How to Control Nighttime Urination and Insomnia in Aging

How to Control Nighttime Urination and Insomnia in Aging


Nocturia is a medical term to define the frequent urge of urination during nighttime. It reduces the sleep quality of a person leading to insomnia. Getting up for a maximum of 1 time to empty your bladder is quite normal but frequent awakening causes negative effects on life.

Disruption of the sleeping schedule can cause fatigue during the daytime and affects daily life. There are many causes of nocturia like drinking something right before going to the bed or holding urination urge during day time.

How to Control Nighttime Urination and Insomnia

Most people have a normal sleep schedule. They sleep for straight 6-8 hours or wake up once. If you are facing a frequent urination problem during nighttime, it is advisable to contact a urologist. Nocturia increases with aging and can cause kidney problems and insomnia.

According to research, Insomnia affects around 15% of adults and is among the most prevalent chronic disorder in the general population. Among many factors that cause insomnia, nocturia mostly keeps a person awake.

A survey for US residents aged above 18 years shows that the nocturnal awakening is the leading cause of insomnia that is more common in old age. While all the other factors reduce their effects with aging.

Causes of Nocturia

Following are some of the causes of nocturia that create a lot of trouble for the patient. 

  • High intake of fluids.
  • Diabetes insipidus is gestational diabetes.
  • Heart diseases.
  • Having high amounts of salts or sugars in the diet.
  • High consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
  • Swelling of lower appendages.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Urinary tract infections.
  • Overactive bladder

All these causes are somehow treatable but the patient needs to visit the urologist as soon as the problem is diagnosed.

How To Diagnose Nocturia?

The nocturia can be diagnosed at home too with the help of a frequency volume chart. You just need a pencil, paper, a clock, and a measuring cup. It is the process to note down the time and volume of urination for 1 to 2 days. The bladder capacity of an average person is 10 to 12 ounces with 4 to 6 urinations per day according to research by neurology.

This record will help the healthcare provider to diagnose the problem properly and start the required treatment. There may be an infection in the urinary tract that is identified by the testing of your urine. The patient may be asked about his or her lifestyle for a better understanding of the situation.

Treatment of Nocturia and Insomnia

Treatment of nocturia depends upon the cause of the disease. You will be referred to a sleep specialist if sleep apnea is the cause. Medication and surgical methods are used for infections or prostate enlargement. The two main types of treatment are as follow:

  1. Lifestyle Modification

Insomnia and nocturia can be improved by some of the following modifications in the free lifestyle of the person.

  • Urinate before bedtime

Keep your bladder empty before going to the bed. It will reduce the need to get up, again and again, to urinate at night and disturb your sleep.

  • Restrict water consumption during bedtime

You can drink plenty of needed water during the daytime to keep you hydrated. During sleep time lower the water intake. The sensation of a filled bladder keeps the patient awake during the night.

  • Low salt and sugar intake

According to the healthcare providers, a reduction in salt and sugar intake in the diet of a person reduces the frequency of urination. You must limit these as they affect the amount of urine production by the kidney.

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine in tea and coffee increases urine production and bladder activity leading to nocturia. Studies show that caffeine delays the body clock and has adverse effects on the sleep of a person. Total sleep time is reduced that can cause or worsen pre-existing insomnia. 

  • Wear compression stockings and elevate your legs

During the daytime, the fluids may build up in the legs due to gravity. When you lay down, these fluids return to the kidney and require the hyperactivity of the kidney for elimination. Wearing compression stockings ensures the proper distribution of fluids in the bloodstream.

  1. Medication

Some medications like Anticholinergic medications, Bumetanide (Bumex®), Furosemide (Lasix®) can be used to regulate kidney function for less urine production. You can also use some sleep medications like Eszopiclone (Lunesta), Ramelteon (Rozerem) for regulating the sleep schedule. There may be any underlying side effects of these medicines. Consult your doctor before starting any of these.


Nocturia and insomnia correlate and become worse with aging. It is better to seek medical assistance once the problem is diagnosed for timely treatment.