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Can Raisins at Bedtime Reduce Nighttime Bathroom Visits?

A small handful of raisins as a bedtime snack might reduce the number of times one needs to get up and urinate overnight.

Q. A while back I read in your column that eating raisins before bedtime could control nighttime trips to the bathroom.

For the past three years I have suffered from urgency urination. My physician prescribed oxybutynin twice a day. This helped quite a bit for the daytime. It did not help much for nighttime urgency.

When Oxytrol patches came out I tried them instead. Again, the daytime problem was mostly controlled, but I would still have to get up five or six times every night and sometimes I did not get to the bathroom in time.

Raisins Before Bed

After reading your article, I tried eating raisins before bedtime and had my first good night’s sleep in a long time! This has been working for me for weeks now.

I didn’t know the right dose, but I have settled on “nibbling” about 1/4 cup of raisins between 9 and 10 pm. (I usually go to bed at 11 pm.) Now I only have to get up perhaps once during the night, usually without the urgency that was so troubling. I am delighted to learn about this.

A. A number of other readers have also reported benefit. Raisins don’t come with the same side effects as oxybutynin, which can cause dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, urinary difficulties, headaches and dizziness.

Raisins Side Effect

A downside to this raisin remedy is extra calories. One reader noted that she was also delighted that she went from getting up five times a night to once a night, but after two weeks she had gained four pounds.

You may have to compensate for the raisins by cutting back on snacks or desserts.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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