Tags: nocturia | urination | frequent | night | sleep | falls | seniors

How to Reduce Risky Nighttime Bathroom Breaks

bathroom toilet with grab handle on wall
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By    |   Tuesday, 19 April 2022 11:04 AM EDT

Those nocturnal trips to the restroom may be harmful to your health, especially if you are over 65. The occasional urge to pee during the night might be triggered by drinking too may fluids close to bedtime or by certain medications. However, nocturia, a condition that causes you to wake up frequently to urinate becomes more common as people age and occurs in both men and women. This bothersome bladder condition can increase your risk for falling and serious injury.

While nocturia can be annoying, according to Well+Good, it can also be hazardous. While falling is dangerous for anyone, it’s particularly troublesome for people over the age of 65 who are more likely to experience hip and other fractures that may require hospitalization and surgery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3 million visits to the ER were due to falls in this age group, says Well+Good.

Waking up to use the bathroom increases your risk of taking a tumble, which can have severe consequences for seniors, says Dr. Sean Ormond, a pain management specialist in Phoenix. Ormond and Dr. Karyn Eilber, a board-certified urologist at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, explain exactly what nocturia is and how to help prevent its occurrence so that you avoid suffering a dangerous fall.

The experts say that the bladder changes with age and can weaken or lose its elasticity so that it can’t hold as much urine. These changes can cause more frequent urination, says Eilber, and impact nighttime bathroom behavior.

“Falls may lead to head and organ damage apart from bone fractures,” says Ormond. “For those over 65, broken bones and fractures can be risky due to the slower healing process.”

There are things you can do to prevent falls due to nocturia.

“The simplest thing to do is to avoid fluids after dinner and avoid bladder irritants in the evening, including caffeine, carbonated beverages, and alcohol,” says Eilber. She adds that people who are light sleepers and head for the bathroom just because they are awake, should talk to their doctor about ways to improve the quality of their sleep.

To make your environment safer to prevent falls, remove stray cords and folds in hallway rugs, says Dr. Judy Wright, a family physician in New York. She recommends eliminating clutter and getting rid of slippery rugs and footwear. Keep a pair of slippers by your bed that have good traction and make sure you have night lights to illuminate the path to the bathroom.

Trevor Meyerowitz, a registered physical therapist with Preferred Physical Therapy Associates in Deerfield Beach, Fl, says that getting regular exercise to improve muscle strength, joints, tendons, and ligaments can help prevent falls.  According to the Mayo Clinic, walking, water workouts, or the gentle art of tai chi can reduce your risk of falling. If you are afraid to exercise, consult a physical therapist who can create a custom exercise program for you.

 Your physical therapist can devise a program to help improve your balance skills, says Meyerowitz, who also advises to get your hearing and eyesight tested regularly as changes in these two senses can affect your balance.

Lynn C. Allison

Lynn C. Allison, a Newsmax health reporter, is an award-winning medical journalist and author of more than 30 self-help books.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Health-News
Those nocturnal trips to the restroom may be harmful to your health, especially if you are over 65. The occasional urge to pee during the night might be triggered by drinking too may fluids close to bedtime or by certain medications. However, nocturia, a condition that...
nocturia, urination, frequent, night, sleep, falls, seniors
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2022-04-19
Tuesday, 19 April 2022 11:04 AM
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