Why do we wake up several times in the middle of the night to urinate? There are several reasons that can cause this to happen. Discover them in this article.
Do you get up several times at night to go to the bathroom? What happens to you has a name and is a urological phenomenon. It is known as nocturia and can have several associated causes. In this article you will find out more about what makes you wake up in the middle of the night to urinate.
According to the Associação Portuguesa de Urologia (APU), each urination is preceded and followed by a period of sleep. suffer from nocturia all people who wake up several times to urinate at night, with no specific number of occurrences for it to be classified as such.
According to the information published on the APU website, under the responsibility of José Garção Nunes, specialist at the Urology Service at Hospital Curry Cabral – Lisbon, nocturia has three main causes.
Why do we wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom?
1. Causes related to the volume of urine in the bladder
Nocturia is a phenomenon that is more likely to happen with advancing years. Age is undoubtedly one of the associated causes. Another, more obvious one, has to do with excessive fluid intake. If we drink a lot before going to sleep, we may, depending on the individual characteristics of each one, have to get up more often at night to urinate. Also, the consumption of caffeinated beverages is associated with an increase in the volume of urine in the bladder.
In more serious cases, waking up during the night to go to the bathroom can be linked to endocrine or metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and hypercalcemia (excessive concentration of calcium in the blood).
It may also be related to situations such as:
- Congestive heart failure;
- Hypoalbuminemia (low concentration of albumin in the body, often associated with cases of malnutrition);
- Peripheral vascular disease;
- Venous insufficiency.
Bladder related causes
Normally, our body is prepared to store a certain amount of urine and allow us to sleep through the night without having to go to the bathroom. One of the reasons why we wake up in the middle of the night to urinate is precisely if our bladder has a low functioning capacity.
Problems like incontinence or an inflammation or infection in the bladder may also be linked to nocturia.
Sleep related causes
If you have trouble sleeping, it is possible that a phenomenon like this will appear. There are some cases in which the person does not wake up with the need to urinate, as they are already awake and therefore they go to the bathroom during the night. These cases, according to the Portuguese Association of Urology specialist, should also be considered as nocturia.
In this case, the causes are related to problems associated with sleep, such as:
Causes related to prostate problems
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is also a very common cause of nocturia, especially in men over 50 years of age. It is an enlargement of the prostate, a gland that is located below the bladder and surrounds the urethra.
As it increases in size, it can gradually narrow the urethra, thus making it difficult for urine to flow. At the same time, the bladder muscles become thicker and stronger, making it more difficult to urinate. As the bladder can never completely empty with each urination, this will require more frequent trips to the bathroom.