Courtney Payne – Physiotherapist

Nocturia – a normal part of ageing? When we sleep our bodies produce less urine and it becomes concentrated so that we are able to sleep long periods without waking to use the toilet. Waking up during the night to empty your bladder is a normal process, but only if it is happening once a night. If you’re waking from sleep more than once, then you are experiencing nocturia.

Many people think nocturia is just a part of getting older, but it affects people of all ages. For example, frequent urination, even during the night is common throughout pregnancy but shouldn’t continue into the postpartum period. Nocturia is not the same as overactive bladder, but the two can be experienced simultaneously. Although both are common in older adults, they can both be effectively treated by Pelvic Health Physiotherapists.

Common causes of nocturia include excess urine production at night (known as nocturnal polyuria), medications, reduced bladder capacity, increased urinary frequency, fluid loading and sleep disrupting conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea.

Whether it is your bladder causing your sleep disturbances, or you are woken by something else and then experience the urge to go to the toilet, finding out the root cause is important to prevent sleep loss and the long-term effects that has for increasing the risk of other health conditions. If you feel your bladder is contributing to poor sleep addressing it can dramatically improve your quality of sleep and by extension your quality of life.