It’s pretty difficult to get a restful night’s sleep when your bladder is constantly interrupting you by forcing you to take multiple trips to the bathroom throughout the night. According to WebMD, anyone who has to take more than one trip to the bathroom during the typical 6 to 8 hours spent sleeping might have what’s called nocturia.
Nocturia can be caused by certain medical conditions like overactive bladder syndrome, kidney infections, prostate enlargement and others — but in many cases it isn’t caused by anything serious at all, and all you really might need to do is make a few changes to your lifestyle habits to start sleeping soundly through the night again.
Here are a few things you can try to help bring you some relief.
Drink less fluids before bedtime.
Yes, drinking less fluids before bedtime sounds like the most obvious solution to prevent frequent bathroom trips late at night, but many people have drinking habits that are so ingrained in their daily lifestyles, they barely even realize they’re contributing to the problem. For example, do you drink a cup of tea after dinner? Try cutting back, drinking it in the early afternoon instead, or eliminating it altogether to see if it helps.
Cut back on alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
Drinking less fluids before bedtime goes hand in hand with cutting back on beverages that act as diuretics. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda are known to lead to increased urination, so if you drink them regularly, try avoiding them in the evening hours. You may even want to try eliminating them entirely from your diet for a short-term period (such as 7 to 30 days) to see how much of a difference it makes.
Lower your salt intake.
A recent study found that salt intake affects frequency of urination, meaning that nocturia could be influenced more by your food choices rather than how much fluid you’re drinking. Over 200 study participants lowered their salt intake from an average of 11 grams a day to just 8 grams, which was associated with a drop in bathroom trips from an average of 2.3 to 1.4 trips per night. The easiest way to lower your salt intake is by replacing packaged and processed foods with whole, natural foods like fruits and vegetables.
Tweak your diet.
Besides limiting salt and anything that acts as a diuretic, WebMD also recommends a few extra courses of action to take in terms of diet modification. Some foods like tomato-based products, chocolate, artificial sweeteners and spicy foods may irritate your bladder or act as a diuretic, so cutting back on them or eliminating them from your diet altogether might help. Eating foods high in fiber can also help prevent worsened symptoms of an overactive bladder that can sometimes be caused by constipation.
Talk to your doctor.
If you make an effort to change your lifestyle habits as suggested above but still find yourself having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom more than once, your nocturia could be linked to a medical condition. It’s important to go talk to your doctor about your symptoms so you can get the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
If you find yourself having to go to the bathroom just once in the middle of the night, then that’s typically pretty normal. It might be disruptive and annoying, but it can probably be fixed just by paying closer attention to your diet and fluid intake and making small tweaks where necessary —especially when it comes to eating and drinking in the evening hours!
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