Frequent Urination Plaguing Men’s Sleeping Patterns
June 1, 2022
At Pisgah Valley Retirement Community we keep the calendar filled with engaging activities for our independent living residents – from a variety of fitness classes to social games to health seminars, we have something for everyone. This means that a good night’s sleep is all the more important for our residents so they can participate in as many quality activities as possible. One common problem experienced by seniors and especially men is frequent urination at night also known as nocturia interrupting the sleep process. June is men’s health month so read on to find out what you or the men in your life can do to help lessen the frequency of urination at night and sleep better.
It is true that as we age, our bodies lose the ability to retain as many fluids. This is due to a decrease in the production of a hormone called anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). Some conditions such as diabetes can cause the kidneys to respond less efficiently to ADH which results in lots of urine production and more visits to the bathroom during the day and night. Congestive heart failure, sleep apnea and kidney insufficiency may also play a contributing role.
Some medications can increase the urge to urinate including diuretics, calcium blockers, selective serotonin reuptake (SSRI’s) and more. Talk with your primary care physician about any medications that could contribute to increased urine production or the timing of administering those meds to avoid nighttime urination as much as possible.
Tips to Stop Peeing so much at Night
To some it may seem like a losing battle but there are strategies to limit your nighttime visits to the bathroom and gain sound sleep.
- Limit beverage intake especially caffeine and alcohol a few hours(2-3) before bedtime. Caffeine increases bladder activity much like a diuretic resulting in more urination. If caffeine is consumed later in the day then nighttime urination will increase. Alcohol acts as a bladder irritant and should be avoided as well. Continue to drink plenty of water because dehydration is not a method for combatting nocturia and has adverse effects on the system.
- Salt restriction. According to a 2019 study, limiting salt intake has positive results for decreasing bathroom visits at night. Try avoiding lots of processed, fast and convenience foods.
- Medication Timing. Talk with your primary care physician on timing your medications if you are waking frequently to pee. He or she can help you adjust the timing for when to take what drugs for optimal rest.
- Use compression stockings and elevate legs. Excess fluid pools at the bottom of legs throughout the day. Compression stockings or hose help keep the fluid distributed and reabsorbed into your body appropriately. Elevating the legs can also help move that fluid back up to the kidneys making them process that excess fluid out before bedtime.
It is natural for most people over 65 to experience nocturia to some extent. Natural processes occur due to aging such as bladder filling more rapidly and kidneys not processing as efficiently. By using some of the strategies above you may be able to regain back your sleep schedule. Instead of waking 4-5 times per night, it is possible to instill some strategies with the help of your doctor to reduce those visits to 1-2 times per night and feel rested and ready for whatever the day brings.