While many people laugh about growing older and having to go to the toilet more often during the night frequent night time toilet visits, called nocturnia, are no laughing matter and create a number of sleep problems for the elderly.
Up to 50% of all night time activity in seniors is due to needing to go to the bathroom at night and researchers believe that the increasing need to go to the toilet at night is exacerbated pre-existing sleep disorders in the elderly, which in turn has a cascading number of negative health consequences.
Not getting enough sleep creates a wide range of physical and psychological problems, from weight gain to depression, from circulatory problems through to issues with memory retention.
The more an elderly person has to get up in the night to go to the toilet the more serious the repercussions from lack of sleep. This places undue strain on an already pressured health system, so it is in all of our interests to try to reduce the incidence of nocturnia.
While there are a number of drugs that can help with this, treating a long term condition with drugs is never optimal. It is better for the elderly to monitor their levels of liquid intake and to reduce these during the evenings.
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