HAVING a good night’s sleep interrupted by a nagging urge to use the bathroom is very annoying, and, from time to time, most of us experience this. But frequent urination may be a sign of health problems.
According to a new study, people who woke up at least once per night to use the loo were 40% more likely to have high blood pressure. And those who woke up multiple times, each night, were at an even greater risk.
If you’re already at risk of hypertension, due to smoking, alcohol abuse, or genetics, then you may want to see your doctor, if you wake up several times a night to urinate.
In fact, most people get up to pee at night, occasionally, but it becomes a problem when you experience daytime fatigue, as a result of interrupted sleep.
Nocturia, or frequent night-time urination, is generally defined as getting up at least once a night to pee. While getting up even once a night can be considered nocturia, it’s generally considered more bothersome to your quality of life when your night-time bathroom breaks reach two or more times.
Nocturia can result from one of three possible reasons: your bladder is having a hard time holding urine, you’re producing more urine than usual during the day, or you’re producing more urine during the night.
Sometimes, the latter is just a function of growing older, but, if it’s happening consistently more than once a night, or interfering with your ability to function the next day, the problem goes beyond normal ageing.
While getting up to pee is annoying, it could also point toward a host of other underlying health problems. There are several causes of nocturia:
Unrelated sleep problems
The more you wake up, the more opportunities you’ll have to notice you have to pee, and to empty your bladder. So, it may not actually be the urge to urinate that’s waking you up. You might just be waking up, anyway.
Sleep apnoea, a condition in which your breathing pauses while you sleep, can wake you up throughout the night. One recent study found that treating sleep apnoea also treated nocturia. If you’re dealing with any other sleep issues, addressing them might help stop the peeing.
Bad drinking habits
Caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics, which increase your urine production, so drinking either of these, late in the day, could lead to excessive, night-time urination. Drinking too many fluids at night, regardless of what type, can also lead to nocturia.
Cutting out all fluids, two to four hours before bed, is recommended, as well as steering clear of caffeine and alcohol in the evening, to prevent late-night bathroom trips, if you’ve been bothered my night-time peeing.
Some common medications, used to treat oedema (swelling) and high blood pressure, are also diuretics. If you’re on these, take them six hours, or more, before bed.
When you have diabetes, the excess glucose, or blood sugar, rushes to your kidneys, leading water to enter as well. So you might find your bladder filling up more quickly than usual.
If your constant peeing happens throughout the day, as well as at night, and large amounts of fluid come out each time, you might want to get a urinalysis test, which will reveal how much sugar is in your urine.
An enlarged prostate
As men grow older, something called benign prostatic hyperplasia, an enlargement of the walnut-shaped prostate gland, responsible for urinary continence, can occur. This can be because of changing levels of hormones, including less testosterone production, or an accumulation of dihydrotestosterone.
An enlarging prostate gland can cause pressure on your bladder, making you think it needs emptying more often than it does. An enlarged prostate can also cause other urinary symptoms, like issues with starting or stopping your flow, a weak stream, or the feeling you didn’t complete empty your bladder after peeing.
An enlarged prostate can be treated with drugs that relax the bladder muscles.
Similarly, irritants like spicy food, alcohol, and urinary-tract infections can trick your bladder into thinking it’s full. Bladder problems will also likely show up as frequent urination throughout the day, not just at night, because of sexually-transmitted infections, or injuries. Other signs of a bladder infection including burning or tingling, fever, and bloody or cloudy urine.
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