People who go to the toilet in the middle of the night are less productive at work, study suggests.

Getting up overnight to use the loo has a bigger impact on a person`s work rate than asthma or some chronic lung diseases, leading the researchers to conclude that the condition is underestimated.

Nocturia - where a person wakes up once or more in a night to urinate - leads to "notable work productivity loss", the study presented to the European Association of Urology congress in Milan claims.


The team of researchers examined 261 women and 385 men with the condition and questioned them about the effect of health problems on their ability to work and perform regular activities.

Nocturia reduced work productivity by 24 percent - greater than the productivity loss shown by people with asthma or lung disease, it was found. The ability to carry out leisure activities in the day was also reduced, by 34 percent.

Philip Van Kerrebroeck, professor of urology at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, said: "Nocturia is a common problem affecting around a third of adults, but its burden is underestimated and it is often dismissed as being less serious than other chronic conditions in terms of impact on quality of life and societal costs.

"These data show that nocturia negatively affects both sleep and daytime performance and its impact on work productivity is in line with many other chronic conditions. Patients with nocturia should seek specific treatment for this debilitating condition."

The researchers also found that disturbed sleep is considered to be the most burdensome symptom of nocturia, as around a third are unable drop off again which leads to insomnia

"I can`t ever fall back asleep. I start watching TV all night and I am miserable the next day", one patient said.