Waking up several times during the night because you have to urinate is a condition called Nocturia. This condition is more common as you age, but can be a sign of an underlying urologic condition that should be evaluated by a doctor.

Nocturia often becomes a problem for people who wake up three to six times during the night, causing extreme daytime fatigue. This disruption in your sleep patterns can also lead to memory problems and even depression.

Causes of Nocturia

There are a number of different causes of nocturia that range from simple to complex. Some causes include:

  • Too much fluid intake right before bedtime, especially caffeinated beverages and alcohol
  • Certain medications such as diuretics (water pills) can cause increased urination at night
  • Certain medical conditions such as congestive heart failure and diabetes
  • Sleep apnea

Urologic conditions that can cause nocturia include:

  • Enlarged prostate/BPH – BPH often causes a weak urine flow or some men cannot urinate even when they feel the need to.
  • Bladder obstruction
  • Overactive bladder (urinary incontinence)
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Treating Nocturia

Once your doctor determines the cause of your nocturia, treatment options will be specifically tailored to any urologic condition you may have.

Many men diagnosed with an enlarged prostate/BPH present with nocturia as a main symptom. Your doctor will recommend the appropriate treatment for your enlarged prostate, which will alleviate your urinary symptoms including nocturia.

Treatment options for nocturia may include:

Lifestyle changes:

  • Limit or restrict your fluid intake in the evening, especially alcoholic and caffeinated beverages
  • Don’t take certain medications such as diuretics right before bedtime to avoid excess fluid build-up
  • Take afternoon naps to help with daytime fatigue
  • Elevate the legs throughout the day and evening, which helps prevent fluid accumulation


  • Anticholinergics – These medications are prescribed for overactive bladder and have been shown to be effective for treating nocturia. Anticholinergics are often a first line medication for treating OAB and nocturia in some men.

Your doctor may prescribe other medications that can be effective in alleviating nocturia based on your diagnosis and if other first line therapies have failed.