01/27/2012 06:13 pm ET

5 Tips For Battling Nocturia

Nocturia is a common sleep disorder that usually affects children, but can occur at any age. We spoke to Subin Jain, M.D., a physician at the Sleep Disorders Center, Baptist Hospital East, in Louisville, Ky., for one approach to the medical problems you or your loved one may suffer from when trying to sleep.

If you think you might have nocturia, use this as a reference point before getting personalized medical advice from your doctor or other accredited sleep expert. --Tracie Handley

"Nocturia is basically bedwetting -- also called sleep enuresis -- and it classically occurs in children," says Dr. Jain. "It is normal to wet your bed until you're approximately five years of age or so, but there are some children who don't really learn the ability to control their bladder, so that's called primary nocturia." He explains that another form of the disorder, secondary nocturia, is "where the kid learns to control the bladder, but then they start wetting the bed again."

Get A Professional Assessment

Dr. Jain advises that if nocturia extends "beyond five years of age or so, or if it reappears, it is important to find out the underlying cause." Potential causes include psychosocial problems and stress from factors like parental divorce and physical or sexual abuse. "It can also occur due to a medical condition, such as diabetes," says Dr. Jain, "so identifying the underlying cause is very important."

Reduce Stress

"If the underlying cause is stress," says Dr. Jain, "such as abuse or psychosocial stress, you must work to remove the child from the abusive situation or to minimize the source of the stress." He cites stress as one of the most common factors in secondary nocturia.

Discuss Medications With Your Doctor

According to Dr. Jain, "If the nocturia is occurring in an adult, it is often caused by a physical condition and the medications used to treat the condition. Diuretics, especially, can cause nocturia in adults, so adjusting your diuretics or other medications may be necessary to combat the problem."

Reduce Liquids Prior To Bedtime

"In adults, limiting your fluid intake before bed would go along with reducing your diuretics," says Dr. Jain. "In children, especially when there is primary nocturia, you would work to limit their intake of fluids prior to going to bed and try to train them to void just prior to going to bed."

Wake To Void During The Night

Dr. Jain suggests that in addition to training children to use the restroom before they go to bed, "you should wake them up in the middle of the night to use the restroom so they can slowly learn the ability to control their bladder." He says the same techniques can be used in older children.

Subin Jain, M.D., is a specialist in pulmonary medicine, sleep medicine, internal medicine and critical care medicine and is a physician at the Sleep Disorders Center, Baptist Hospital East, in Louisville, Ky., as well as with Louisville Pulmonary Care. A graduate of Maulana Azad Medical College at the University of Delhi, Dr. Jain completed residency and fellowships at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, the University of Connecticut and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He is also board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine and sleep medicine.

Have you or someone you know ever suffered from nocturia?