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Overview, A good night’s sleep helps you feel rested and refreshed in the morning. However, when you have the frequent urge to use the restroom at night, a good night’s sleep can be hard to achieve. If you find yourself waking up to urinate more than twice each night, you may have a condition called nocturia.
Nighttime urination isn’t the same as a related condition called enuresis (bed-wetting). Enuresis is when you can’t control your need to urinate at night. While nighttime urination typically results in sleep loss, it can be a symptom of an underlying condition. Aging is one of the biggest contributing factors to nighttime urination.
However, nighttime urination causes you to get up several times at night to use the restroom. In its most severe forms, this condition causes you to get up five to six times at night. Symptoms associated with nighttime urination include overproduction of urine, urinating too frequently, and feeling the urgent need to urinate but producing little urine.
For example, if you drink lots of fluids or take diuretics before bedtime, these can lead to nighttime urination. Your doctor may order tests to determine the cause of frequent urination. Urinalysis looks at the chemical compounds present in urine. Urine concentration determines if your kidneys properly excrete water and waste products.
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Do you find yourself always waking up in the middle of the night or much earlier than you wanted to? This common issue is insomnia, but there are several types of insomnia that can affect your sleep differently. Here are some reasons this could be happening, and ways to make it stop: Our sleep pattern mostly depends on our circadian rhythm and homeostatic sleep drive (the bodily mechanism that regulates sleeping/waking rhythms).
Each stage of sleep has a different threshold for how easy it is to be woken up. One likely explanation for waking up at the same time each night is that you go to sleep at the same time and then, at the same time each night, you reach a light stage of sleep and wake up.
Waking up often in the night could signal that your hormone or blood glucose levels are fluctuating. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor to ensure that your blood sugar is properly controlled throughout the night. Your frequent wakeups could be signaling something else entirely, which is why it’s important to check with your doctor if this happens too often.
Most of us wake up at least once a night but should be able to return to sleep with little effort. If you’re waking up for prolonged periods at least three nights a week, and it continues for at least three months and results in your being unable to function properly during the day, then this is called chronic insomnia.
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If something is bothering you, write it down and schedule worry time for the next day. Some people find that talking to a counselor or practicing relaxation techniques, such as mindfulness, can help achieve better sleep. How can I keep these awakenings from happening? There are many options on the market for sleep aids, including melatonin, your body’s hormone that regulates your internal clock.
The American Academy of Sleep recommends sleep aids only in conjunction with behavioral modifications to treat chronic insomnia.
The world looks sunny after a great night’s rest. But it’s a different story when sleep is frequently interrupted. A lack of Zs makes it harder to think and easier to become irritated and anxious. In the long term, inadequate sleep increases your risk for obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and even premature death.
“We see more interrupted sleep in older adults, although you shouldn’t automatically blame frequent waking on your age,” says Dr. Suzanne Bertisch, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Sometimes older adults find they wake early in the morning, when they feel they should be sleeping. But that often reflects your schedule for sleeping and waking, not disrupted sleep.
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So, if 8 p. m. is the start of your ‘biologic’ night, then your natural wake time may be around 4 a. m.,” Dr. Bertisch says. One of the common causes of disrupted sleep is lifestyle, including any of the following habits: A nightcap may help you fall asleep, but it also can interrupt sleep later in the night, and can also cause more trips to the bathroom.
Examples include some antidepressants beta blockers to treat high blood pressure cold remedies containing alcohol corticosteroids to treat inflammation or asthma Dr. Bertisch recommends asking your doctor if your medication might be the culprit and if there’s a different time of day to take it or another drug that won’t interfere with your sleep.
These are some of the most common in older age: Worries or a depressed mood may make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. The urge to empty the bladder wakes men with BPH throughout the night. It’s hard to stay asleep when you’re hurting. “And it’s a two-way street.
And it’s this scenario – becoming alert for an extended period at night – that you may want to avoid. Yet even here not everybody agrees. You might take it for granted that you are supposed to sleep in one, long, continuous, nocturnal bout. Failure to do so is undesirable.
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If you believe that night wakings are intrinsically bad, you’re more likely to feel stressed when you realize that you’ve awakened at night. This makes it harder to fall back to sleep. You’re also more likely to transmit negative feelings to your child – making it harder for your child to fall back to sleep.
For example, consider the work of Roger Ekirch. He has uncovered fascinating historical evidence about sleep habits in pre-industrial Europe. People didn’t lie down at night and expect to get all their sleeping done in a single bout. Instead, they went to sleep in the evening for a few hours, woke up, and engaged in activities.
Less than 3% of adults reported having sleep maintenance problems more than once per year. Or take a recent sleep study conducted on Hadza hunter-gatherers in East Africa. Parents and other caregivers averaged approximately two hours of “wake after sleep onset” each night (Crittenden et al 2018). But none of these adults – each of whom shared a sleeping space with at least one infant or child – viewed themselves as sleep-deprived.
The researchers measured sleep two ways – (1) by fitting infants with sensors, and (2) by asking parents for their subjective impressions. There were more than 200 babies total, and data was collected in the infants’ own homes, for five nights. Did the researchers document lots of night wakings overall? You bet.
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So night wakings don’t inevitably trigger sleep problems. People can feel well-rested despite awakening during the night. And parents aren’t always bothered by their children’s wakings. It’s only when a child fails to self-settle – and parents experience serious sleep disruptions – that we perceive night wakings to be problematic.
This can fool us into thinking our infants are awake. So we intervene, and, in doing so, we rouse our babies from sleep. We’ve caused a night waking! Alternatively, all that thrashing around can sometimes cause an infant to awaken himself. To some degree, we simply have to be patient.
One interesting theory is that babies twitch and move during sleep because their brains are busy testing and mapping out the connections between nerves and skeletal muscles (Peever and Fuller 2017). Another idea is that active sleep is protective. Young infants are at special risk for sleep-related breathing emergencies – emergencies believed to cause SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome. So spending time in active sleep – a state in which babies are easily awakened – may help reduce this risk.
If you observe signs of these problems, or otherwise suspect that your child is in pain, be sure to consult with your doctor. For more information about bed-wetting, see this Parenting Science guide. Not every snore or snuffle is a sign of trouble. But in many cases, snoring is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, one the conditions mentioned above.
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In fact, sleep training (like the Ferber method) isn’t designed to treat fear and anxiety. So if you implement sleep training alone, you are effectively ignoring your child’s fears. And that can make things worse. Thus, it’s important to take an active role in teaching your child to overcome his or her fears.
Being stressed-out during the day causes sleep problems at night. So pay attention to your child’s stressors. Reduce sources of stress, and help your child cope. For tips, see these Parenting Science articles: Both nightmares and night terrors can cause sleep disruption. But they are very distinct phenomena. Children having nightmares usually appear to be asleep.
But they are usually lying in bed, eyes closed. And they are relatively quiet. When they wake up, they may remember the nightmare. By contrast, children having night terrors often appear to be awake. They might scream, cry, or talk. The might open their eyes. They might sit up, or walk around.
If nightmares or night terrors are the problem, you need to learn more about them. For more information, see this Parenting Science article on nightmares and night terrors in children. For more evidence-based information, see this index to Parenting Science articles about sleep. Anders TF. 1978. Home-recorded sleep in 2- and 9-month old infants.
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You don’t want to disrupt nighttime sleep patterns with naps. If you experience bed-wetting, there are several products to help keep you and your bed dry. For example, waterproof mattress covers, absorbent briefs and skincare products. Visit our incontinence website article to learn more about managing leaks with products and devices.
Posted on July 9, 2021 by Henry Ford Health Staff 3471 Is this happening to you? You have no trouble falling asleep at bedtime, but come 1 a. m., you’re wide awake, staring at the clock. It’s called middle-of-the-night insomnia, and it’s frustrating. According to Philip Cheng, Ph. D., clinical psychologist and research scientist at the Sleep Disorders Center at Henry Ford Health, our expectation of sleeping in one single bout may be a relatively recent phenomenon.
Cheng. “Before electricity was invented, activity was significantly limited after sunset, so people would sleep. The recommended sleep duration for healthy adults is between 7 to 9 hours, but without the presence of electricity, we would actually be in darkness for 10 to 15 hours. So, there is a disconnect between how much sleep we need and how much darkness there is.” Now that we have access to light in the evening, we have extended our waking hours and consolidated our sleep into one long bout.
The above strategies only apply to someone who is having a passing sleep disturbance. For example, maybe temporary stress at work or having the sniffles is waking you up at night. The idea is to prevent these now-and-then issues from developing into a long-term sleep problem. Not sure whether you need to see a doctor? Consider the rule of threes: Are you waking up three nights (or more) each week? Does it take longer than 30 minutes for you to fall back to sleep? Have you been waking in the middle of the night for at least 30 days? If you answer yes to these questions, it may be time to see a sleep specialist.
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You’ve probably heard about some celebrities claiming to have 7-hour sex sessions. You know you don’t last nearly that long, but what is a “normal” length of time to maintain an erection? We can tell you this off the bat: it’ll be nowhere near seven hours, and it’ll vary for every person.