Largely considered an inconvenient condition, frequent or urgent urination can affect both men and women. Sometimes referred to as overactive bladder, frequent urination is usually manageable, often by dealing with an underlying condition. During the day it’s not unusual to urinate every two to four hours dependent upon fluid consumption and hydration status. In general waking once or even twice during the night is considered within normal limits, although many can sleep through the night without having to go. If you are a healthy, non-pregnant adult having to urinate more than eight times daily, you may need to check in with your healthcare provider to eliminate any underlying causes.
Men and women who frequently wake during the night to urinate may wonder whether it’s a cause for concern. Known as nocturia, getting up multiple times several nights or more each week results in sleep disruption and becomes more common as we age. Symptoms can include frequent or excessive urination, as well as urgency and reduced urine. Getting up during the night can become a habit and may simply be the result of consuming caffeine, alcohol or other fluids within two to three hours before bedtime. Like frequent daytime urination, nocturia can have underlying minor or more serious causes, including a urinary tract infection, diabetes, or prostate problems.
Frequent urination accompanied by increased thirst, weight loss, or increased appetite, as well as pain with urination, fever, signs of blood in the urine and a frequent urge to urinate with little output may all be cause for concern. As well, those aged 65 and older who get up more than twice nightly, should likely see their general practitioner.
Some common causes of incontinence
- Certain medications, including those for high blood pressure, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, sedatives, narcotics and diuretics can cause urinary incontinence in men and women.
- Alcohol and caffeinated beverages cause the body to produce more urine. Consumed in excess this can result in nighttime waking.
- With aging, bladder capacity tends to dwindle. As we grow older, we tend to sleep less soundly, so we are more easily aroused by the urge to urinate.
- To help avoid getting up during the night, those with edema, or lower leg swelling, should consider elevating the legs a few hours before bed. This allows fluid to redistribute into the bloodstream where it can be filtered by the kidneys and excreted. Lower leg edema should not be ignored, as it can be a sign of a weakened cardiovascular system.
- Waking up with urinary urgency or burning with urination may be a symptom of a urinary tract infection.
- An enlarged prostate can lead to a thickening of the bladder wall, which results in reduced bladder capacity and elasticity, and therefore increased frequency of urination day and night. Male incontinence is also associated with prostatitis, a painful inflammation of the prostate gland.
- Increased urge and frequency is associated with disease processes that affect brain function, including dementia, Parkinson’s and stroke.
- Diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, or Parkinson’s can damage the nerves that control the bladder.
What you can do:
- If you are properly hydrated and have no issues with kidney function drinking several glasses of liquid in the evening will likely result in waking up at night.
- To avoid sleep disruption due to fluid consumption, drink plenty of water during the day and limit fluids several hours before bed, especially alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
- Elevate the legs or wear compression stockings to prevent fluid buildup.
- A short afternoon nap can be helpful for those who wake frequently during the night. As well, lying down allows excess fluids to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Changing the timing of prescription medications that increase urination may also help.
- Loss of excess weight can help ease symptoms. Obesity can place extra pressure on the pelvic floor and bladder.
- Weak pelvic floor muscles can result in incontinence. Strengthening the pelvic floor with Kegel exercises can help control or prevent urinary incontinence.
- Timed voiding, in which one urinates on a schedule and slowly extends the time between trips, can help one regain control of an overactive bladder, especially when combined with other lifestyle changes and pelvic muscle exercises.
- Prescription medications can help the bladder empty more fully during urination. Other drugs tighten muscles and can lessen leakage.
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Urinary Defense® by Priority One®: This natural herbal blend provides nutritional support for urinary tract comfort and a healthy urinary system. The formula provides a patented cranberry extract containing active anthocyanins and natural cranberry fiber and is designed to deliver the nutrients to the lower gastrointestinal tract for enhanced absorption and utilization. Gluten, preservative, sweetener, flavor and phthalate free. Non-GMO formulation.
Bladder Ease™ by Vitanica®: Bladder Ease is designed to provide herbal and nutritional support for continuous, intermittent, or full bladder discomfort. Handpicked ingredients help to strengthen bladder walls and may support a healthier inflammatory response in the urinary tract. Free of preservatives, binders, artificial colorings and flavorings, sugar, lactose, salt, wheat, gluten, soybeans, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish. Vegan formulation.
AZO Bladder Control® with Go-Less® by AZO: Derived from naturally sourced pumpkin seed and soy germ extracts, this safe, drug-free proprietary formula helps reduce the urge to urinate and supports healthy control by sustaining the bladder muscle and pelvic floor. Free of gluten, yeast and artificial color and flavor.
Ultimate FloraMax™ Total Woman Care 90 Billion by Advanced Naturals®: This high potency multi-strain probiotic formula is designed for support of women’s digestive, immune, vaginal and urinary tract health. Gluten, soy, dairy and artificial ingredient free.
Better Man HCP by Interceuticals®: Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, this clinically tested, all natural men’s formula helps improve blood circulation, as well as modulate testosterone and neuromuscular functions in support of better bladder control, prostate health, stronger libido, increased energy and overall wellbeing.
Frequent nocturnal urination in older men is associated with arterial stiffness: The Nagayama study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31399710
Nocturnal Excretion in Healthy Older Women and Rationale for a Safer Approach to Sleep Disruption. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31437310
Urination: Frequent Urination. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15533-urination–frequent-urination
Medications that can cause urinary incontinence. https://www.health.harvard.edu/bladder-and-bowel/medications-that-can-cause-urinary-incontinence
Urinary Incontinence in Older Adults. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/urinary-incontinence-older-adults