When you go to bed at night, you expect to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and rested, unless you hit the sack late and have to get up early like so many of us tend to do. Even when you go to bed at the right time, there is something else that may interrupt your sleep cycle, having to use the bathroom. Many people believe that having to use the bathroom through the night is something that is just a typical sign of getting older. The truth is, that going to the toilet during the night is more common in people over the age of 60. This is because as you get older the body starts to produce less of the hormone that helps you to retain fluids.
Medical Myth: Frequent Urination at Night is Normal Sign of Aging
Additionally, as you start to get older you may also experience other health issues that may cause you to have to use the bathroom more during the night. For men, one common cause of this is an enlarged prostate. Enlarged prostates are not always dangerous, but it will keep you from fully emptying your bladder. Women who have gone through menopause produce less estrogen. This may result in women needing to go to the bathroom more often, especially during the night.
Other Causes of Nighttime Frequent Urination
However, getting older is not the only thing that contributes to going to the bathroom more at night. Some of the other causes of nighttime urination include drinking a lot of fluids before going to bed, urinary tract disorders, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and taking prescription medications that may exaggerate urination. Liver failure, diabetes, and other medical conditions may cause your body to make excessive amounts of urine.
There are also times when it is not the urge to go to the bathroom that will cause you to wake up during the night. Chronic pain, hot flashes, sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome may cause you to wake up as well. Once you are awake from the pain or other issue, you may feel like you need to urinate as well. At times, addressing some of these other issues will help to solve your nighttime urination issues as well.
What you Should Know About Incontinence
Along with nighttime urination, another issue that some people may suffer from is incontinence. If you look around, there are always ads for products to use for incontinence. Unfortunately, incontinence is something that is not often discussed. There are some essential things to know about incontinence.
First, it is essential to know that incontinence is not the same for everyone. Some people may have an occasional leak, while others may struggle not leaving a puddle while they are heading to the bathroom. There are two common forms of incontinence.
Stress incontinence occurs when there is pressure placed on the bladder from an activity such as sneezing or coughing. Urge incontinence is also referred to as an overactive bladder. With an overactive bladder, urine loss occurs with a sudden and strong urge to urinate.
Second, there is a myth that incontinence is simply something that comes with age. This is not true. While incontinence is common and the risk of experiencing it does increase with age, it is not something that is just associated with age and not every older person experiences it. Women of all ages, even high school girls, who exert pressure on their bladders through sports may experience incontinence.
Finally, many people think that incontinence is a nuisance and not a sign of a health issue. However, there are serious health and social consequences of incontinence. The condition is linked to depression, social withdrawal, and decreased activity. Older women who suffer from incontinence are more at risk of falling, especially when they are getting up through the night.
Additional Reading: Managing Nocturia - National Library of Medicine
Discussing Frequent Urination with your Doctor
When you start to get older you may think that it is just a part of your new routine to go to the bathroom throughout the night. You may even believe that incontinence throughout the day is just something that you now have to deal with. However, if you are experiencing incontinence of any type or if you notice that you cannot make it six to eight hours through the night without having to urinate at least once or twice, it is essential to make sure that you discuss this with your doctor. It is vital that you talk with your doctor to stay up to speed on health information as you age.
As mentioned, incontinence and nighttime urination are more common in people who are over the age of 60. It could be just a hormonal issue that is causing you to urinate more frequently. However, it also could be the sign of an underlying medical condition. Speak with your doctor in order to determine what may be causing this condition.
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