Urinary Incontinence, Nighttime Urination, Worse With Poor Sleep

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?


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6 thoughts on “Urinary Incontinence, Nighttime Urination, Worse With Poor Sleep

  1. http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=653003
    Half of 417 5- to 18-year-old bed-wetters with sleep apnea saw an end to bed-wetting following the removal of their tonsils or adenoids, researchers said at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association. According to the study, those who continued to wet their beds tended to be male, obese, born preterm or have a family history of bed-wetting.

    my question is, did they cure the sleep apnea in the half that did not get better? or did that group have residual UARS that went unrecognized?

  2. Dr. Deb,

    Adenotonsillectomy “cures” OSA in about 60% of children. There are many other structural reasons for persistent obstructive sleep apnea after surgery. So it’s not surprising that about 1/2 continue to wet their beds.

  3. Up to 6 times a night from infancy to 43. After CPAP, the incidence of nocturia has been 7 times total in 2000 nights of compliance. A 0.003% rate of incidence. Also noteworthy, is I do not experience chronic constipation, my bowels have moved daily since CPAP treatment. I attribute the gained water and pressurized air for cure.

  4. I am experiencing nighttime nocturia, I guess as a result of sleep apnea, though I have experienced unstable bladder (doctor’s diagnosis) for about 20 years, but only recently have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and now am enduring this nighttime nocturia. I have tried CPAP and couldn’t sleep with the various machines that I tried, so am trying to stay on my side, however the two times I have had the bedwetting I have been on my back.
    Limiting fluids is all very well but how to compete with sleep apnea and its consequences?