This amazing post was written by Jenn Ryan, a freelance writer, and editor who’s passionate about natural health, fitness, gluten-free, and animals. You can read more of her work at thegreenwritingdesk.com.
Turns out there’s a fancy name for that annoying thing you have to wake up and do every night—nocturia !
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for so many reasons. While we sleep, our brains file away information, make new connections, and the body heals itself. This makes the different phases of sleep, especially deep sleep, essential for our bodies and brains every night.
However, when you’re waking up every few hours at night to go to the bathroom, your body may not be spending as much time in that deep sleep as it needs to in order to be properly rested the next day. So not only is getting up to pee during the night annoying, it’s also disrupting your sleep cycle and could be making you more tired the next day!
So just why are you waking up so often to urinate at night, and what can you do about it?
Top Reasons Why You’re Waking Up So Often to Pee
You’re Drinking Too Much Caffeine
Caffeinated drinks such as coffee and certain kinds of tea have a diuretic effect on the body, which means that you’ll actually urinate more fluid than you just drank! Caffeine is best avoided for a minimum of two hours before bedtime.
You’re Drinking Too Much, Period
Drinking too much water or other fluids too close to bed could mean your body will keep waking you up to go to the bathroom . Not a good thing! Try to drink throughout the day rather than at night to avoid this problem.
You Ate a Lot of Watermelon
Yes, even eating foods with a high water content can make you wake up to pee at night. Take watermelon for example, which is 92% water!
You Ate Lots of Sugar (yes, alcohol is included here)
Eating sugar can make you feel more awake, not to mention it’ll increase your blood sugar. Which, in case you haven’t guessed, makes you have to pee more! This explains why frequent urinating is a symptom of diabetes .
And yes, alcohol is included. Although research shows alcohol before bed may help you fall asleep, it can actually disrupt the second half of your sleep and make it harder to fall asleep . Not to mention, you might become dependent on alcohol to help you fall asleep.
Health Conditions Commonly Associated with Urinating at Night
As we’ve just noted, you may be seeing symptoms of the onset of diabetes if you have adjusted your fluid intake level and are still urinating frequently, both at night and during the day.
Symptoms of an enlarged prostate or prostate infection include frequent urination, so consider seeing your urologist if you’re experiencing a sudden onset of this symptom!
Nobody likes urinary tract infections (UTIs). If you’re having kidney pain or pain while urinating and have to urinate frequently, see your doctor.
Having a stroke could damage the part of your brain that controls urination, and so may make you have to pee more often .
What Else Could It Be?
Adrenal fatigue happens when your body’s adrenal glands can’t handle stress due to an illness, extreme stress, or another health condition. When this happens, hormone regulation is off, and could cause your body to urinate frequently .
These include your adrenal hormones, including cortisol and epinephrine (the fancy name for adrenaline). When your adrenaline is increased, you may need to urinate more, according to research .
When you’re anxious, anxiety or worry can cause elevated levels of the stress hormones we just discussed. You may be worrying about something at night and find that you have to urinate more often . Calm down in order to help yourself sleep through the night!
10 Tips to Never Wake Up at Night to Urinate Again
1. Balance Blood Sugar
Late night snacking is fun, but waking up to pee several times during the night is not. Try to limit what you eat for about two hours before bed, and definitely, avoid foods like chocolate (which contains caffeine) and other sugary foods.
2. Stop Drinking Water
No one ever told you to stop drinking water, did they? Well, if you want to stop waking up to urinate, you’ll need to try and drink the bulk of your water during the day. Limit drinking before you go to bed, and definitely, avoid diuretics like coffee and tea.
3. Try These Herbs
Herbs are your friend! If you have an enlarged prostate, saw palmetto  can help greatly. Saw palmetto can also help curb the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, such as frequent urination . You may also try cranberry extract and pumpkin seed extract for frequent urination.
Relax. Even meditating for just a few minutes a night or in the morning can help you feel less stressed and increase gray matter in the brain. What this means is that you’ll be happier and better able to handle stress. You’ll also be able to sleep better because you won’t be so anxious. Less anxiety means less urination!
5. Turn Off Your Phone
Yes, I meant that literally. I turn off my phone every night and don’t turn it back on until I’ve had breakfast and am ready to start the day the next morning (sorry, people who try to call me in the morning). By doing this, you lessen your anxiety about things that are going on. A work email? An angry boyfriend? Bill collector? They can wait a few hours. Seriously. Turn that crap off.
6. Stop Eating Sugar
Refined sugar never did anybody any good. By limiting your intake of sugar, you also help to balance your blood sugar levels, clear your skin, and restore your sleeping patterns at night. You can help stop nocturia just by eating less crap!
7. Try Kegels
If you haven’t heard of Kegels, you better learn, especially if you’ve given birth. As we age, and due to lack of exercise or weakening of the muscles that control our bladder as a result of giving birth, we can become more prone to problems with the bladder and frequent urination.
When you practice Kegels (which are seriously super easy and can be done whenever you go to the bathroom—they take about three seconds), you help to strengthen these muscles ! This can help you to stop urinating so much at night and better control your bladder.
8. Urinate Twice Before Bed
This is also referred to as the practice of double-voiding, which can help you to properly empty your bladder before bed and avoid getting up at night. You simply urinate, then do something else, such as read, brush your teeth, shower, etc. Then, just before it’s time to go to sleep, urinate again. Enjoy a full night’s rest with this practice!
9. Exercise to Help Reduce Fluid Retention in the Legs
During the day, fluid builds up in our legs because of all the time your body spends fighting gravity and pumping blood to the head. By exercising, you expose your body to a range of health benefits, including less fluid in the legs, better blood sugar balance, and more tiredness. Yay!
10. Talk to an Expert
Your nocturia could be the sign of an underlying problem. While doing these tips can help, you should also talk to your natural healthcare practitioner to make sure you don’t have any other problems going on. Staying in-the-know about your body is so important—if your nocturia has developed suddenly or even if it hasn’t get checked out. It’s worth it, I promise.
As a longtime sufferer of nocturia, I’m here to tell you that it is possible to stop waking up so often to pee. It’s very frustrating and you often feel more fatigued the next day. If this goes on night after night, your body isn’t getting the proper rest it needs. So change your diet, change your lifestyle, visit the doctor—follow these 10 tips for never waking up to pee again!
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