Science Questions

Why do we wake up when we need to urinate?

Sun, 15th Feb 2009

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Joan, Braintree asked:

Why do we wake up when we need to urinate?


Chris - Itís the same reflex if you need to roll over in bed when youíre uncomfortable.  If you stayed in one position in bed all the time all night you would get a pressure sore because the pressure of tissue against the bed would stop blood flow through that area.  As a result you would end up with a de-vascularised bit of skin and it would necrose.  Patients who are left in one position in hospital for too long get exactly the same problem.  The body has a series of reflexes programmed into it even when you are asleep.  You can react and respond to various stimuli with an appropriate thing.  If youíre getting uncomfortable in bed you can roll over.  If, on the other hand, your bladderís getting full then your brain says wake up, you need to go to the loo.  Itís an automatic reflex.  Some people lose that reflex as they get older.  Some people when theyíre very little actually wet the bed because it hasnít developed yet.  Thatís why little kiddies have to respond to those signals the right way.  Thatís all about potty training and bladder training.


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