What Causes Nocturia (Nighttime Urination)?

Have you been finding it hard to get a full night’s rest without having to wake up multiple times during the night to use the bathroom? Waking up more than once throughout the night could be a sign that you are suffering from nocturia. Nocturia is a common condition that can cause extreme discomfort and disrupt your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

woman is suffering from nocturia and the urge to urinate while sleeping


At Avail Clinical Research, we conduct nocturia clinical trials in the hopes of learning how to better understand the causes of this condition and develop more effective ways of treating it. Our mission is to improve the overall quality of life for people suffering from nocturia through our research.

If you believe you may be living with nocturia, this article is for you. Nocturia can be difficult to live with, but gaining a better understanding of nocturia can help you take back control of your nights.

What is Nocturia?

Nocturia, also known as nocturnal polyuria, is a condition in which you feel the urge to urinate multiple times throughout the night. For most people, the need to urinate over the course of six to eight hours of sleep arises only once or not at all. However, people suffering from nocturia typically need to get up and urinate several times during the night.

Although this condition is most common in senior citizens and pregnant women, nocturia can affect anyone, regardless of age or sex. Another concern when dealing with nocturia is that it may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition that could be more serious.

Most people will not encounter problems from nocturia until after the age of 60, but this does not mean it cannot happen earlier in life. It is important for you to know the signs and symptoms of nocturia and what causes it, so you can identify the condition if you or someone you know is living with it.

Symptoms of Nocturia

For most people, it is normal to sleep for six to eight hours each night without having to get out of bed to urinate. However, people living with nocturia do not share this luxury of uninterrupted sleep. The major sign of nocturia is the need get out of bed and urinate several times during the night.

man has to use the bathroom frequently because he suffers from nocturia


Constantly having to wake up during the night can disrupt your sleeping cycle and be extremely agitating. This can interrupt your daily routines and lead to feelings of exhaustion and irritability. Some warnings signs of nocturia you should be looking out for are:

  • Frequently waking up at night to pass urine due to an excess production of urine
  • Interrupted or poor sleep
  • Producing more than 2 liters of urine a day
  • When sleeping you produce a large volume of urine

Possible Causes for Nighttime Urination

There are a wide range of causes that can lead to you developing nocturia. These can include anything from medical issues to your lifestyle habits. Although one of the most common factors that results in nocturia is old age, it is important to remember that this condition can affect people of all ages.

Old Age

As we get older our bladders begin to shrink in size causing you to have a smaller capacity for holding urine. Another problem you face when aging is your urine production begins to increase. This combined with a decreased bladder capacity can lead to nocturia.

Lifestyle Habits

The main lifestyle habits that can result in nocturia are your drinking habits. Drinking excessive amounts of fluid results in you having to urinate more frequently. This can become a problem when you have a habit of drinking large amounts of fluid at night and can lead to nighttime urination.

It is also important to note that drinking too much caffeine or alcohol can cause nocturia. These type of beverages are diuretics, meaning they cause you to produce greater quantities of urine.


Nocturia is a common condition among pregnant women. As a woman’s womb becomes bigger, it begins to press against the bladder. The added pressure on the bladder causes woman to have to urinate more frequently and often at night.

Medical Conditions

Probably the most concerning causes of nocturia are from medical conditions. There are many medical conditions that can cause nocturia and some can be very serious. However, the medical condition that most commonly leads to nocturia is a bladder infection or urinary tract infection (UTI). If you are experiencing nocturia and not sure of the cause, be sure to talk with you doctor and get tested for an infection as they can cause more complications if left untreated.

Nocturia can also be caused by a number of other medical conditions, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Kidney infection
  • Diabetes
  • An enlarged prostate
  • Tumors in the bladder or prostate
  • Overactive bladder syndrome (OAB)
  • Neurological disorders
  • Bladder prolapse
  • Heart, liver, or other forms of organ failure
  • Urge incontinence
  • Menopause
  • Hypercalcemia

On top of medical conditions, certain medications can also lead to nocturia. If you are having problems with nighttime urination, consult your doctor to see if it could a side effect from any of the medications you may be taking.

How Can I Reduce My Risk For Developing Nocturia?

Living with nocturia can be extremely irritating and difficult, but there are ways to manage and treat the condition. A good way to help lessen the impact of nocturia on your life is to address your drinking habits. Consuming less fluids at night, especially less alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, can greatly reduce your chances of experiencing nocturia.

For women, another way to help reduce the frequency of nighttime urination is to perform kegel exercises. These exercises help give you greater bladder control and strengthen your pelvic muscles.

Keeping a diary of your daily routines and trying to identify your nocturia triggers can also help you manage your symptoms. By learning what causes you more frequent nocturnal urination, you can try to eliminate that factor from your daily routine. Understanding the causes of your nocturia and how you can manage it will go a long way in helping you get better sleep and feel fully rejuvenated in the morning.



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