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Getting a proper amount of sleep is one of the most important factors when it comes to good health. Sleep is just as essential to our body as food and water is, and getting insufficient sleep has been linked to many health problems including a weakened immune system, weight gain, lower energy levels, chronic pain and many more.

Despite the well known benefits of sleep, it is reported that less than half (48%) of Americans feel that they get a sufficient amount every night. One of the most common causes of a lack of sleep is frequently waking up int he middle of the night. This can be caused by a variety of reasons, however the most common reason people have to interrupt their sleep is to go to the washroom, a condition which is commonly referred to as nocturia.

What Is Nocturia?

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Nocturia is the term used to describe frequent or excessive urination during the evening.

Most people are able to get a full six to eight hours amount of sleep without having to get up to pee. This is because, during the night, they produce less urine that is more concentrated. This puts less pressure on their bladder, which allows them to sleep without interruption. This means that if you are frequently waking up to urinate during the evening, you may be suffering from nocturia.

Nocturia can be caused by either lifestyle choices or medical conditions, or both. One of the most common medical conditions that causes nocturia is a urinary tract infection or a bladder infection. Nocturia is only one of the symptoms of these conditions, as individuals who suffer from them usually experience frequent urination throughout the day as well as burning sensations during urination.

Other medical conditions that are known to induce nocturia include infection of the prostate, kidney infections, edema, sleep apnea, anxiety and diabetes. Taking certain medications to treat health conditions can also cause frequent urination during the night.

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Nocturia can also be caused by certain lifestyle choices, including drinking lots of liquid or consuming some form of diuretic soon before you go to sleep.

How To Prevent Nocturia

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Although nocturia may be a symptom of a health condition that can be difficult to resolve, it can also be caused by lifestyle choices we make. If you are not experiencing any of the previous health conditions mentioned but are still waking up in the middle of the night to pee, here are some tips that can help prevent that.

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Stop drinking fluids before bedtime. Drinking any form of liquid late at night is probably the most common cause of nighttime urination. People who feel like they didn’t hit their hydration quota throughout the day often try to chug water late at night in an attempt to reach it. To reduce chances of experiencing nocturia, limit liquid consumption to before 6 p.m.

Avoid foods and beverages that irritate your bladder. Foods that can irritate your bladder and act as an unintentional diuretic include caffeine, alcohol, citrus juices and cranberry juice. It’s understandable that you can’t cut these out entirely, so just try to avoid consuming them before bedtime.

Empty your bladder before bed. Many doctors suggest “double-voiding” before going to bed, this means urinating at least twice. Try going to the bathroom once, and then doing the rest of your pre-bedtime rituals such as brushing your teeth or reading a book. Then, before you lie down, go to the bathroom one more time to make sure you’ve emptied your bladder as much as possible.

Do kegel exercises. Many experts suggest that performing kegel exercises can help control an overactive bladder if done regularly. Kegel exercises focus on strengthening the pelvic muscles, and must be performed for several minutes everyday for between one to three months in order to be effective. For information on how to perform kegel exercises, click here.

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