A leading urologist has revealed how men can avoid waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
More than 60 million men aged 50 and older have their sleep disturbed at least once a night to go to the bathroom, suffering from a condition doctors call nocturia.
Dr. Edward (Ted) Schaeffer of Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, said this nocturnal disturbance was due to the normal enlargement of the prostate, which puts pressure on the bladder.
To stop the habit and have an uninterrupted night’s sleep, he suggested three tricks to reduce mid-night urination.
Speaking on the Peter Attia Drive Podcast, he said: “You can go from (urinating) twice a night to once a night simply by changing what you drink and wearing tight socks.”
“It may not be true for everyone, but it certainly encourages people to do simple things without resorting to polypharmacy.”
The tricks included not drinking water before bed because it can quickly leach from the blood and fill the bladder, causing someone to have to go to the bathroom.
Don’t drink water before going to bed
Dr. Schaeffer urged men to avoid drinking a glass of water before going to bed at night.
He said: “Many people have nocturnal urinary frequency and a lot of that can be changed with education.”
‘So, in saying; “Hey, don’t drink a glass of water right before you go to bed.”
Dr. Edward Schaeffer revealed tips to avoid urinating at night
‘And, ‘if you get up in the middle of the night because you have to urinate, don’t drink another glass of water right when you get up to urinate’ (that can help).’
Drinking water just before bed increases the amount of fluid in the bloodstream, which is then quickly filtered by the kidneys.
This causes fluid to build up in the bladder, causing the man to need to go to the bathroom within hours.
Young men can avoid this because they have higher levels of an anti-urine production hormone (called ADH) in their bloodstream when they go to bed and a more elastic bladder, which reduces the risk of needing to urinate at night .
But older men, especially those over 50, have much lower levels of this hormone at night and less elastic bladders.
Wear knee-high stockings
Dr. Schaeffer also recommended that men with any signs of water retention in their legs wear knee-high stockings to sleep.
Fluid retention is more common in obese or overweight people who are at greater risk of edema, when the feet are swollen or there is a ‘buzz’ in the socks due to excess fluid in the body.
Dr. Schaeffer said, “One of the behavioral modifications is knee-high stockings for people who, if I see them at 8, 9, 10 o’clock and they have some edema… I definitely highly recommend that they do it.” “.
“I tell people that if you wake up twice a night and have a little edema, we have some behavioral modifications and we can reduce your nighttime urinary frequency.”
Edema indicates that fluid is being retained in the space between the body’s cells.
When someone goes to bed, doctors say this fluid can return to the bloodstream and the kidneys filter it into the bladder, causing them to urinate.
To avoid this, doctors say that knee-high socks will reduce fluid retention in the feet, thus reducing the risk of urinating during the night.
Avoid beer before bed
It may seem obvious, but Dr. Schaeffer also said people should avoid drinking alcohol before bed, including beer.
Dr Schaeffer warned that the drink’s high liquid content meant it would cause the bladder to fill quickly, while the alcohol in it suppresses the anti-urine production hormone.
Dr Peter Attia said: “Alcohol, by the way, inhibits this hormone, so alcohol before bed is a great recipe for having to get up and urinate.”
“You get the liquid from the drink and then you get a molecule that inhibits the release of the antidiuretic hormone.”
Doctors also advise against consuming alcohol before bed, as it can disrupt sleep.
Why do older men have bladder problems?
Virtually all men, at some point in their lives, will be affected by urinary problems or know someone who is, Dr. Schaeffer said.
This is related to the architecture of the male body behind urination and the changes in the body that occur as men age.
The diagram above shows how the urethra passes through the prostate.
The urethra, or tube that carries urine and semen out of the body, passes directly through the center of the prostate.
But the prostate, which is responsible for making part of semen, gradually expands in men as they age.
Doctors aren’t sure why this happens, but they say it may be related to fluctuations in hormone levels.
The larger prostate then puts pressure on the urethra, forcing the bladder to work harder to expel urine from the body.
This, in turn, reduces your ability to hold urine and increases the risk of urinating more frequently, even at night.
Over time, older men also have lower peaks of the hormone ADH before bed, causing their bodies to produce more urine at night and increasing the frequency of urination.