A Single Nightly Trip to the Bathroom Could Signify This Health Issue

by Lara DeSanto Health Writer

Everybody wakes up in the wee hours to pee, right? Well, a new study shows that having to urinate even just once at night — a condition called nocturia — could be a sign that your blood pressure is high.

The study, presented at the 83rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Circulation Society, assessed 3,749 Japanese adults who had an annual health check in 2017 that measured blood pressure and noted whether patients had nocturia. The study’s authors found that nocturia was significantly associated with high blood pressure, or hypertension (140/90 mmHg or higher).

"We found that getting up in the night to urinate was linked to a 40 percent greater chance of having hypertension," said study author Satoshi Konno, M.D., in a press release. "And the more visits to the toilet, the greater the risk of hypertension."

While the study results don’t prove that nocturia directly causes high blood pressure, the authors still recommend anyone with that nighty need get their blood pressure checked — in addition to their salt intake. Past research has found high salt consumption to be linked with nocturia as well — although salt may not be as big of a problem in the U.S. compared with Japan, where the study was done and people tend to eat more salty foods, like seafood.

In the meantime, there are proven steps you can take to lower your blood pressure if it’s moving up-up-up. They include:

Get more helpful tips for how to reduce your blood pressure here.

Lara DeSanto
Meet Our Writer
Lara DeSanto

Lara is a former digital editor for HealthCentral, covering Sexual Health, Digestive Health, Head and Neck Cancer, and Gynecologic Cancers. She continues to contribute to HealthCentral while she works towards her masters in marriage and family therapy and art therapy. In a past life, she worked as the patient education editor at the American College of OB-GYNs and as a news writer/editor at WTOP.com.