Nocturia is a condition in which people wake up during the night because they need to urinate. Common causes of frequent trips to the toilet at night include high fluid intake, sleep disorders, and bladder obstruction.
People without nocturia can sleep up to 8 hours without having to urinate, but some may need to get up once during the night — one episode is still considered within normal limits. Individuals with nocturia may get up 2–6 times during the night.
Nocturia may be a sign of other health conditions, including bladder prolapse, a tumor of the bladder or prostate, and other disorders affecting sphincter control. Pregnant women and people with heart or liver failure and diabetes may also experience nocturia.
As we get older, our bodies produce less of an antidiuretic hormone that enables us to retain fluid — this leads to more urine production during the night. Older adults also tend to lose holding capacity and are more likely to have medical issues that impact the bladder.
According to a 2003 poll from the National Sleep Foundation, approximately two-thirds of responders, who were between the ages of 55 and 84, reported that they experienced nocturia at least a few nights per week.