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For words you might want to know more


Nocturia is a condition that causes you to wake up during the night to pee.


Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) is a hormone that controls how much fluid is produced by your kidneys.


A urinary tract infection (UTI) can affect your bladder (cystitis), urethra (urethritis) or kidneys (kidney infection). They happen when harmful bacteria like E. coli enter your urinary tract and cause infection.

Overactive bladder (OAB)

When you have an overactive bladder, the muscle that signals that the bladder is full starts over-reacting and sending messages to the brain to start emptying. This is why it may feel like your bladder cannot hold as much fluid as it should, and feels full even when it’s not.

Pelvic floor

A group of muscles, ligaments and other tissue that stretch back to front (from your pubic bone to your backbone) and side to side. Think of your pelvic floor as a hammock that holds up all your pelvic organs, including your bladder, bowel and uterus.

Nocturia: How to manage an overactive bladder at night

There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, but while it can happen to anyone from time to time, an overactive bladder at night might be a sign that you’re experiencing nocturia.

Nocturia, or nocturnal polyuria, is the medical term for an excessive need to urinate during the night. Nocturia is usually a symptom of another condition — and an annoying one at that! 

Nocturia can occur at any age, but it becomes more common as you get older. Around 42% of women and 59% of men over 60 wake up two or more times a night to pee.  As you age, your body produces less antidiuretic hormone (ADH), a hormone that controls how much fluid is produced by your kidneys. Lower levels of ADH means your kidneys make more urine, even when you’re snoozing!

If you experience nocturia you’ll know just how frustrating it is to be woken up by a full bladder several times throughout the night. It can make it hard to get a restful night’s sleep, and really affect someone’s quality of life. 

Luckily, there are several things you can do to manage an overactive bladder at night and get some uninterrupted shuteye. Keep reading for the causes of nocturia and how to treat it. 

Why do I pee so much at night?

So, what is causing you to get up during the night so often to urinate? Nocturia can be challenging to treat because it can be caused by several different factors. 

To understand what is causing an overactive bladder at night, you first have to understand what type of nocturia you are experiencing. There are four different types of nocturia: 

  • Nocturnal polyuria. This is when your body produced an excessive amount of pee during the night.

  • Global polyuria. This is when you produce too much urine day and night. 

  • Low nocturnal bladder capacity. This means your bladder can’t hold as much urine during the night. 

  • Mixed nocturia. A combination of all of the above.

Some medical conditions can cause nocturia, including:  

  • A urinary tract infection (UTI). UTIs cause inflammation of the bladder that results in a more frequent need to urinate. Other symptoms of UTIs are dark, cloudy and foul-smelling urine, a burning sensation when you pee, and not being able to fully empty your bladder. 

  • Incontinence. There are different types of incontinence, but all make it harder to hold in urine, which means unwanted leaks and more trips to the bathroom — even at night. 

  • Overactive bladder (OAB). OAB is when you feel a frequent and sudden need to pee. When an overactive bladder causes accidental bladder leaks, it’s known as urge incontinence. 

  • Prostate problems (in men). The prostate is a gland that surrounds the urethra and becomes larger with age (benign prostatic hyperplasia). An enlarged prostate can put pressure on the urethra and stop your bladder from emptying completely, resulting in more frequent trips to the toilet.

  • Diabetes. High blood sugar levels cause your kidneys to produce more urine. A common sign of diabetes is the need to pee more often, and feeling more thirsty. 

Nocturia isn’t always caused by an illness. Pregnancy, drinking too many fluids before bed, and some medications — like those prescribed for high blood pressure — can also cause more frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom.

Speak to your doctor an overactive bladder at night is interfering with your sleep. It could be a sign of a more serious illness, but your doctor can help you figure out what’s causing nocturia and how to treat it. 

How to treat and manage nocturia

The treatment for nocturia usually depends on the underlying cause. 

Nocturia can be treated with anticholinergic drugs, which are used to alleviate symptoms of OAB, and desmopressin, which reduces the amount of urine produced by your kidneys. If your nocturia is caused by a UTI or bladder infection, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics. 

Lifestyle changes can also make nocturia more manageable. Try the following tips to reduce frequent urination during the night: 

  • Limit your fluid intake before bed. This seems like an obvious one, but it’s one of the most effective ways to limit your nighttime urination. Limit your fluid intake one or two hours before going to bed, but remember to stay well-hydrated throughout the day! 

  • Cut back on bladder irritants. Some drinks can worsen bladder problems. Caffeine, alcohol, fizzy drinks, or drinks can irritate the bladder and increase the urge to go. Try limiting your intake of these drinks (more so in the afternoon and evening), especially if you already have a form of incontinence. 

  • Strengthen your pelvic floor. A weak pelvic floor is often the culprit for urinary incontinence. Try incorporating pelvic floor exercises into your evening routine to improve your bladder strength. 

  • Wear nighttime incontinence pads. Nocturia doesn’t always cause unwanted bladder leaks, but if it does, wearing incontinence pads while you sleep can help make it more manageable. Jude’s ultra-thin Bamboo Everyday Pads are 6.2 times more absorbent and 6.4 times drier than other incontinence pads on the market, so you can rest easy without bladder leaks interrupting your sleep.

Is your bladder keeping you up all night? Jude’s Bladder Strength Supplements are clinically proven to improve bladder control. More than 80% of people saw a difference after six weeks of taking Jude’s Bladder Strength Supplements and 39% said they had fewer nighttime trips to the bathroom. Try today for better nights and happier days!

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