New research identifies salt as a cause of increasing need to urinate
As we get older we all find ourselves needing to use the bathroom more regularly, particularly at night, often when we would rather be sleeping.
It’s a condition that we simply chalk up to age, shrinking bladders and slacker muscles; but there may be more to it than the ravages of time, at least according to new research out of Japan specifically focused on the problem.
If you find yourself having to ‘go’ more than twice a night and have your sleep interrupted by the need to do so, you may be able to reduce that significantly with a small change to your diet.
A Japanese research team has identified a link between consuming too much salt and the need to urinate at night.
The scientists from Nagasaki University found 321 men and women who had trouble sleeping and a high salt intake.
About two-thirds lowered their salt intake from an average of 10.7g a day to 8g a day.
In doing so, they lowered the average number of times they woke up to pee from 2.3 to 1.4 a night.
Ninety-eight of them increased their salt intake from 9.6g to 11g, and found they had to get up more often - increasing from 2.3 times a night to 2.7.
"This is the first study to measure how salt intake affects the frequency of going to the bathroom, so we need to confirm the work with larger studies," said Dr Matsuo Tomohiro, who led the research.
"Night-time urination is a real problem for many people, especially as they get older. This work holds out the possibility that a simply dietary modification might significantly improve the quality of life for many people."
An unrelated study in the Netherlands, also recently released, found treating sleep apnoea can also reduce the need to go the toilet at night.
Sleep apnoea is a condition which causes sleepers to pause breathing, or only breathe very shallowly, while sleeping.
Both studies were presented at the European Association of Urology congress in London, and are yet to undergo peer review.
But there is at least a good chance that we can at last do something to help ourselves overcome the irritating shuffle from bed to bathroom that punctuates many a night for so many of us.
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