Waking up to wee? Some people will tell you it's a part of aging--but it doesn't have to be.
Frequent middle-of-the-night bathroom visits are part of a condition called nocturia, and it's more than just an annoyance--it can ruin your sleep, put a cramp on your lifestyle and even come with medical risks.
But you don't need meds to control your midnight runs-- because a new study proves that simple lifestyle changes can help you sleep better without all those urgent interruptions.
Researchers in Japan instructed 56 nocturia patients with an average age of 75 on four lifestyle changes--and those who stuck with the plan achieved significant relief, according to the study in the Journal of Urology.
The patients were told to get a little more exercise each day, avoid spending too much time in bed, keep warm during the night and drink fewer fluids--with less in the evenings.
For these patients, the researchers recommended cutting back on fluids to 2 percent of body weight, or roughly a quart and a half a day for a 165-pound person.
After four weeks, the participants had fewer trips to the bathroom each night, and produced less total urine. More than half the patients saw an improvement of more than one fewer bathroom trip each night.
This is great news for anyone looking for a safe way to limit those irritating nighttime toilet runs--because, as I mentioned recently, people who wake up to use the bathroom the most have the highest risk of premature death. (Read more here.)
Just don't look for the answer in a pill bottle. Big Pharma's nocturia drugs are synthetic hormones--drugs with ugly side effects such as dry mouth, constipation and heartburn.
These drugs are so bad, people would rather live with the condition--because researchers estimate that up to 70 percent of the seniors who try them quit within six months.
Luckily, you don't have to be among them.
As the new study shows, simple lifestyle changes once again succeed where drugs fail--and if you're willing to make those changes, you can go to bed knowing that you won't wake up until you want to.