Nocturia – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment in Men, Women, Children

Nocturia is a very discomforting condition that leads to normal passing of urine at night. Read on to know what is Nocturia as well as its causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

Nocturia Definition

Medical researchers define Nocturia as a disorder that gives rise to urinating sensations in the night prompting sufferers to wake up from sleep. The disease becomes more common with increasing age. It is common in both women and men.

Meaning of Nocturia

The name of this disease stands for “Nocturnal Polyuria” or overproduction of urine at night. The condition is also known as Nycturia.

Polyuria and Nocturia

Polyuria is a renal condition marked by production of large amounts of pale, dilute urine. This nephritic disorder is often associated with diabetes. The condition leads to urination at all times of the day. In Nocturia, excessive urination occurs only at night.

Nocturia Frequency

The disease frequently arises in individuals who are over than 60 years of age. The frequency of urination in this condition is seven or more times during waking hours. A person affected with this disorder makes toilet trips for two to three times at night.

Nocturia in Women

In females, this condition arises due to Menopause, Childbirth or Pelvic Prolapse. It is common in older women due to a disorder known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia that is characterized by an enlarged prostate. When the prostate gets enlarged in size, it pushes a tubular structure known as the urethra and stops complete evacuation of bladder materials. This leads to frequent trips to the bathroom.

Nocturia in Men

Older men are very common sufferers of this disorder. Other than Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, the problem can also arise due to drinking high amounts of liquid before bedtime, consumption of caffeine or alcohol and use of diuretic medicines. Both men and women can suffer from frequent nighttime urination due to these factors.

Nocturia in Children

Most children suffer from this syndrome until they are ten years of age. Doctors use vasopressin inhalers or nasal drops to treat this disorder in kids.

Nocturia Symptoms

Healthy individuals are usually able to sleep for at least six to eight hours without waking up from sleep for urinating. However, people suffering from this syndrome wake up more than once at night to pass urine. This can disrupt normal cycle of sleep in individuals. It is one of the major signs of Nocturia.

In a person with this disorder the body produces a large amount of urine while he or she sleeps. There may be release of a high volume of urine that can even be more than 2 litres every day. The person finds it unable to hold high volume of urine at night and is forced to wake up and urinate.

What Causes Nocturia?

The following factors are regarded as some of the main causes of Nocturia.

Bed-wetting issues

Children and individuals who have suffered from bed-wetting problems in the past can suffer from this disorder. The fear of accidentally bed wetting can also make a person hypersensitive to even minor urinating sensations.

Drinking excess liquids

Drinking a high amount of liquids before going to bed can also result in high amount of urine in bladder. This can be easily resolved by limiting amount of liquid intake before bedtime. Avoiding intake of caffeine or alcohol can also prevent this problem.

Medicinal Side Effects

This condition may also result from side effects of medications. Diuretics, drugs that increase the flow of urine, can make the body shed excess fluids and may be directly responsible for this disorder. Other drugs that are used for treating bipolar disorders and cardiac conditions can also result in this condition. However, the benefits of these drugs far outweigh side effects like Nocturia. Demeclocycline, Cardiac Glycosides, Phenytoin, Lithium,  Propoxyphene, Methoxyflurane and high intake of Vitamin D can also result in development of this disorder.


This condition is also common due to frequent urination in both early and late pregnancy. In such cases, the disorder usually goes away with the resolution of the pregnancy. In some people, gestational diabetes may also arise and lead to this disorder.


The disease may also arise due to the presence of conditions like Prostate Gland enlargement, kidney infection, bladder infection and cardiac disorders such as congestive heart failure, prostate cancer and kidney failure. It is also common to find Nocturia in diabetes sufferers. Enlargement of the prostate gland often results in serious health conditions. Edema of lower limbs (inflammation of the legs) can also lead to this syndrome.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a serious cause of this disease. It arises when there is a cessation in breathing of a person for a few seconds for several times during a night. This may lead to light sleep and prompt a person to get up and release urine.

Nocturia Diagnosis

Doctors usually diagnose this condition by asking patients about the amount of urine that they pass, how often they urinate, medications that they are probably using or any other condition that they are suffering from. Patients of this disorder should maintain a diary to keep a record of the amount of their fluid intake and urine output. This will also be helpful for doctors to determine the possible causes for the treatment of the disease.

Usually, a doctor also conducts a Urinalysis to check for signs of infection in the urine. This can help determine any infection of the urinary tract that may act as a cause of this disease.

Nocturia Treatment

This abnormal syndrome can be cured with the aid of medicines and lifestyle modifications. Some common Nocturia medications are diuretics like Furosemide (Lasix) and Bumetanide (Bumex) that help in influencing urine production. Imipramine (Tofranil) is also used to reduce production of urine. Desmopressin (DDAVP) also helps in treatment for nocturia by influencing the kidneys in producing lesser amount of urine. Anticholinergic drugs may be used to reduce the symptoms arising due to an overactive bladder.

Lifestyle modifications for this disorder generally involve

  • Reducing intake of fluids, such as caffeinated beverages, coffee and alcohol, in the evening – especially in the hours to go before sleep.
  • Limit intake of diuretics to specific times such as in mid- afternoon and six hours before bedtime at night.

Patients of this syndrome are also advised to take afternoon naps. They are recommended to elevate the legs while sleeping and wear compression stockings, which help in preventing accumulation of fluids in the bladder.

Nocturia Herbal Remedy

Many sufferers of Nocturia use herbs as a natural cure. Grass Pollen, Gingko Biloba, Pygeum, Saw Palmetto and Stinging Nettle are used as natural remedies for Nocturia.

If you or anyone in your family is experiencing the symptoms of Nocturia, immediately get in touch with a doctor. Proper diagnosis and treatment will help you recover from this condition in a matter of days.


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