It’s commonly accepted that suffering from urinary symptoms can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. However, a recent study confirms more recent findings that suggest that poor sleep itself can lead to lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), such as incontinence, and nighttime urination. This study prospectively followed over 1600 men and 2500 women and found that having poor sleep significantly predicted later development of LUTS.
For example, short sleep duration and poor sleep quality doubled the likelihood of LUTS in men and increased the risk by 66% in women. Poor sleep itself was associated with an 80-90% increased odds of developing urinary incontinence and nocturia.
This study’s results aren’t surprising, since there have been numerous studies in the past showing that most people who go to the bathroom at night do so not because they make too much urine, but because they stop breathing and then wake up to go to the bathroom. (Not breathing at night makes your kidneys make more urine). Another recent study revealed that going to the bathroom two or more times per night increases your risk of dying from any cause by over 50%! This makes sense, since most of these people will have some degree of untreated obstructive sleep apnea.
If you feel like to have to go to the bathroom too often or get up at night to go to the bathroom more than 1-2 times every night, it may be worthwhile to address your sleep problems first before seeing a urologist.
Those of you with known obstructive sleep apnea, how many of you had any of these urinary symptoms before being diagnosed with sleep apnea?