Woman yawning in bed
Woman yawning in bed
(Image credit: Rex Features)

Are your night time toilets habits bothering your beauty sleep? Do you wake up in the morning still tired because you're up and down to the loo?

Well, night time toilet visits are normal up to a certain point: up to 44 percent of women aged 20 to 40 get up to urinate at least once a night, while up to 18 percent go at least twice a night, but if you're going more frequently than this, it may be something to investigate further.

For most people, a normal frequency to urinate is between four and ten times a day, and no more than twice a night, but for those who think they might have a problem, don't worry - most issues are quicker and easier to fix than you may think.

Are you eating too much salt?

The excessive urge to urinate during the night has recently been related to the amount of salt in your diet, according to new research presented at the European Society of Urology in London.

The problem, known as ‘Nocturia', most commonly affects people in their 60s and leads to a disrupted sleeping pattern. It's important because lack of sleep can lead to other issues such as stress, tiredness and irritability, which can have a significant negative effect on people's lives.

Study author, Dr Matsuo Tomohiro, of Nagasaki University, said: "This work holds out the possibility that a simply dietary modification might significantly improve the quality of life for many people."

Are you drinking too much caffeine or alcohol before bed?

The problem with caffeine and alcohol is that they increase urine output, so if you enjoy a coffee after dinner or you're partial to a glass of wine before bed, it could be the reason you're up more frequently. Try and keep an eye on the time and restrict coffee and alcohol levels if it's getting too close to bedtime.

Randy Wexler, an associate professor of family medicine at Ohio State University Medical Centre recommends, "cutting off all caffeine - that includes tea - at 6pm." He also suggests you stop drinking alcohol at least three hours before bed.

Are you suffering with water retention?

If you suffer with water retention and find that during the day your legs and feet swell up, this has a knock-on effect of increased urination once you lie down to go to bed.

The condition is also known as Oedema and once you're horizontal the fluid in your legs dissipates and is released as urine.

A quick and easy tip to relieve this is to elevate your legs a few hours before bed to allow the bladder to fully empty for the night.

Could you have an infection?

The most likely and usually most common cause for an excessive urge to pee is a urinary tract infection. Wrexler also adds, "If it's a urinary tract infection, urination may be accompanied by burning or dribbling or discomfort". If these symptoms sound like you, a GP can easily treat a UTI with a short course of antibiotics after a sample of urine is taken.

Could it be a sign of diabetes?

Diabetes or pre-diabetes may be the cause of the frequent need to urinate (accompanied by excessive thirst). Your body will send your urine production into overdrive to try and clear away excess blood sugar, as explained by Richard Viney, a consultant urological surgeon at The Bladder Clinic, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham says, "This excess sugar causes more fluids to pass through the kidneys, increasing how often you have to go to the loo day and night. In turn, this causes dehydration, hence the thirst."

Could it be bladder slippage?

A more serious issue, mostly affecting women post-childbirth, this is when muscles in the pelvic floor have been weakened as a result of age, pregnancy or labour, causing the bladder to move to a more pressured position. Known as bladder prolapse or ‘slipping', the condition can vary from mild to severe and there are several treatment options ranging from pelvic floor exercises to surgery. Visit the NHS website for more details.

Of course, many aspects of health and lifestyle should be considered when looking at the cause of an excessive need to pee, and most of the time is easily cured, but don't ignore if you're concerned. Nocturia could be a sign of a more serious underlying health problem, so a GP's advice is always the best option.