For many of us, sleep can be hard work, especially as we get older. With all of today’s constant distractions (smartphones, emails, YouTube, text messages) and life stresses (bills, deadlines, daily traffic), it is no wonder we have difficulty with getting restful sleep. The last thing we need is to add one more to the list of “sleep disruptors,” right? Unfortunately, there is and it can be attributed to one of our most basic biological functions. If you guessed urination, you’re right! While a necessary and normal part of our daily lives, it can be a major hurdle in getting that good night’s sleep, which just so happens to be one of our most important tools to maintain good health. Enter nocturia.
Nocturia, by urological definition is waking up during sleeping hours to urinate more than one time each night. Unless you are one of the lucky ones where it would take at least a seven magnitude earthquake to rattle you from your sleep, most of us are familiar with waking up and feeling the need to go to the bathroom. The problem lies in the frequency of these bathroom trips and what is causing them. “While never truly considered normal, nocturia does become more common with aging or progression of chronic medical issues,” says Dr. Alexandre Rosen, board-certified Urologist at Physicians Regional Medical Group. “Nocturia can be both a nuisance and a warning sign.” Unfortunately, many people with this condition do not seek help, accepting it just as a natural consequence of aging. Studies show that a whopping 50 million people in the United States are affected with nocturia with only 1 million actually diagnosed and only 1.5 million receiving therapy.1 Dr. Rosen points out that nocturia can also lead to frustration, poor concentration during the day, and even indirect issues such as falls and injuries during bathroom trips in the night.
Causes of nocturia will vary and can be as simple as lifestyle habits like too much fluid intake before bed, alcohol or caffeine use, and poor sleep habits, or it can be a result of an underlying health condition that includes sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, bladder tumors, urethral strictures, or an enlarged prostate. “The diagnosis is made simply by the history taking when a patient complains of awakening to urinate at night but finding the cause is much more complex,” says Dr. Rosen. “Also, possible treatment options can be quite broad and very specific to the individual patients.”
Nocturia is a condition that warrants specific clinical attention. If you are waking up more than one time each night to go to the bathroom, it is important to get an evaluation to find out the root cause and begin treatment as soon as possible.
Dr. Rosen’s office is located in Naples at
Physicians Regional – Pine Ridge, 6101 Pine Ridge Rd. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 239-348-4221,
or schedule online at www.PhysiciansRegionalMedicalGroup.com.