What is it?
Nocturia is when you wake up more than once at night to urinate. It can be an extremely challenging issue for both urologists and patients. It tends to get worse as you get older, and it is very important to address it because the sleep disturbance can affect all aspects of your health and well-being.
Why does it happen?
It can happen for multiple reasons. One is that you actually produce more urine at night. We call this nocturnal polyuria. As you age, the brain produces less of a substance called anti-diurectic hormone (ADH), which tells your body to hold onto water. When you have less ADH at night, the water is filtered out of the kidneys and into your urine. This increases your urine volume at night. We diagnose nocturnal polyuria by having you keep a bladder diary for two 24 hour periods, and seeing if more than 30% of your urine output is happening at night while you are asleep.
Nocturia can also happen because you have an overactive bladder, and you void frequently during the day and the night. The daytime voiding may not feel bothersome because you just get up and go to the bathroom, but when you are waking up every two hours at night and you cannot get a good night’s sleep, it feels like a much worse problem.
It is also extremely important to identify other reasons why you are waking up at night, such as sleep apnea, anxiety, and restless leg syndrome.
What can I do about it?
Dr. Kumar will do a thorough history to determine what is the cause of your nocturia, and she will also have you do a bladder diary. If do you have nocturnal polyuria, she will discuss behavioral modifications as well as specific medication to help with this problem. If you have overactive bladder, or more sensory urgency at night, she will treat the overactive bladder and discuss techniques to limit waking up at night.