Main causes, treatment and preventive measures

Frequent urination at night, medically known as nocturia or nocturnal polyuria, is a condition in which you wake up several times during the night to urinate. Although this condition is more common in the elderly, it can happen to anyone of any age.

Most people don’t wake up at night to urinate and sleep for 6-8 hours, but some people may need to urinate more often at night. While it can be frustrating, the good news is that certain treatments and lifestyle changes can help you get rid of the problem.

How often is it normal to urinate at night?

If you wake up to urinate 2 to 3 times a night or even more, that's not normal.  (Photo via Pexels/Miriam Alonso)
If you wake up to urinate 2 to 3 times a night or even more, that’s not normal. (Photo via Pexels/Miriam Alonso)

If you wake up to urinate 2-3 times during the night or even more, that’s not normal.

It is important that you see your doctor right away, as there may be potential problems. If left untreated, the condition can get worse and cause serious health problems in the future.

Frequent urination at night: What is the main cause?

Frequent urination can happen because of an underlying health condition, certain medications, or lifestyle choices.

Medical conditions

Certain medical problems can lead to frequent urination at night. While popular ones include a bladder infection or urinary tract infections, other medical conditions such as bladder prolapse, an enlarged prostate, an overactive bladder, kidney infections, obstructive sleep apnea, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes There are also some common reasons why you need to urinate a lot at night.

It is important to note that overactive bladder at night is also common in people with organ failure.


Some drugs such as diuretic It can also cause a side effect of frequent urination at night. Doctors often prescribe these drugs for high blood pressure, fluid retention, or heart failure.

If you take diuretics and often have to get up to urinate, you should see your doctor right away.

Lifestyle choice

Drinking alcohol before bed can lead to an overactive bladder at night.  (Photo via Pexels/Charlotte May)
Drinking alcohol before bed can lead to an overactive bladder at night. (Photo via Pexels/Charlotte May)

Lifestyle habits such as drinking caffeinated beverages and alcohol can also lead to waking up at night and urinating frequently at night. These are diuretics that cause the body to produce more urine.

What causes frequent urination in women?

In women especially, frequent urination at night is a common symptom of pregnancy.

It can occur in the early days of pregnancy and can increase later as the fetus grows and causes the uterus to press on the bladder.

Nocturia in women can also occur due to certain medications and lifestyle choices as discussed above.

How to stop urinating at night?

Treatment for frequent urination at night may include several medications, including diuretics, anticholinergics, and desmopressin.

While diuretics like lasix and bumex can help control the amount of urine you produce, anticholinergics like mirabegron and detrol can relieve symptoms of an overactive bladder. Meanwhile, Desmopressin can help the kidneys produce less urine.

However, before taking any medication, you should always consult your doctor about which options will work best for you. That’s especially important if you’re already taking any medications.

In addition to medication, treating the underlying cause can also help control frequent nighttime urination. For example, if you have urinary tract infection, you may need medication to treat the condition. However, if you are pregnant, you may need to avoid medication and seek some home remedies as suggested by your doctor.

prevention tips

While medication and all medications can help control your condition, you can take preventive steps to reduce its impact on your daily life. Including:

  • reduce the amount of water or other liquids you drink before going to bed
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
  • avoiding certain foods that irritate the bladder, like acidic foods, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, and spicy foods
  • practice kegel exercises to improve bladder control and strengthen pelvic muscles

Avoid caffeine before bed.  (Photo via Pexels/Engin Akyurt)
Avoid caffeine before bed. (Photo via Pexels/Engin Akyurt)

It’s important to pay attention to what’s causing your nighttime urination and worsening your symptoms. Knowing that can help you manage your habits and activities accordingly.

Remember that nocturia is a treatable condition, so talk to your doctor if you find yourself waking up 2-3 times or more at night to urinate. Your doctor may run several tests to determine the underlying cause.


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