Have you had enough of waking up in the night to go to the bathroom? New research claims the reason is not all those cups of tea before bed.

The annoying need to pee in the middle of the night is related to the amount of salt in your diet, researchers say.

Nocturia, or the excessive need to urinate during the night, mostly affects people over the age of 60 and can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life because of the disruption to sleep.

Scientists in Japan have discovered that reducing your salt intake can significantly reduce the need to wee in the night.

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"Research generally focuses on reducing the amount of water a patient drinks, and the salt intake generally is not considered. Here we have a useful study showing how we need to consider all influences to get the best chance of improving the symptom," said Dr Matsuo Tomohiro from Nagasaki University.

A study of more than 300 men and women found reducing daily salt intake by 10.7 grams to eight grams reduced the number of times participants needed to urinate, from 2.3 times a night to 1.4 times.

Participants who had their average salt intake increased to 11 grams needed to use the loo more frequently. Their need to urinate rose from 2.3 times a night to 2.7 times.

The researchers also found that daytime urination was reduced when salt in the diet was reduced.

The findings of the small study was presented at the European Society of Urology congress in London at the weekend.

Dr Tomohiro says larger studies are needed to confirm the work but believes their findings are very promising.

"Night-time urination is a real problem for many people, especially as they get older. This work hold out the possibility that a simple dietary modification might significantly improve the quality of life for many people," Dr Tomohiro said.