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Will Raisins in the Evening Help You Stay in Bed?

Snacking on a handful or so of raisins in the evening before bedtime may cut down the number of bathroom visits overnight.

Have you ever had to get up at night to urinate? Most of us have. Going once or even twice in the course of the night may not be much of a problem, but having to trek to the bathroom multiple times can be disruptive. Getting back to sleep is often a problem. Could munching a handful of raisins in the evening help you sleep soundly all night long without bathroom trips?

Raisins in the Evening Are a Weird Home Remedy:

Q. I am a skeptic when it comes to home remedies, but I got tired of getting up three or four times a night to go to the bathroom. When I read in your column that a handful of raisins in the evening before bed might cut down the number of nighttime trips, I figured I had nothing to lose.

Over time I detected improvement. I was only getting up once or twice and sometimes not at all.

Then I went on vacation and did not pack any raisins. After a night or two, I was getting up three to four times to pee. When I got home I resumed the raisins and I haven’t had to get up at all for the last three nights. Now I am a believer. How does this work?

Should You Eat a Few Raisins in the Evening?

A. We first heard about using raisins to reduce nighttime urination over four years ago. Since then, over 200 people have shared their thoughts on this remedy. Many have offered possible explanations, but we have seen no scientific studies that would provide a plausible mechanism.

Be sure to brush your teeth after eating raisins. Otherwise, the sticky sugars could contribute to tooth decay. People with diabetes will need to consider that sugar content when they calculate whether they can safely eat raisins before bed.

Another reader accidentally discovered a different remedy to reduce nighttime urination:

“I recently started taking the amino acid L-arginine to help my heart. To my surprise, for the first time in decades I wake up only a couple times to use the bathroom. I have a small bladder. Neither my cardiologist nor my endocrinologist had any explanation. I am sure this is no placebo and might be useful to others.”

More Raisins in the Evening Stories:

As we mentioned, we have received an amazing number of anecdotal reports about raisins for n0cturia. We know that most health professionals find such stories unconvincing. Nevertheless, we think a handful of raisins is benign compared t0 the anticholinergic drugs that are frequently prescribed for overactive bladder.

Phil in Missouri reports surprising success:

“I tried taking ten raisins. It worked! I have never slept until 5:00 am. That’s been the case for decades. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I looked at the clock this morning. I thought my clock was wrong. It wasn’t. I had slept soundly for nearly six hours without waking to go to the bathroom. I can’t believe it.”

Deb discovered the benefits of raisins by accident:

“Hmmm, this is interesting. I have, over the last three weeks or so, been eating more raisins in a healthy trail mix. Now that you mention it, I have not had to get up at my usual 4 am to use the bathroom.

“I’m not sure how many nights….maybe seven at this point? Buying more raisins today.”

Lisa in Brooklyn is delighted with the results of raisins in the evening.

“I have been exhausted during the day after getting up 5 to 6 times a night to urinate. I was in bed last night, dreading the long night ahead, when I ran across this discussion. I figured, why not?

I ate a handful of raisins and started reading a book in bed. Eight hours later, I woke up the best I have felt in months. It works, and that’s pretty amazing. Thank you!”

Share your own story in the comment section below. If the raisins in the evening did not work, we want to hear about that too. And if you have a plausible explanation, please let us know why you think this remedy might work.

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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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