Most people get up to pee at night occasionally, and it’s no big deal. But when it’s happening constantly, it can interrupt your sleep, resulting in daytime fatigue, says Matthew Rutman, M.D., associate professor of urology at Columbia University Medical Center.
It’s called nocturia, or frequent nighttime urination, and it’s 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 nighttime bathroom breaks reach two or more times, according toReviews in Urology.
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 getting older, says Dr. Rutman. 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 aging.
While getting up to pee is annoying, it could also point toward a bunch of underlying health problems—or, some habits might be setting you up for some midnight toilet time, too. Here are a few potential issues behind the constant need to pee at night. Talk to your doctor if nighttime urination is disrupting your sleep to see if you might be dealing with any of them (And for more health news like this delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our Daily Dose newsletter).
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, says Dr. Rutman. You might just be waking up anyway.
One possible reason? Sleep apnea, a condition in which your breathing pauses while you sleep, can wake you up throughout the night. One recent study, for example, found that treating sleep apnea also treated nocturia. If you’re dealing with any other sleep issues, addressing them might help stop the peeing.
Caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics, which increase your urine production, so drinking either late in the day could lead to excessive nighttime urination. Drinking too many fluids at night, regardless of what type, can also lead to nocturia.
Jason M. Phillips, M.D., a urologist with North Coast Urology, recommends cutting out all fluids two to four hours before bed and steering clear of caffeine and alcohol in the evening to prevent late-night bathroom trips if you’ve been bothered my nighttime peeing.
Some common medications, including Lasix and hydrochlorothiazide, which are used to treat edema (swelling) and high blood pressure, are also diuretics, says Dr. Phillips. If you’re on one of these, take it six hours or more before bed.
8 Weird Facts You Never Knew About Your Heart:
It’s possible other meds can be the culprit too, so your doctor if nocturia is a side effect of any medications you’re on.
When you have diabetes, the excess glucose, or blood sugar, rushes to your kidneys, leading water to enter as well, says Dr. Phillips. And, of course, its final destination is your bladder. 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 come out each time, you might want to get a urinalysis test, which will reveal how much sugar is in your urine, says Dr. Phillips.
As men get older, something called benign prostatic hyperplasia—or an enlargement of the walnut-shaped prostate gland responsible for urinary continence—can occur. This can be due to 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, says Dr. Phillips. An enlarged prostate can also cause other urinary symptoms, like issues starting or stopping your flow, a weak stream, or the feeling you didn’t complete empty your bladder after peeing.
Similarly, irritants like spicy food, alcohol, and urinary tract infections can trick your bladder into thinking it’s full, says Dr. Phillips. Bladder problems will also likely show up as frequent urination throughout the day, not just at night.
Source: Men’s Health