Waking up to use the bathroom?

by (5624) Updated October 25, 2012 at 6:05 AM Created December 03, 2010 at 1:45 PM

I have successfully been able to go to bed earlier at get 7.5-8 hours of sleep in as dark of a room as possible, however, I keep waking up about an hour or 2 before I am supposed to and need to use the bathroom BAD! I eat dinner around 630 with a glass of water and then I drink naturally calm about 1.5 before bed (930ish), so I don't feel like I am drinking to much or to close to bed time. I really would like to get the full 8 hours of sleep without any interruptions....Any suggestions?

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16 Replies

298 · December 03, 2010 at 3:49 PM

I had this happening and it turned out my bladder wasn't emptying fully. I also had some dribbling at night (a 25 year old female). I had to go to the ER a few times to get a catheter to drain everything. Urologist and neurologists had no idea why this was happening. After MRIs and all kids of tests they taught me to straight cath myself and put me on flomax (for older men w prostate issues). Then I saw a wellness chiro and they told me my 5th lumbar was subluxated. The nerves that feed your bladder exit through this joint in your spine. I started getting adjusted and the problem completely went away. I'm off the meds and haven't had to straight cath since my first adjustment. Also I sleep much more soundly. Maybe you've got a less severe thing of the same nature going on?

1344 · December 03, 2010 at 2:31 PM

I wake up 3 times a night (female). I was thinking that it was overactive bladder or interstitial cystitis. I have had symptoms during the day off and on for many years. I usually can get the daytime stuff under control by watching the acidity of my diet. The night stuff is really annoying. I do all of the same things that you do. I very recently was told by my naturopath something that I also just read online. She thinks that it is a blood sugar crash in the middle of the night causing me to wake up and then think bathroom. I have done a small experiment a couple of times in the last couple of weeks that is very un Paleo, but has weirdly worked. 3-4 ounces of red wine right before bed. Does it help with blood sugar or just make me sleep more soundly? Don't know. Also could be coincindence. Maybe you should experiment with things that help with your blood sugar control. I bought an at home monitor and to my surprise, I have quite huge swings that in the naturopath world would classify me as prediabetic. In mainstream ADA world, I would be considered fine. Good luck!

11363 · December 03, 2010 at 11:33 PM

Magnesium citrate is a salt. It's osmotically active. When you ingest osmotic particles, such as sugars, salts and amino acids, it makes your kidneys work harder, and you urinate more to restore osmotic equilibrium. This is why diabetics urinate more when their blood sugar is high--there are too many "osmoles" of particles in their blood.

If you need a sleep aid, try switching to melatonin for a while, and your urination issue will improve.

2316 · December 03, 2010 at 5:44 PM

For me, the problem turned out not be my bladder, but waking up. So the solution was not drinking less, but fixing my sleep. Turns out I used the wrong pillow. Now, if I don't wake up, I don't need to go to the bathroom.

In case you would like to try drinking less in the evening, for me it worked to drink most of my "pensum" before noon. I tend to be much less thirsty after I have gulped my 2-3 liters.

20469 · December 03, 2010 at 4:48 PM

I started having this problem in my late 30s. I had assumed it was just one of those things you get when you are getting older, but then it went away when I started on paleo. My guess was that it was blood sugar/insulin related. Plus I am less thirsty on paleo. THings that helped though were as follow: Do not drink after dinner if you are not thirsty. For many people, much of their drinking is just habit. For instance, if you are going to drink the natural calm before bed, do you really need that glass of water with your dinner? If not thirsty, then skip it or just take a few gulps only. Also always always go to the bathroom right before bed. But I agree with others it's best if you can decipher the actual cause rather than just treating the symptoms. Maybe more or less carb will help you.

15334 · December 03, 2010 at 2:38 PM

I had this, which was rather embarrassing given my youth and also had the obviously related problem of being constantly thirsty and needing to drink gallons. Both problems seemed largely counteracted by reducing protein and upping carbs, (especially in the evening). Both also helped stop me waking up very early in the morning (a couple of hours before I needed/wanted to) and being unable to get back to sleep.

10 · December 03, 2010 at 2:16 PM

If you're a male and over 40, it could indicate a prostate problem.

120 · December 03, 2010 at 2:15 PM

I had the same problem as well for about two weeks so I quit drinking any liquid after dinner time and it stopped.

2401 · October 25, 2012 at 6:05 AM

People before the electric light slept 4hrs, got up for an hour or two, and slept again for 4hrs or so. 8 continuous unbroken hrs of sleep is not how we are wired.

486 · October 25, 2012 at 5:41 AM

Adding salt has (maybe) helped me. I'm a dude, but for the last five years I was waking up almost every night to use the bathroom. Increasing my salt intake helped.

I also think that consuming foods close to bedtime can cause me to have to wake up to pee, which is probably because the kidneys have to filter out the glucose and protein (in the same way that diabetics have to pee a lot because of the glucose in their bloodstream). I'm just theorizing, though, so I could be wrong.

Also, Seth Roberts posted about how magnesium supplementation helped someone's nighttime peeing problem, but I guess you're already taking magnesium in the Natural Calm.

0 · October 20, 2012 at 1:34 PM

First I'm wondering how taking a very strong laxative like Magnesium Citrate will help with urinary problems. I'm a bit lost with that one. Wouldn't taking a water pill be a better idea? Then you don't end up with diarrhea.
I wake up anywhere from 3-possibly 8 times a night. Not sure if it is to go to the bathroom or for some other reason. I do drink a lot of caffeine, but that have never caused me trouble before. I am having some chronic back/hip pain issues right now, but take all my medicines right before bed.
If I take a sleep aide, including melatonin....the same thing happens, I wake up all night. I don't know how to determine if I'm waking up to go to the bathroom or if I have to go to the bathroom because I wake up.

260 · July 03, 2012 at 3:52 PM

I remember Robb Wolf saying on a podcast that it's all about cortisol levels. I'm pretty sure that your bladder's job is to hold it through the night while you sleep (considering you go before bed), so getting up to go is an indication that something else is wrong, in other words your cortisol levels are too high. Could be stress, could be outside disturbances, but doubt it has to do with water before bed (unless the last time you went was noon). Your body should be able to handle water before bed without disturbing your sleep patterns.

I'm having the same issues right now. Trying to determine if it's my caffeine intake, loud room mates, possible accidental slips on paleo (I'm pretty sure that cafe lunch was 100% clean...), or a combo or something I haven't thought of yet. Stress and cortisol. I'm a firm believer it boils down to that when it comes to sleep.

GL everyone :\

1021 · June 23, 2011 at 3:27 PM

I have the same problem. I typically sleep from 10 to 5, but I wake up almost every night between 2 and 3:30. Although the need to urinate isn't unusually urgent, I find that I can never get back to sleep if I DON'T go to the bathroom. This happened when I was a vegetarian, when I ate strictly Paleo, and now, when I'm about 95%. It happens whether or not I drink caffeine during the day, whether I take Natural Calm or melatonin, or whether I am on anti-depressants or not. I don't drink much water in the evenings, except that I will have about 20 oz if I go to the gym at 5 PM. I go to the bathroom immediately before bed (for example, if I stay up reading for an hour, I get up and go again before I fall asleep). I'm almost never thirsty, so I think I get plenty of water during the day.

I wonder if it really is just the sleep component that's broken. It doesn't seem to matter how dark the room is, and I've had this problem in different beds with different pillows in different houses. The only time I remember making it through the night on a regular basis was when I was taking a sleep aid (low dose Benadryl) for insomnia. I guess I'll look through the other threads on improving sleep and see if there's anything I can do. I wish I could sleep in ear plugs (in case it's some noise waking me up), but they're just too uncomfortable.

10 · December 03, 2010 at 7:04 PM

in re: to comment about how when eating paleo blood sugar never spikes, im not sure how one can assume this. many foods that are ok w/paleo are insulin response-inducing; honey, starchy tubers, root veg, potatoes (yes, many paleo dieters dont eat reg. potatoes), yams, etc.

i have to wake to pee at night too, and i assumed it is related to higher then perfect blood sugar.

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3244 · December 03, 2010 at 5:35 PM

Same but different. I'm 40, eat pretty strict paleo, 40 grams carb max, black out windows, and do the Natural Calm in the evening. I've been going to bed early to try and get 9 hours, but can't EVER get past 8. My alarm is set for 6:15, but I wake up anywhere between 4:30 and 5:45. Need to use the bathroom as usual - nothing urgent. I feel quite rested and have lots of energy. Probably not a problem, but wondering what may be waking me up. Will also try more carbs with supper to see if that helps.

373 · December 03, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Wait until you're my age (61) and wake up every 2 hours.

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