Medical Specialties: Family practice, Internal medicine, Pediatrics, Urology

Clinical Definition

Nocturia is a fairly common condition in which a patient has to wake up at night to void the bladder (i.e., urinate). 

In Our Own Words

Most people can sleep six to eight hours without needing to urinate, but patients with nocturia awaken at least once — and frequently, many additional times — per night. Nocturia has many causes, from high fluid intake to more serious conditions, such as bladder or prostate problems, heart failure or obstructive sleep apnea. The condition worsens with age.


In order to properly diagnose nocturia, doctors often request their patients to keep track of fluid intake and fluid voiding. Then, doctors can evaluate potential causes before referring a diagnosed patient to a specialist.

Relevant Conditions
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  • National Association for Continence. “Seeking Treatment.” Accessed July 2013.
  • Cleveland Clinic. “Nocturia.” Updated June 2013. Accessed July 2013.

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