A new study presented at the European Society of Urology annual meeting in London stated that a reduce in salt intake at night can reduce sleep interrupting night-time urination. The need to go at night is called nocturia and affects many people over the age of 60 and those younger. Nocturia can affect sleep to the point of affecting one’s health with increased stress, irritability, or tiredness, and can have an adverse impact on the quality of life. A simple cure of nocturia may be to decrease the amount of salt in one’s diet.
The study included over 300 Japanese adults with a high salt diet and sleep problems. The participants were given directions and instructions to reduce their salt intake. The researchers then followed the study participants for the next 12 weeks and examined their findings. The researchers, led by Dr. Matsuo Tomohiro from Nagasaki University, found that those who followed the instructions found a drop in nocturia from twice to once a night. However, those who increased their salt intake increased the occurrence of nocturia from twice to three times a night. Another bonus for participants was their need to go to the bathroom decreased during the day as well. This drop in nocturia improved the participants quality of life, the study reported.
Matsuo, speaking to CBS News, said that the study was a first in measuring “how salt intake affects the frequency of going to the bathroom, so we need to confirm the work with larger studies.” The American Heart Association recommends that people should have no more than 2,300 milligrams a day. The “ideal limit” is 1,500 milligrams for most adults. Since, salt intake is high, cutting back to 2,400 milligrams can “significantly improve blood pressure and heart health.” One teaspoon of salt equals 2,300 milligrams of sodium. Most Americans, on a daily average, consume more than 3,400 milligrams of salt.
Speaking to Science Daily, Dr. Marcus Drake, a professor from the University of Bristol in England said that “reducing the amount of water a patient drinks, and salt intake is generally not considered.” Dr. Drake is also the leader of the working group for the European Society of Urology Guidelines Office Initiative on Nocturia. He continued by saying the study was “useful” and showed how researchers and physicians need to consider “all influences to get the best chance of improving the symptom.”
By Cheryl Werber