Halt the salt and skip the trips to the bathroom at night

Getting up to the toilet in the middle of the night leaving you tired and cranky in the morning? Some of us can easily attribute this annoyance to coffee or chocolate before bed, or a lazy pelvic floor. But there’s one common ingredient we’re all consuming that could be contributing to the countless trips across the tiles each night. Salt.

A recent Japanese study* suggests that lowering the salt in our diet can considerably cut excessive night time toilet trips (a problem also known as nocturia). Night-time urination is known to worsen with age and in those with high blood pressure. The study suggests that a dietary tweak to reduce our salt consumption could be all that’s required to lessen the trips to the loo at night. But do we all know how to do this successfully?

Our first thought might be to throw the salt grinder in the garbage, but that’s unlikely to make much difference. About 75% of the salt we consume comes from processed food with cooking sauces, condiments, processed meats and ready meals amongst the major culprits. Who would have known that bottled black bean sauce you used at dinner could be responsible for your midnight trip to the toilet?

While excessive night-time urination is undoubtedly an undesirable disruption to our slumber, it could be also be a sign that an even bigger problem is brewing. Excess salt consumption also leads to high blood pressure, which over time can increase your risk of heart failure, kidney disease and stroke. In fact, it can lead to a number of serious health issues.

It’s important to read the food labels of to check just how much salt you’re consuming. Remember salt is shown as sodium or hidden as a variation of sodium on the label. It’s good to be a detective when deciphering food labels. You can crack the code here.

Please remember to visit your GP if excessive urination is bothering you.

*http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/iju.13321/abstract