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There are numerous changes that can be made in order to decrease nocturia.  After addressing underlying medical issues the next step in management is behavioral changes.  These behavioral changes may include:

Limit large daily fluid intakes

Drink enough to be hydrated.  Do not over hydrate.  Drinking 3 Liters for someone weighing 170 pounds may be responsible for urinary frequency and nocturia.

Limit fluid intake at bedtime

Limiting fluids in the evening may decrease urine volume at night.  Some patients drink large volumes immediately prior to bedtime or throughout the night increasing urine volume.

Limit intake of diuretic fluids

Caffeine or alcohol intake prior to bedtime may predispose patients to sleep disruption at night. Both alcohol and caffeine disrupts sleep patterns and may result in polyuria or detrusor overactivity.

Reduce swelling in your extremities

Peripheral edema may increase as you age.  Fluid tends to accumulate in your legs towards the end of the day. It is very common to see ankle swelling.  Fluid that is in your legs returns to your vascular system while you sleep increasing urine volume.

Try reducing your overall Sodium intake during the day to help reduce swelling.  This can be done by not salting your food and look closely at labels. Eat more whole foods, limit processed foods and decrease eating at restaurants may help.

To help Americans reduce salt intake to the ideal one teaspoon per day, the National Kidney Foundation and Council of Renal Nutrition member Linda Ulrich offer 10 tips to reduce sodium in your diet. Click here to see.

  • Use fresh, rather than packaged, meats. Fresh cuts of beef, chicken or pork contain natural sodium, but the content is still much less than the hidden extra sodium added during processing in products like bacon or ham. If a food item keeps well in the fridge for days or weeks, that’s a tip-off that the sodium content is too high.
  • Choose fresh fruit and vegetables, as well, since they are very low in sodium. Canned and frozen fruits are also low in sodium.
  • When buying frozen vegetables, choose those that are labeled “fresh frozen” and do not contain added seasoning or sauces.
  • Begin reading food labels as a matter of course. Sodium content is always listed on the label. Sometimes the high sugar content in a product like apple pie can mask the high sodium content so it’s important to check every label for sodium content.
  • Compare various brands of the same food item until you find the one that has the lowest sodium content, since this will vary from brand to brand.
  • Select spices or seasonings that do not list sodium on their labels, i.e. choose garlic powder over garlic salt.
  • Before dining out, do your research. Visit the restaurant’s website which should list the sodium content of various dishes served there. Alternatively, when you’re at the restaurant and ready to order, you can request that the dish be served without salt.
  • Beware of products that don’t taste especially salty but still have high sodium content, such as cottage cheese.
  • If you have elevated blood pressure, dietary sodium restriction can not only lower your blood pressure, but can enhance your response to blood pressure medications.
  • Salt preference is an acquired taste that can be unlearned. It takes about 6-8 weeks to get used to eating food with much lower quantities of salt, but once it’s done, it’s actually difficult to eat foods like potato chips because they taste way too salty.

Wear support hose to keep out the fluid from your legs.

Leg elevation one hour prior to bedtime can help your body get rid of excess fluid prior to going to sleep. (Can combine with support hose)

Pelvic floor muscle exercises

Kegel exercises or urge suppression techniques are as successful as medications used to treat overactive bladder and BPH.

Afternoon diuretic therapy

If you take a diuretic medication twice daily, taking the second dose in the afternoon instead of before bedtime helps reduce nocturia.  The use of selective dehydration in the afternoon can decrease noctural urine volume.

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