Eliminating Nocturnal Urination

A male reader who wishes to be anonymous writes:

I am 53. When I was in my late 40s I started having to wake up to urinate in the middle of the night. Sometimes more than once. I complained to the physician. He said, “That’s BPH [= benign prostatic hyperplasia = enlarged prostate]. It’s what happens in middle age. Live with it.”

A couple years later on an airplane, I read an article about pygeum [a herbal remedy] as a cure for BPH. I started taking some. It helped, but not a lot. Reading about pygeum I stumbled across saw palmetto. I started taking a supplement that contained both of them. Now I was much improved, but there was still room for improvement.

A friend told me about magnesium supplementation. I started taking magnesium in addition, and I was cured. It’s like I’m in my 30s again. I only have to urinate in the middle of the night if I drink a lot of fluid right before bed.

Sleep is so important, this is really important. At a talk Thursday at the Ancestral Health Symposium, Robb Wolf quoted someone as saying, “If someone sleeps well, you can’t kill them; if they sleep badly, you can’t keep them alive.”

12 Replies to “Eliminating Nocturnal Urination”

  1. I found more salt helped. I think a lot of people on wholefoods diets end up eating too little. I’m sure a good balance of all the electrolytes would be most effective, as well as avoiding drinking when you’re not thirsty to meet some sort of arbitrary “healthy” H2O quota.

  2. I was starting with this problem until I found out I had sleep apnea.

    Since starting on the CPAP, I haven’t gotten up in the night, and apparently this is fairly common.

  3. Google turns up quite a few studies looking at the effects of magnesium on vasopressin – a hormone very important for our sleep and for not-peeing.

  4. Hi Seth,
    Can you ask your mystery male reader how much of each of the supplements he takes (and/brands he takes etc.)? Thanks, BW

  5. Silent acid reflux is an inhibitor of good sleep and sadly there does not seem to be any way to know it’s disrupting your sleep without seeing a doctor for a scoping.

  6. well seth, i just ordered some NOW Foods Pygeum and Saw Palmetto + Pumpkin Seed Oil and Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium.

    i’ll give it a shot. thanks for posting.

  7. Anyone, recommendations on good books on sleep? I read The Promise of Sleep by William Dement already, which was okay, but I feel there must be better out there.

  8. Brandon,

    I take Vitamin Shoppe vitamins.

    Magnesium Citrate Complex
    160 mg magnesium as magnesium citrate, oxide
    3x daily

    Saw Palmetto Plus
    saw palmetto extract 160mg
    pumpkin seed oil 40mg
    pygeum africanum 10mg
    3x daily

  9. Thanks for the info, took extra magnesium chelate at night and now I dont have to get up many times in the night

    Before reading your blog i actually thought getting up in the night to go to the bathroom was normal!

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