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No one enjoys getting up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. Not only does it break your sleep pattern, it can disturb your partner and you may find it hard to drop off again afterwards.
But for many men it’s not just one trip a night – it’s several. And not only is it frustrating, it can have a real impact on their lives.
‘If they’re getting up several times,’ says GP and sleep expert Dr Asha Herbert, ‘they’ll be suffering from a lack of sleep which can affect all sorts of things, from their productivity at work to their general mood.
A lack of good quality sleep can have a knock on effect on many areas of your life
‘It’s a subject that men don’t like to talk about and admit to. It’s a bit of a taboo and I think many are suffering in silence. But it’s more common than you’d think.’
And what many men don’t know is that there are treatments for this problem (known as ‘nocturia’ by medical experts).
WHAT CAUSES NOCTURIA?
After 50, half of all men will occasionally need the loo in the night. After 70, half will need to get up two or more times. And it isn’t just an issue for older men, with many men under 50 also plagued by frequent trips to the toilet that disturb their sleep.
There are several reasons for this:
Caffeinated or alcoholic drinks can stimulate urination and are best avoided in the hours before bed
An overactive bladder or a bladder infection
When Paul Colman started needing to get up to go to the loo two or three times every night, he instinctively knew something was wrong.
So, at the beginning of last year, the retired motoring rep took himself off to the GP for a check-up.
‘The doctor said my PSA level was raised,’ says the 69-year-old from Norwich, Norfolk. ‘It was 4.8 whereas it shouldn’t be above 4.’
The PSA (or Prostate-Specific Antigen) test can reveal there’s a potential problem in the gland such as an enlargement, inflammation or cancer.
‘Being told your level is raised is a red hot thing for a man,’ says Mr Colman, ‘so I did my research and found out lycopene is very good for a man’s prostate gland.’
So, he invested in some XY Pro+ from FutureYou and took it for a couple of months before going back to the doctor.
‘I had another PSA test which showed it had gone down to 4.5 and a third one a year later – it was 4.3.
‘So I’ve been taking lycopene ever since and instead of getting up two or three times in the night, I only get up once.
‘In fact, I still sometimes have a mug of Ovaltine or even black coffee before I go to bed at night and it doesn’t keep me up!’
An enlarged prostate (known as BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia) is preventing your bladder from emptying properly
Fluid build-up in the lower body in the day which is then released when the body lays flat at night
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – this prohibits breathing, causing you to wake up. Once awake, you then take the opportunity to go to the loo.
Diabetes making you more thirsty
The body producing less anti-diuretic hormone to help your body hold onto fluid.
In younger men, needing the toilet more at night could be the sign of a sexually transmitted infection, a urinary tract infection or, more rarely, a tumour.
HOW YOU CAN HELP YOURSELF
If nocturia is bothering you, there are a few steps you can take to help lessen the problem.
Try not to drink for two to three hours before you go to bed so there’s less fluid for your body to want removed. And avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages as they can stimulate urination.
If you’re reading or watching TV in the day or particularly the evening, elevate your legs to help the body drain away excess fluid before nighttime.
And go to the toilet twice immediately before going to bed.
‘Go to the loo,’ says Dr Herbert, ‘then wait for ten minutes then go again to fully empty your bladder.’
WHEN SHOULD I SEE A DOCTOR?
Make sure you consult your GP if your night-time toilet habits change.
‘Some men will always get up for a wee in the night,’ says Dr Herbert. ‘But if you’re noticing a change and you’re going more frequently it should be addressed.
‘That way any suspicious symptoms can be ruled out and, if it is a tumour, the earlier you can treat it the better.’
Make sure you consult your GP if your night-time toilet habits change
Many of the causes of nocturia can be treated so always go to your GP if they’re bothering you.
There is medication to increase the amount of anti-diuretic hormones in your body, for diabetes, bladder infections and over-active bladders too.
Treatments are also available for enlarged prostates.
Remember that if you have unusual patterns of urination or concerns about your prostate you should always consult your doctor. Suitable for Tamsulosin users.
FutureYou is offering £5 off XY Pro+. You will pay just £15, a 25% saving off the standard retail price.
To claim your £5 off promotional discount, please visit https://futureyouhealth.com/xypro-offer and your discount will be applied automatically.
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