Nocturia, often referred too as ‘the senior curse’, is age related. As we age, we are awakened more and more often during the night with the need to urinate. The older we become, the more frequent nighttime urination becomes. For some, those nighttime bathroom visits, the nocturia, can disrupt sleep anywhere from 3 to 10 times during the night.
When we are young, daytime urine production is 3 times that of nighttime urine production, as we age, the urine production shifts to nighttime, more at night and les during the day. The shift is due in part to our aging body’s diminished output of nighttime anti-diuretic hormone. The anti-diuretic hormone slows down the kidney’s production of urine.
In addition to less anti-diuretic hormone production, the aging bladder shrinks. The smaller bladder makes it necessary to empty it more often.
These are the main causes of nocturia in both men and women, with an additional cause of nocturia for some aging men. An enlarged prostate also creates the need for frequent urination.
There is no cure for nocturia, it’s just something we all experience to some degree as we age. To lessen the frequency of nighttime urination, you can cut down on the amount of fluids you drink in the evenings. Drink no caffeine after noon and no alcohol after your nighttime meal.
If you take a diuretic, ask your doctor if you can take it first thing in the morning. The diuretic will be more potent during the day time hours and won’t add to your nocturia.