Written by Michelle Dela Rosa, PT.
"Nocturia" is defined as waking one or more times at night to void, according to the International Continence Society. New evidence demonstrates how the condition is associated with significant health risks and mortality. One study looked at patterns in 692 older men and women, and found that those who voided 3 times or more per night increased their risk of falls 28% over a 3 year period. The participants classified as fallers were more likely over 85-years-old, female, diagnosed with diabetes, taking diuretics, and found to have an abnormally slow walking speed.
(Vaughan et al, Int J Clin Pract. 2010 April; 64(5): 577–583.)
Another study from Japan showed that almost half of their 784 elderly participants reported nocturia 2 times or more per night. These individuals were at greater risk for fracture and mortality. (Nakagawa et al, J Urology. 2010 October; 184(4): 1413-18.)
Simple advice like decreasing caffeine, alcohol, or any fluid near bedtime may help improve nocturia. Physical therapists can help patients with other behavioral strategies and techniques after a thorough evaluation. Other factors to consider include: sleep disorders, diabetes, poor bladder storage, kidney dysfunction, or cardiac issues.