The People's Perspective on Medicine

Exercise Leads to Fewer Nighttime Excursions to the Bathroom

As men age, they frequently have to get up during the night to urinate as result of prostate enlargement. A new study shows that the most physically active men are less likely to wake up for a bathroom run.

The analysis included roughly 30,000 men with benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH. Those who exercised at least an hour a week were 13% less likely to report nighttime urination and 34% less likely to have problems with nighttime urination. The authors encourage more study into the role and amount of physical activity to manage symptoms of BPH.

[Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, online, Aug, 2014]

Since regular exercise has long been recommended as a way to promote better sleep, this sounds like a no-lose proposition. We have also heard from several men who have found home remedies that help them with this problem. Torrence reported:

“I buy the unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds and take  2 teaspoons on my cereal EVERY MORNING and it has helped me immensely. I can’t guarantee it to work for everyone, but the man on Peoples’ Pharmacy who gave the same result as I have had is why I tried them in the first place. I certainly hope they work for you and anyone else who tries them.”

Another man has found that raisins as a bedtime snack cut down on bathroom visits:

“I read about eating raisins before bed to reduce nighttime urination and I love this idea. It worked the first night I tried it. Instead of visiting the bathroom every hour all night long, I made half as many visits to the bathroom.

Last night I ate about a cup of raisins and the results were astounding. I got up only once in the middle of the night. I had no side effects either except a good night’s sleep!”

A cup of raisins is a lot. But it might not require that much to get benefit:

“I read in your newsletter about 11/2-2 mos ago about the raisins and started to use them. I have COPD so I wake during the night but I no longer have to go to the bathroom during the night. I only eat one of the small mini boxes but that suffices.”

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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