I constantly wake up in the middle of the night to piss — is that normal? — Gary, 29, Silver Spring, Maryland

Getting up once or twice at night to urinate is pretty normal—more than that and the condition is called “nocturia.”  Whether nocturia is a problem depends on how much it bothers you and how much it disrupts your sleep. Certainly if you are not getting enough sleep, that will affect your daytime mood, energy, and even libido.

The first thing to do is change any habits that might be contributing to the problem. Alcohol, for example, will definitely increase your need to urinate at night.  Ditto caffeine, if taken later in the day. Try avoiding these two things (or cutting back) and avoid drinking any kinds of liquid after dinner.

If you’re still having a problem, see your doctor. There are prescription medications for nocturia that have been shown to reduce night-time trips to the bathroom.


Dr. Harry Fisch is a board certified urologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Each week, he’ll answer reader questions in an effort to get guys to “man up about health.”

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