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Will Raisins at Bedtime Reduce Bathroom Visits?

Many readers have found that munching a tablespoon of raisins before brushing the teeth at bedtime can help them avoid nighttime bathroom visits.
Will Raisins at Bedtime Reduce Bathroom Visits?
Raisins in wooden spoon on raisins background

Anyone who has to get up many times during the night to urinate knows these interruptions can disrupt sleep. So when readers started reporting that eating a few raisins before bed could reduce bathroom visits, we paid attention.

How Did Elderly Woman Reduce Her Bathroom Visits?

Q. My 92-year-old mom had been complaining for years about having to get up during the night to go to the bathroom. I read in your column about eating raisins before bed.

Despite some skepticism, she tried it and, voila! Most nights she doesn’t have to get up at all!

A. We are pleased to hear this. For someone your mother’s age, getting up several times during the night can be risky. Navigating to the bathroom in low light while half-asleep can increase the risk of a devastating fall.

There are no studies to suggest that eating raisins before bedtime will help with this problem, but we have heard from many readers that it did reduce bathroom visits.

Consider Reducing Caffeine:

Dina wrote:

“I had been drinking one 8 oz. Coke every day as a treat – don’t drink coffee. I decided to stop drinking my treat because of the excessive amount of sugar. I also have a small box of raisins at night, and that had helped with nocturnal urination, but stopping caffeine was remarkable. I sleep though the night for the first time since I was about 18 years old, and I’m 70 now. My parents did not have soft drinks in our home when I was growing up. No nighttime urination and the soundness of my sleep was amazing. I wake up at 6 A.M., and I felt great. I guess a good night’s sleep is something to be sought out. I must be very sensitive to the caffeine.”

Peggy agreed that caffeine bears watching:

“You might want to also keep caffeine products from your diet. Caffeine stimulates the bladder. I had a few side effects from meds to control the bladder. I stopped taking them and also switched to decaf. In a short time the urgency and frequency of having to urinate decreased to a manageable amount of visits.”

Why Raisins Might Work:

Gabriele suggested that raisins might be supplying magnesium:

“I heard (from a friend, the father of a little girl who wet the bed) that sometimes a magnesium deficiency can be the problem…too little and the bladder doesn’t relax to expand and hold the urine.

“He had heard about it on a morning show, a children’s doctor, so he spoke with his daughter’s doctor who told him to try it and it solved the problem completely.

“Doing an online search brings up lots of information about magnesium and bed wetting; I take calcium and magnesium before bed as it helps me sleep better (the two minerals make me more relaxed).

“If you look up raisins and magnesium, you’ll find that raisins are rich in magnesium as well as iron.”

Harvey reported success without any explanation:

“I am 77 years old and was urinating an average of four times a night. After reading about the raisin therapy I began taking two teaspoons of raisins before bed. Ever since I seldom have to get up more than one time to urinate. I don’t know (and don’t care) why it works, but it does. Give it a try.”

You’ll find much more about this fascinating home remedy here.

 

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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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