Usually when you wake up in the middle of the night having to go to the bathroom, you would think you just drank too much water or didn’t empty out before bed. However, there are a number of other weird things it can mean if you always have to pee in the middle of the night, especially if it happens to you often and you swear you didn’t drink more than one cup of tea before passing out. Your nocturnal bathroom habits can actually indicate other health issues, which could help explain you why you’re running to the toilet so often.
“We all have an idea of how often we usually urinate both during the day and night,” says Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, M.D., M.S. over email. “In general, waking up one time overnight to urinate is not out of the ordinary. A divergence from what is usually normal for you such that it begins to negatively affect your quality of life is a telltale sign of a problem. Increased urinary frequency overnight (nocturia) may be caused by a range of factors.”
It’s important to note that just because you go to the bathroom in the middle of the night doesn’t necessarily mean you something wrong with you. But if you’re waking up frequently to go to the bathroom and you’re not quite sure why, you’ll want to watch out for these seven weird reasons why you might always have to pee in the middle of the night. If you’re ever unsure, it’s always best to see a doctor.
Your nighttime urination could likely be a result of your sleep troubeles. “Some sleep disorders cause nocturia, such as obstructive sleep apnea,” says Dr. Kerri Barnes, Urologist at the University of Kansas Health System over email. In fact, 84 percent of patients with sleep apnea report frequent nighttime urination, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association.
People with diabetes often experience the urge to urinate frequently throughout the night. “The kidneys help to regulate blood sugar levels by means of certain filtration and reabsorption mechanisms,” says Okeke-Igbokwe. “In diabetes, uncontrolled blood sugars may negatively affect those regulatory mechanisms of the kidney and contribute to increased urination.”
A UTI can affect you just as much as night as it does during the day. “Nocturia may be one of the symptoms of a urinary tract infection,” says Okeke-Igbokwe. “You may have a UTI if you experience increased urinary frequency, painful urination, and fever.”
Is there a chance you could be pregnant? Frequent urination during pregnancy can be common. “Women may experience increased urination partially due to the uterus increasing in size and exerting more pressure on the bladder wall,” says Okeke-Igbokwe.
Some medications, especially diuretics, work by increasing urine production. “When those medications are taken near bedtime, their pharmacologic activity will lead to an increase in urine production, leading to the need to wake up and go to the bathroom,” says Dr. Tim Taber, Medical Director of the Kidney Transplant Center at IU Health over email.
A common symptom of multiple sclerosis is an overactive bladder. “Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disorder that may lead to autonomic dysfunction and impair bladder functioning, which may cause frequent urination,” says Okeke-Igbokwe.
Your latte from earlier in the day or that cocktail from happy hour can end up making you go potty more than you would like. “Both alcohol and caffeine have some diuretic properties which can contribute to frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate,” says Okeke-Igbokwe. “If you tend to drink these kinds of beverages before you go to bed at night, that may also exacerbate symptoms.”
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