Home > Diseases and Conditions > Urinating more at night
  • We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information

PubMed Health. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): A.D.A.M.; 2013.

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.

Urinating more at night

Nocturia

Last reviewed: December 27, 2013.

Normally, the amount of urine your body produces decreases at night. This allows most people to sleep 6 to 8 hours without having to urinate.

Some people wake up from sleep more often to urinate during the night. This can disrupt sleep cycles.

Common Causes

Drinking too much fluid during the evening can cause you to urinate more often during the night. Caffeine and alcohol after dinner can also lead to this problem.

Other common causes of urination at night include:

  • Infection of the bladder or urinary tract
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol, caffeine, or other fluids before bedtime
  • Enlarged prostate gland (BPH)

Other conditions that can lead to the problem include:

Waking often during the night to urinate can also be linked to obstructive sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders. Nocturia may go away when the sleeping problem is under control.

Home Care

To monitor the problem:

  • Keep a diary of how much fluid you drink, how often you urinate, and how much you urinate.
  • Record your body weight at the same times and on the same scale daily.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if:

  • Waking to urinate more often continues over several days.
  • You are bothered by the number of times you must urinate during the night.
  • You have burning when urinating.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions such as:

  • When did the problem start and has it changed over time?
  • How often you urinate each night and how much urine do you release each time?
  • Do you ever have "accidents" or bedwetting?
  • What makes the problem worse? Better?
  • How much fluid do you drink before bedtime? Have you tried limiting fluids before bedtime?
  • What other symptoms do you have? Do you have increased thirst, pain or burning on urination, fever, abdominal pain, or back pain?
  • What medicines are you taking? Have you changed your diet?
  • Do you drink caffeine and alcohol? If so, how much do you consume each day?
  • Have you had any bladder infections in the past?
  • Do you have a family history of diabetes?
  • Does nighttime urination interfere with your sleep?

Tests that may be performed include:

Treatment depends on the cause. If excessive nighttime urination is due to diuretic medicines, you may be told to take your medication earlier in the day.

References

  1. Carter C, Stallworth J, Holleman. Urinary tract disorders. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 40.
  2. Gerber GS, Brendler CB. Evaluation of the urologic patient: In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 3.
  3. Landry DW, Bazari H. Approach to the patient with renal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 116.

Review Date: 12/27/2013.

Reviewed by: Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Chief of Urology, Cambridge Health Alliance, Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsementscof those other sites. © 1997–2011 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Copyright © 2013, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsementscof those other sites. © 1997–2011 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

Copyright © 2013, A.D.A.M., Inc.

What works?

  • Interventions to treat chronic infection of the prostate gland (chronic bacterial prostatitis)
    Chronic bacterial prostatitis (CBP) involves infection and inflammation of the prostate gland in men of all ages. It can cause problems urinating, including discomfort and pain, increased frequency and urge, or problems emptying the bladder. Bacteria infecting the prostate are the cause of CBP. These bacteria may be sexually transmitted. To cure CBP, antibiotics must be administered for extended periods of time (four weeks or longer), but a permanent cure is not always guaranteed. Other drugs may be combined with antibiotics to improve CBP symptoms. This review found that fluoroquinolones like ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, lomefloxacin, ofloxacin or prulifloxacin have equivalent effects and equivalent success rates in CBP patients. If atypical bacteria like chlamydia are suspected to cause CBP, macrolide antibiotics such as azithromycin may achieve better results compared to the fluoroquinolone ciprofloxacin. It must be taken into account that some of the studies that have been performed are of poor quality or have been performed on small numbers of participants. More studies are needed, focusing on new agents or on optimized doses of currently prescribed antibiotics.
See all (6) ...

Figures

  • Female urinary tract.
    Male urinary tract.

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...

MedlinePlus.gov links to free, reliable, up-to-date health information from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other trusted health organizations.

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...