Ahh, sleep. I love getting into bed after a long day, ready for some much needed REM cycles. Who doesn’t?
Is there anything worse than interrupting those hours of deep sleep for a bathroom break? Especially if you have to go to the bathroom multiple times a night?
Peeing A Lot At Night
While it sounds like a super cool name for an arch-villain or vampire, nocturia is actually the term for having to go to the bathroom multiple times at night. (So maybe it is sort of like a villain vampire).
70 million Americans, or 22% of us, wake up to pee more than once a night. And, nocturia can worsen with age, making it hard to function during the day due to a poor night of sleep. If you’ve ever walked around during the day like a total zombie, you know what we’re talking about.
Lots of things from an overactive bladder to sleep apnea or cancer can cause nocturia. But before you go and self-diagnose yourself on WebMD (we all do it), talk to your doctor about running tests like a urinalysis or urine culture.
What’s Normal, Anyway?
For all of you who are stressing about last night’s 2am bathroom trip, hold your horses. Having to go to the bathroom at night doesn’t necessarily mean you have an issue. Nocturia is defined as multiple trips to the bathroom at night on a regular basis. So going once is pretty normal.
Plus, if it’s a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) that’s causing your nighttime bathroom trips, your nocturia may go away once your infection is cured.
4 Different Types Of Nocturia
Not all nocturia is the same. Here are the four different types:
- Global Polyuria: Your body overproduces pee, both in the day and at night
- Nocturnal Polyuria: Your body overproduces pee, but only at night
- Low nocturnal bladder capacity: Your bladder runs out of room, causing you to wake up in the night
- Mixed nocturia: A combination of the above 3 conditions
While there are medications you can take to slow urine production at night, a lot of women choose to avoid adding another prescription to their day. The good news is that there are a few ways to help reduce your bathroom trips at night without popping pills:
- Do Kegels to improve the strength of your pelvic floor
- Reduce the amount of liquid you drink 2-4 hours before bed
- Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol before bed
- Avoid bladder irritants at dinner, such as spicy or acidic foods. Get your fill of those things at lunch instead.
Alternative Treatments For Nocturia
While some people do get surgery to treat an overactive bladder, others decide they’d rather avoid going under the knife. Some people have found acupuncture to provide short term relief, and others take herbal supplements (such as Magnesium hydroxide, L-arginine and pumpkin seeds). We need more research to determine the efficacy of herbal and alternative treatments, though. And, you should always talk to your doctor before adding a supplement to your diet.
If you’re making lots of trips to the bathroom at night, you’re not alone. And if you’re worried about making it to the bathroom on time, Lily Bird has you covered with pads and underwear for leaky laughs and dribble dilemmas delivered right to your door. Start your trial and tell your bladder who’s boss.