Happy May everyone. I hope things are going ok.
Today I am switching gears - just a quick and easy but possibly critical tip is the plan for the blog today.
In the hundred of consults I have done with clients, a few have similar challenges.
One in particular is easy to try with a quick response, within 1 to 2 days, to see if it will help.
I am talking about the night time bathroom trips. This affects 1 out of 4 Canadians.
Do you get up to use the bathroom one or more times a night and it is breaking up your sleep?
If you do need to wake from a sleep to go, I have some thoughts to share which I hope are of help to you.
Now, the big question is, do you wake up to go, or do you go because you woke up? It can be hard to tell.
During sleep those functions all slow down and basically turn off.
Many people wake and their function starts up, so the need to go happens. Trying to make sure you stay asleep is something to focus on.
A number of different things can cause a person to wake before morning. Blood sugar dropping can be a big one. Therefore being careful how much sugar and processed carb foods and fruits a few hours before bed is important.
Another cause to wake is environment - the amount of darkness, too hot, too cold, noise, anything that is not comfortable is worth looking into changing. We tend to sleep a bit better on the cooler side, but not cold. Darkness is helpful, and even using white noise can help drown out changes in sounds in your space.
Too much stimulation we have all heard of with our devices too late at night can be problematic. Reading a book, or doing some other type of screen less activity can be helpful.
When you know your space is setup as best as you can for a peaceful sleep, if still having a challenge in staying asleep, and the bathroom trips are happening, there is another thing to try.
This has to do with a tiny amount of salt. Now, I am talking unprocessed salt, Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt. Processed table salt has a tiny bit more sodium, but somewhat less in other minerals and trace elements. However, refined table salt has more additives and anti-caking agents.
Try adding a pinch of salt into your drinking water. Just a tiny pinch, where you can barely taste it. The idea here is that you will absorb the water better and it won’t just “flush through” you.
Now if you have been told to limit salt, then this needs more analysis, but if no salt issues, this tiny amount is small in comparison in the sodium you are consuming all day long.
Note, most western diet salt and sodium issues comes from the high amount in processed foods.
For example 1 gram of salt is about a quarter of a teaspoon which is 400mg of sodium. The pinch I am talking about would be even less than one twentieth of a quarter teaspoon, so about 20mg of sodium, but likely even less than that.
Comparing that to a small serving size of 100mg of canned soup or bacon or lunch meat or cheese, 1 slice of pizza, 1 pickle, 1/2 cup baked beans, which EACH come in at about 500 to over 1000 mg of sodium, in just 1 meal or snack. The 20mg to add to your water is a small amount in the daily intake with aiming to be under the RDI of 2,300mg over the day.
So, in trying this, there are some rules… If you have no issues with having salt in your diet and have not been told to watch salt intake, this little suggestion could make a huge difference for you. I personally have seen many people improve their night time bathroom trips with this change. Having a better sleep improves many areas of life so it could be worth a try.
Additional things to try is to make sure to not drink too close to bed time. Aim to drink water in small sips all spread out all day long, for both water and other beverages with less in the last hour or 2 before bed.
Lastly, if you take direct diuretics, the timing of when these are taken can affect night time bathroom trips. Best to talk with your Doc on that to see if the timing can be adjusted.
As always, contact your health professional if you are having issues with this area negatively affecting your life to confirm if anything more problematic is happening.
Have a great week!