Overview of Nocturia

Nocturia is the medical term for frequent nighttime urination. While many people awaken during the night to urinate, those with nocturia experience a frequency of urination—especially in comparison to the number of hours slept—that is excessive and disrupts their sleep cycle.

Nocturia becomes more common with age because older persons produce most of their urinary output at night. In addition to aging, nocturia may also be symptomatic of

  • the use of diuretic substances (including caffeine and alcohol) and prescription drugs
  • edema from heart failure
  • insomnia
  • pain
  • depression
  • sleep, prostate, or bladder disorders

It is important for a patient suffering from nocturia to seek the aid of a physician, who can help identify the cause of the disorder and recommend appropriate treatment. Nocturia can alert the physician to other disorders, such as prostatic disease.

In conventional medicine, treatment for nocturia is determined by its cause. Patients may be advised to reduce caffeine intake, change their prescription medication, or undergo medical treatment to control the cause of nocturia and the frequency of urination.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 01 Jan 2001

Last Modified: 28 Sep 2015