Frequent Urination at Night
fluid), frequent urination (too many visits to the bathroom for various reasons), urinary urgency (need to urinate sometimes without much result), or reduced urine. Nocturia may result when a person's normal "body clock" allows for daytime urination pattern to occur at night. Sometimes, nocturia may simply be the result of drinking too many fluids, especially caffeine, before going to bed.
If you are experiencing nocturia, consult your doctor as soon as possible and follow his or her recommended therapy. It may be helpful to keep a diary of times and amounts of urine voided to bring with you to the doctor. Also, bring a record of your sleep habits as well as any daytime fatigue you may be experiencing. After an initial evaluation, your doctor may prescribe medications, diagnostic testing such as urinalysis, cystometry (a measurement of the pressure within the bladder), neurological tests (for some urgency problems), or ultrasound, or refer you to a sleep center for testing.
Drink your normal amount of liquid but do so earlier in the day. Cut down on any drinks in the last two hours before you go to bed - especially alcohol, coffee or tea as these stimulate urine production. Keep a diary of how much you drink, what you drink, and when. This may be helpful in identifying situations which may make the nocturia worse. While there is limited scientific research and no proof of their effectiveness, some people believe that homeopathic medicines, hypnosis or acupuncture can be beneficial. Be sure to seek advice from a trained practitioner.
In the 2003 Sleep in America poll, 65% of adults age 55-84 report the need to get up to go to the bathroom a few nights a week or more (53% every or almost every night).
Donald L. Bliwise, PhD
Professor of Neurology at Emory University Medical School in Atlanta, Georgia. He serves as Director of the Program in Sleep, Aging and Chronobiology in the Department of Neurology and as a Professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University. His specific area