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No More Frequent Urination at Night

One day, at the breakfast table, Sima sat across from her mother-in-law and noticed the tiredness imprinted on her face. Something was bothering her. Upon gently inquiring, her mother-in-law began to share a story that resonates with many of us or our loved ones. “I have such a terrible time sleeping at night,” her mother-in-law mourned. “I have to get up so many times to use the bathroom for frequent urination at night! Why can’t I have an uninterrupted night’s sleep?”

Sima, concerned about her mother-in-law’s sleepless nights, decided to seek advice from a friend who was a doctor. As they sat down for a cup of tea, Sima posed the question, “Why does my mother-in-law have to wake up multiple times during the night just to use the washroom?”

young woman telling her mother in laws complains to doctor about frquent urination at night

Her doctor friend enlightened her and referred to this night-time struggle as “Nocturia,” or frequent urination at night. The doctor revealed that Sima’s mother-in-law was not alone but it’s something many people face. He explained not only the causes, symptoms, and treatments for this night-time misery but also provided important insights to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep. Let’s explore their conversation and enrich ourselves with a deeper understanding of the Nocturia puzzle.

Sima: What is this Nocturia Doctor?

Doctor: This is when someone frequently wakes up at night to urinate. Sima this is more common than you might think, and there are several reasons why it can happen.

Sima: How common is this? Does this occur only in older people like my mother in law?

Doctor: Frequent urination at night is more common in 50% of adults after the age of 50 and 70% have this problem over the age of 70. However, women are more susceptible to nocturia before 50. It also affects up to 1 in 3 people over the age of 30.

Sima: Why does frequent urination at night happen?

Doctor: Does your mother in law have diabetes?

Sima: No, she is nondiabetic but hypertensive and recently unable to control urination.

Doctor: Okay let me explain the factors that are responsible for frequent urination at night.

  • Nocturnal polyuria: the most common cause, occurring in up to 88% of patients. It involves an excess of nighttime urinary production.
  • Congestive Heart Failure (CHD): If anyone is suffering from CHD, then he or she has much tendency to have fluid build-up in the legs and ankles due to improper pumping efficiency of the heart.
  • Edema: characterized by swelling in the feet, leading to increased urine production when lying down.
  • Sleep Disorders: If you or anyone cannot back to sleep quickly after an episode of nocturia, or you feel morning fatigue, then it may be due to sleep disorders leading to frequent urination at night.
  • Bladder Problems: As your mother-in-law has the symptoms of urgency, it can be a problem of overactive bladder and/or neurogenic.
  • Larger fluid intake before bed may be sometimes responsible for frequent urination at night without other recognizable causes. This may be voluntary, psychogenic, or a sign of possible diabetes mellitus or diabetes insipidus.
  • Diabetes: Elevated blood sugar levels are also associated with various other conditions that can increase pedal swelling and may lead to nocturia.
  • Certain Medications / Excessive Caffeine: Certain medications and certain foods like excessive consumption of caffeine or alcohol late in the day, can cause nocturia.

Sima: Now please tell me, doctor, is frequent urination at night somehow linked with pregnancy?

Doctor: Yes Sima, this is quite common during pregnancy although nothing to worry about it. Lying in a certain position may sometimes possess excess pressure on the bladder and increase the urge to urinate.

In addition to this, the dysfunction of pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy may cause frequent urination at night.

But I should also mention that here in case of an enlarged uterus or any abnormal growths in the ovary in women, an enlarged prostate and prostatitis in men may also be the reasons for nocturia.

Sima: When should we consult the doctor?

Doctor: Sima, you know, most of us are not bothered by frequent urination at night until it becomes relatively severe and affects our sleep. If anybody has painful urination or urinating frequently more than usual with no obvious cause, then he or she should go for a medical consultation.

Sima: Please suggest the treatment so that we can manage this problem of frequent urination at night.

Doctor: Look Sima, the management of nocturia is mainly obtained by treating the underlying conditions. For example:

Lifestyle changes

  • Restrict your fluid intake at night and limit the alcohol and caffeine consumption.
  • Manage your use of diuretics and take it 6 hours before you go to bed.
  • Elevate your legs to redistribute fluids back into the bloodstream or use compression socks to prevent fluid build-up by putting pressure.
  • Enjoy short afternoon naps which help to absorb liquids into the bloodstream.

Medicines

Sometimes lifestyle changes alone cannot solve the problem of nocturia, but medicine may. Medicines help the kidneys to produce less urine. For example:

  • Anticholinergic or beta-agonist medicines are used to treat bladder muscle problems.
  • Diuretic medicines are used to regulate urine production and high blood pressure.

Sleep Hygiene

Practice good sleep habits including a steady sleep routine, regular exercise, an optimal bedroom environment, and limited use of electronic devices. Sima you can go through the blog on Yoga Nidra that may help your mother in law to have quality sleep.

sleepless night due to frequent urination at night


In the journey of understanding nocturia, Sima and her mother-in-law discovered not only the reasons behind this nightly struggle but also a wealth of information on how to regain peaceful slumber. It’s a reminder that seeking knowledge and support can illuminate even the darkest corners of our lives, ensuring that a good night’s sleep is never beyond reach.

So, the next time you or a loved one faces frequent urination at night, remember that answers and solutions are within your grasp, bringing the promise of restful nights and rejuvenated mornings. For any assistance regarding this feel free to contact us at

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Dr Pratim Sengupta's Team (Nephro)
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