Exercise Helps Reduce Nighttime Bathroom Visits

Exercise and nighttime bathroom visits

Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of nocturia - the disruption of sleep because you have to go to the bathroom at night.


Nocturia is the most common lower urinary tract symptom in men. The risk increases with age and it is estimated to occur in more than 50% of men 45 and older. Causes include BPH (enlarged prostate), overproduction of urine, and low bladder capacity.

A research team, led by Kate Wolin ScD at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, found that men who were physically active at least one hour per week were 13% less likely to report nocturia, which is defined as waking up two or more times a night to urinate. The men studied, which included more than 30,000 subjects between the ages of 55 and 74, were 34% less likely to report severe nocturia which is waking up three or more times each night.


It is likely that physical activity helps protect against nocturia through weight loss, improving sleep, decreasing sympathetic nervous system activity, and lowering levels of systemic inflammation. Because nocturia may also be a symptom of another condition, such as diabetes and hypertension, exercise can also help by improving health through blood sugar control and lowering blood pressure.

"Combined with other management strategies, physical activity may provide a strategy for the management of BPH-related outcomes, particularly nocturia," Wolin and colleagues wrote.

Journal Reference:
Kathleen Y. Wolin, et al. Physical Activity and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia-Related Outcomes and Nocturia. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2014; 1 DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000444

Additional Resource:
National Association for Continence