Peeing in the night
After about the age of 5, most of us generally will sleep night after night without waking up. Then one day later on in life around 50, typically around 2am in the morning, you wake up with a desire to go to the toilet. You toss and turn, telling yourself I can’t be that old already that I need to get out of bed to go for a wee wee, but the urge continues until you have suddenly had enough and at last you get out of bed to empty your bladder. Sound all so familiar ?
It’s a painful part of ageing, and it’s very annoying that your sleep pattern is disrupted, however it is natural and a common issue that effects many of us.
The medical term for getting up for a pee in the middle night is known as “Nocturia” it sounds like a musical fantasy, but to many of us its just painful and annoying.
The body makes more urine in the evening than during the day, in some individuals the fluid you take in during the day pools into your lower extremities, and when you lie down some of that fluid gets back into circulation.
High Blood pressure – In a Japanese circulation study, it was found that people who woke up once a night to pee were 40% per cent more likely to have high blood pressure.
Unrelated sleep problems – having poor sleep patterns and waking up, the first thing we all do is to ask ourselves do I need to pee, which then becomes a repeating ritual.
Alcohol and Caffeine – both are diuretics, which cause increased passing of urine.
Medication – most medicines have some unintentional side effects and may have diuretic qualities
Untreated diabetes – this will cause the bladder to fill up more quickly than normal leading you to emptying the bladder.
Enlarged Prostrate gland – an enlarged prostrate will put pressure on the bladder as its located next door, signalling to the brain that you need to empty your bladder.
Irritated bladder or infection
Make sure you pee before bed time to empty your bladder.
Reduce the amount you drink before you go to bed. For example have your last drink at 8pm instead of 10pm. Make sure you still drink the recommended daily amount of fluid.
Have fewer drinks that contain alcohol, caffeine, such as tea, coffee, chocolate and cola.
If your on medication, chat to your doctor as to whether these are affecting your bladder / sleep pattern.
Enlarged prostrate – see your doctor especially if you have blood in your urine, difficulty or weak flow of urine, pain when trying to go.
Make sure you see your doctor if you notice any problems with, or changes to, your usual pattern of urination. It seems to be a good idea to avoid the after dinner coffee and substitute with a mint tea or a decaffeinated drink.
Sadly, it sounds all too familiar. With the arrival of the warmer weather, it's hard not to have an extra drink or 2 in the evening. Have too many and you'll forget about the 2am wakeup call until it's too late!!!
As I grow older, I have definitely had the 2.30am wake up call to go to the toilet, which is painful waking up in the middle of the night and then suddenly it becomes a habit – it's almost you have a new daily alarm clock. I have found that if I have had a good exercise day and been busy at work I sleep like a baby without waking up, which is so much better. Don’t worry the bed sheets have been dry ! Have also tried to change my caffeine habits and try to have my last cup of tea at 4pm and then go all herbal after that.