Health In Focus
  • Waking up twice or more number of times at night (nocturia) can impact a person’s sleep and well being and consequently affect productivity at work which in turn affects the country’s economy hugely
  • Statistics estimate that 27.5 million persons in the US, i.e. 12.5 percent of the total working population suffer from nocturia. Similar figures are reported from five other countries including UK, Germany, Spain, Japan and Australia (13-17% of country’s population suffer from nocturia)
  • Health impact on the patient and other issues due to nocturia are comparable to chronic medical conditions such as hypertension and heart disease but often overlooked by doctors

Frequent waking up at night to pass urine (nocturia) can negatively impact sleep and productivity which in turn can affect a country's economy if not addressed early, according to scientists at the not-for-profit research organization RAND Europe.

How Nocturia Impacts National Economy

The research team believes that nocturia can affect sleep and health but is often overlooked by doctors and not given the attention it deserves, often leading to delayed diagnosis with significant impact on health and quality of life which in turn negatively impacts the nation's economy and productivity.
Frequent Night Visits To Bathroom May Affect National Economy

The study team employed a unique macroeconomic model to simulate the existing economic scenario of each of the six countries being studied to predict how the nation's economic output can be improved if the number of patients suffering from nocturia was to be reduced by prompt diagnosis and appropriate intervention.

  • Persons having nocturia lose at least seven working days or more per annum due to absenteeism and suboptimal productivity at work compared to a person who does not have nocturia
  • The loss to a nation's economy (measured as GDP) due to nocturia was estimated to be about $44.4 billion in the US, $8.4 billion in Germany, $13.7 billion in Japan, the UK at $5.9 billion, and Australia and Spain each at about $3 billion per annum.
  • According to data collected through two large, linked employer-employee surveys, people suffering from nocturia also reported poor quality of life and sense of satisfaction as well as being unable to engage optimally at work
  • On average, a person with nocturia had a two percent reduced satisfaction with life in comparison to a person not suffering from the condition. These figures are similar to patients suffering from chronic medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease or hypertension.
  • Additionally, people with nocturia have a 1.3 percent lesser ability to engage optimally at work compared to a normal person. Once again these figures are similar to those of patients with chronic medical conditions
The findings of the study suggest that nocturia negatively affects not only the patient's sleep and general health but can significantly influence a nation's economy as well.

Marco Hafner, lead author and economist, says: "Doctors and health practitioners often overlook nocturia as a potential health problem associated with sleep loss, and patients can delay reporting the condition until it becomes unbearable and substantially affects their wellbeing".

Due to the enormous economic implications of failure to address nocturia promptly, the findings of the study should be a 'wake-up' call to all those concerned including patients, their physicians and employers as well as policymakers to recognize the need for early diagnosis and treatment of this condition.

Coping with Nocturia

  • Restrict intake of fluid in the evening and night
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol containing beverages later in the evening
  • Maintain a healthy weight as excess weight can put pressure on urinary bladder
  • Time diuretic medications so that they don't wake you up at night
  • Rest in the afternoon to compensate for sleep loss at night


The health impact due to nocturia varies according to demographic factors such as age and sex as well as the presence of other associated conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer or heart disease. However if severe, it can impact productivity which in turn has a huge bearing on the national economy. Early diagnosis and treatment of nocturia are therefore essential.

Reference :
  1. How trips to the bathroom at night affect health and productivity - (

Source: Medindia

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