A good-quality, 7-9 hour per night sleep is crucial for our health, well-being and normal functioning. Studies show that a poor-quality sleep can affect our memory, ability to focus and even our ability to control our emotions. And if that one-night poor-quality sleep becomes a habit? Besides our mental and emotional state, it can also affect our health – in a very bad way. Too little sleep and sleep of poor quality negatively affect our brain and heart health, as well as our metabolism – we gain weight more quickly and lose it much harder when we sleep little or poorly.
Clearly, we need our sleep and we need it good. But what to do if you simply cannot sleep soundly through the night? Maybe too much stress is to blame, a bad mattress or an uncomfy pillow… or maybe frequent nighttime urination. If it’s the latter, keep on reading.
Nocturia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
Waking up occasionally to go to the bathroom is really no big deal – in fact, it’s perfectly normal. But waking up every single night, at least twice? That may be a problem called nocturia.
Nocturia is simply a medical term for frequent urination at night. Although there is nothing wrong with it per se, it is a common cause of sleep loss, especially among older adults.
So what is the difference between waking up occasionally to use the bathroom, and having nocturia? Experts agree that most people should be able to sleep between 6-8 hours without having to urinate, but waking up once per night is still within normal limits. However, if you’re waking up more than twice, you may indeed have nocturia.
Nocturia may be caused by excessive stress, in which case you’re advised to relax more and find better ways to cope with stress (exercise helps).
However, nocturia may also be just a symptom of other, more serious health problems, including:
- Urological infections,
- A tumor of the bladder
- A tumor of the prostate
- Bladder prolapse
In any case, if you struggle with nocturia for more than a week or two, it may be a good idea to see your doctor and get a thorough check-up.
If you’re otherwise perfectly healthy, but you’re still waking up several times during the night to pee, there are certain things that may help.
Don’t drink fluids before going to bed
This is pretty straightforward – whatever you drink, needs to come out. The best way to hydrate yourself without waking up to urinate is to skip drinking any fluids before going to bed. So no water, teas or juices at least three hours before going to sleep.
Skip afternoon coffee
Coffee is a diuretic and if you drink too much of it, it may be forcing you to visit the bathroom too many times. Drink it in the morning and try cutting it out completely in the afternoons.
Don’t take weight loss pills (or teas)
Certain weight loss pills and teas work by accelerating the metabolism, and with it, your need to urinate. If you notice going to the bathroom more often since you started taking weight loss pills (or drinking teas), stop taking them.