Toilet trips are a slightly embarrassing, but very common, disruption to our sleep. Various factors, such as your age, can make these trips more frequent. This is known as nocturia – when you wake up in the middle of your sleep to urinate. Over a third of adults over 30 make at least two bathroom trips per night.
For those who struggle with sleep issues, such as insomnia, it can be difficult to fall back asleep after visiting the toilet. This leads to tiredness the next day and an overall inconsistent sleep schedule. Preventing these trips as much as you can will help improve your sleep and your daily energy levels.
Why Do I Keep Needing To Go To The Toilet?
There are many reasons why people urinate frequently at night. The most common reason is having a lot to drink before bed. Certain drinks, such as caffeine or alcohol, produce more urine than simply drinking water. Your circadian rhythms are your body’s internal clock. This rhythm is trained to produce more urine at night. As you age, this rhythm is more subject to change. Various other health factors also affect this rhythm.
Health conditions that make you more likely need to get up and go to the bathroom include, but are not limited to:
- kidney failure
- pelvic floor issues (particularly after ageing/menopause or childbirth)
- taking certain medications, such as diuretics
- enlarged prostate
- heart failure
- sleep conditions such as sleep apnea, insomnia, or restless leg syndrome
How Do I Prevent These Trips?
If you think a medical condition is the source of your frequent toilet trips, it is worth talking to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe you new medication or change your medication to help improve your sleep. Cutting down on bladder-stimulating drinks, such as caffeine or alcohol, for longer before bed, should help you produce less urine. In general, practicing good sleep hygiene and keeping a diary of any concerning factors before bed is the right way to go.
Your body may also be producing urine because it has an internal alarm clock that causes you to wake up at certain times. This is usually in the middle of the night and well before you’re ready to get up. This will mess up your circadian rhythms and make you associate the middle of the night with going to the toilet. Getting a handle on why your body is forcing you to wake up is important in helping stop frequent urination. See our guide to waking up in the middle of the night for more tips.