Sleep Problems: Page 4
Waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom is such a common problem it has a name: nocturia. As we get older, our bodies' ability to hold fluids for long periods decreases, thanks to a decline in antidiuretic hormones. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 65 percent of older adults have sleep deprivation resulting from waking up frequently to use the bathroom.
What to do: The best way to approach this issue is to try not to wake up in the first place. To do that, look at how often you're waking up and what's contributing to that. Men: Get your prostate checked, since inflammation of the prostate, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPN), and prostate tumors can all cause this symptom. In women, frequent urination can go hand in hand with urinary issues such as incontinence, an overactive bladder, urinary tract infections, or cystitis. So see your doctor to be checked for these problems. Urinary tract problems, such as an overactive bladder, can be helped with Kegel exercises. Both men and women can learn these exercises to strengthen the muscles at the neck of the bladder.
It's also possible, though, that normal aging is decreasing your body's ability to retain fluids. Here are the strategies experts suggest to relieve pressure on the bladder:
- Don't drink liquids for three hours before bedtime.
- Cut down consumption of coffee and tea, which irritate the bladder.
- Don't eat foods with high liquid content, such as soup or fruit, for dinner or after dinner.
A prescription antidiuretic can cut down on nighttime urination if this is the only problem.