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Remember the time when you could hold your urine like a camel? Those were the days when you could sleep through the whole night. You may think you’re racking up frequent pee-er miles because you are making more urine, but in fact nighttime awakenings can happen even when you have little urine in the bladder. Aging reduces bladder capacity, the pelvic floor muscles are weaker (due to childbirth or weight gain), and the wall of the bladder is thinner and less responsive, because you said ta-ta to estrogen. These factors make everything more sensitive, meaning your brain gets messages telling you to get up to empty it more frequently, no matter what time it is.
Nocturia is a bladder control problem that can occur after menopause. This condition causes you to have to get up from bed frequently during the night to go to the bathroom. You should always talk to your doctor when there are changes in normal body function such as this.
There are several potential culprits if frequent trips to the bathroom are keeping your from getting a refreshing night's sleep. For men, this problem--known as nocturia--is a classic symptom of an enlarged prostate. The prostate is a male organ that helps produce sperm and plays other roles. As a man ages, the prostate grows and can interfere with normal urination. Medication and lifestyle changes can help control this condition, which is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.
A number of other medical conditions may cause you to feel the urge to pee several times a night, including:
• urinary tract infections
• kidney problems
• heart failure
• sleep apnea
Then again, simply drinking too many beverages before you turn in could be causing your frequent nocturnal trips to the bathroom. Try cutting back on the amount of liquid you consume in the evening. If that doesn't help, tell your doctor about your night-time urinary habits.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.