Sleep affords the human body the opportunity of resting and rebooting, with scientists of the opinion that getting a good night’s sleep is very crucial to maintaining good health. The importance of sleep is believed to be as important as eating a balanced, nutritious diet, as well as exercising. Between 7 and 9 hours of sleep is recommended for adults.
However, getting the recommended hours of sleep often proves to be difficult for many adults as their sleep gets disrupted by one thing or the other, among which is the constant need for urination during the night. This constant urge to urinate at night is one of the common issues that affect most adults with the quality of their sleep greatly affected and many becoming vulnerable to some health challenges as a result.
According to Healthline, it is believed that an adult individual should not wake up to urinate more than two times during an eight-hour sleep cycle. When an adult wakes up to urinate more than two times, such an adult is said to suffer from a urinary problem known as nocturnal polyuria or nocturia. According to the Cleveland Clinic, people with this condition often experience high urine volume only at night.
Some of the known causes of nocturnal polyuria, according to the Cleveland Clinic, include congestive heart failure, sleeping disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, high fluid intake before bedtime, oedema of lower extremities, and use of certain drugs or medications including diuretics. However, one other cause that can be easily overlooked by many people is diet.
Certain foods and drinks are known to irritate the bladder and contribute to an overactive bladder, with this capable of subsequently triggering increased urine output. It is therefore important to take note of such foods and watch their intake especially if you’ve observed that you wake up multiple times to urinate at night. A few of such foods are examined below:
1. Tomato products
Tomatoes are classified as an acidic food and this explains their inclusion on this list. Their acidic nature means they can easily irritate your bladder and make you urinate more. Apart from tomatoes, tomato products such as pasta, pizza sauce, ketchup, and salsa, should also be consumed in moderation by those experiencing frequent urination at night.
2. Coffee and tea
Coffee and tea are widely consumed by many people, with some of their health benefits linked to their rich caffeine content. However, caffeine can be quite bad for those experiencing frequent urination at night as it is known to increase bladder activity, thus leading to a higher frequency of urination, and making worse the symptoms of an overactive bladder in many people.
Just like coffee and tea, chocolate is another food item to avoid by those who often wake up at night to urinate as it contains caffeine. According to Ryan Wallace of Healthline, healthier alternatives that can be tried instead of chocolate include white chocolate because it doesn’t have caffeine, and dark chocolate, which contains more cocoa.
4. Oranges, limes, and lemons
While citrus fruits are generally considered a super healthy food, they are not suitable for anyone who wakes up to urinate frequently at night. This is due to their high citric acid content, which is linked to worsening bladder control. Therefore, instead of citrus fruits such as oranges, limes, grapefruits, and lemons, you can eat apples or bananas as they have low acid content.
5. Alcoholic beverages
Alcoholic beverages such as wine, liquor and beer should also be consumed moderately and should be avoided by those experiencing nocturnal polyuria. According to Healthline, alcoholic beverages including those mentioned above can irritate the bladder and disrupt the signals that are sent to your brain to make you aware of the need to urinate.
6. Carbonated beverages
According to Ryan Wallace of Healthline, the fizz in most of the commonly consumed carbonated beverages is known to worsen the symptoms of an overactive bladder. Carbonated drinks to watch out for include soft drinks, soda water, and energy drinks, with their caffeine content coupled with their carbonation capable of leading to frequent urination at night.
7. Processed foods
Processed foods are repositories of many artificial ingredients among which are flavouring and preservatives. These two are linked to bladder irritation and should, therefore, be replaced by healthier alternatives including natural and fresh foods such as vegetables and whole grains.
Also according to Healthline, onion intake should be watched as it has similar effects as spicy and acidic foods on the bladder. A high intake of onions can lead to bladder problems and increase your urge to urinate, as well as the frequency. It is particularly recommended that you avoid eating raw onions as they often have the greatest adverse effects on the bladder.