What is it?

NOCT – like nocturnal – means night-timeNOCTURIA
URIA – like urine – means wee

Nocturia is the medical term for urinating overnight. Technically, it means that your bladder wakes you from sleep to wee overnight, but there can be other sleep disturbances that are still relevant and/or manageable.

What is considered normal?

  • Younger people: 0-1
  • Pregnant women: 0-2
  • Older people: 1-2

Waking to wee excessively overnight can sometimes indicate a serious medical problem. Other times its cause is harmless but the waking is bothersome and sleep depriving. Either way, if you are waking too often, it is smart to investigate why. We recommend seeing both your GP and an appropriately trained pelvic health physiotherapist.

There are many different causes of nocturia. Some examples include:

  • You produce too much urine overnight
  • You produce too much urine all the time
  • Your bladder can’t hold a normal volume of urine
  • Your bladder doesn’t empty well
  • Your sleep is interrupted by something else like pain, a pet or your kids, and you habitually go to the toilet. (sometimes this is ideal, other times it is highly problematic).

There are also many different causes of each of the examples above! (For example, there a various different reasons you might produce too much urine overnight). So you can see why thorough assessment is crucial for the best outcomes.


At Alchemy in Motion, our Pelvic Health Physiotherapists have extra training and experience that allows them to assess many potential causes of nocturia. We start with a detailed history about your nocturia and other related factors. We use a screening questionnaire, real time ultrasound and a bladder chart in combination to figure out the main causes of your nocturia.


We liaise with your GP if required. When their medical knowledge is combined with our knowledge of non-medical bladder management options, you end up with the management options most relevant to you. This may include referral to other health professionals. Teamwork is often the most effective in health care, especially for a symptoms like nocturia that can have so many different causes.

We work with you to re-train things like:

  • Bladder sensation and control
  • Pelvic floor muscle function
  • Lifestyle factors such as fluid intake, bladder habits, exercise, rest (individualised based on findings from your chart)

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