAM PRACT. 2001 DEC;18(6):610–3. 10. KIM SC, LEE SY. MEN’S LOWER URINARY TRACT SYMPTOMS ARE ALSO MENTAL AND PHYSICAL SUFFERINGS FOR THEIR SPOUSES. J KOREAN MED SCI. 2009 APR;24(2):320–5.

Do I Have Nocturia?

What Is Nocturia and how do I know if I have it?

It’s 2 am and you’re up to use the bathroom. Again. Sound familiar? If your bladder is constantly waking you up to relieve itself, you may suffer from a condition called nocturia

WHAT IS NOCTURIA?

Nocturia is defined as the need to use the bathroom 2 or more times in one night. It’s a very common condition – in fact, 1 in 3 adults over the age of 30 have it – although it tends to occur more as we age. 

Nocturia causes us to wake up multiple times at night, disrupting our sleep, which can cause some serious side effects. The interrupted sleep caused by nocturia can cause real problems with your quality of life and your health. Many people dealing with nocturia experience fatigue, poor physical function, and decreased cognitive function due to insufficient sleep. Nocturia is also associated with an increased risk for falls (especially worrisome for older adults) and mortality, so it’s a good idea to get it treated. 

The causes of nocturia can vary, but it’s most often caused by nocturnal polyuria, a condition where the kidneys produce too much urine.  That’s why treating nocturia at the source is so important.  If you’re only focused on treating, say, overactive bladder, you’re only targeting the bladder, not the kidneys. In reality, both conditions should be treated to effectively manage their respective symptoms.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE NOCTURIA?

If you often wake up 2 or more times in one night to use the bathroom, you probably have nocturia. You may also notice that you feel groggy during the day and your productivity may even be impacted.  If this sounds like you, don’t let it go untreated.

Start by keep a bladder diary for a few days to see if you can spot any trends. (Download our free bladder diary for nocturia here.) You may notice that you’re consuming a certain type or quantity of food or drink on the nights your nocturia occurs. Or maybe a specific medication that you take at night is the culprit. Track your activity for a few days then make some adjustments on your findings to see if it makes a difference. 

Some things you may want to try to improve nocturia include:

  • Limiting fluids a few hours before bed. This includes water rich foods as well.

  • Avoiding alcohol or caffeine before bed

  • Elevating your legs, or wearing compression stockings (if you notice you have any ankle or calve swelling during the day, indicating fluid build up in the legs.

If none of these behavioral options work, you’ll need to make a visit to your doctor to rule out some of the other potential causes of your nocturia. Your doctor can also prescribe a medication specifically for nocturia to help eliminate your nighttime bathroom trips.

Need help finding a specialist near you? Use our specialist finder!