A dull bladder is typical for pregnant women when they get the first experience of not being able to get through the night without visiting the bathroom. With age, we may again feel the urge to empty our bladder during the night. There are small but effective changes you can make to have uninterrupted sleep and avoid what scientists call ‘nocturia’. Frequent urination can be more than just a nuisance — it can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, so talk to your doctor about it.
Tips for dealing with nighttime urination
To continue here are some suggestions to help you get enough of your night sleep:
- Keep a diary. Check if you are urinating too much around the clock, or just at night. More than eight times in 24 hours is too much. It also depends on your age. If you’re between age 65-70 and going more than twice a night, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Also, see a doctor if you are getting up more than once a night if you are between age 60-65, and more than three times each night if you are age 70 or older. While your bladder’s capacity does not necessarily decrease with age, the prevalence of overactive bladder increases with age.
- Restrict your intake of fluids two hours before bedtime. Drinking too close to bedtime can cause the need to urinate at night. And alcohol and caffeine should be limited all day long.
- Sleep apnea. During deep sleep antidiuretic hormone is produced in our bodies so we can retain more fluid overnight. Thos suffering from sleep apnea do not get into the deep stages of sleep, so their bodies don’t make enough of this hormone. In addition, the drops in oxygen levels during apnea activate the kidneys to excrete more water. In this case, treating sleep apnea may be helpful.
- Exercise, and use support hose for swelling in your feet or legs. In case you have swelling in your feet or legs, you’ll probably wake more often overnight to use the bathroom. The reason is that the fluid pooling in your extremities during the day will be reabsorbed into your system once you lie down with your feet at the level of your heart. Then the fluid will head to your kidneys to be processed.
- Lift both your legs. If you prop up your legs for an hour at the level of your heart in the late afternoon, this can help you urinate during the day and avoid it at night.
Aging is often the cause
As we age, our bodies make less of a hormone that allows us to retain fluids, so our bladders fill more rapidly. Also, our bladders are unable to hold as much urine as when we were young.
Women beyond age 60 should expect to wake to use the bathroom at least once a night. Nevertheless, above tips can help minimize the nightly visits of the bathroom for all women.