Do you usually find it hard to fall into a deep, restful sleep at night? And when you finally do get to sleep, are you awakened by the sudden and uncomfortable urge to pee? Frequent urination at night, also known as nocturia, is a symptom of what could potentially be a much bigger underlying medical issue. It could indicate high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, or even various types of sleep apnea—most notably, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).
I’m going to tell you about a few treatment options to help you regain control of your situation. But first let me explain a little bit about sleep apnea.
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS)?
OSAS is a condition that blocks your airways while you sleep, restricting or even pausing your breathing for an indeterminate amount of time. If your husband or wife snores extremely loudly in their sleep, it could be a sign of sleep apnea.
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, roughly 22 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep apnea. Around 80% of moderate and severe OSAS cases go undiagnosed. I’m not trying to scare you, but I do want to bring this to your attention in case you may be experiencing similar symptoms.
OSAS significantly lowers the length and quality of your sleep, which can negatively affect you in ways other than frequent urination at night. Shallow sleep can lead to daytime tiredness, reduced cognitive functions, and even early onset dementia. So, it’s definitely something you should get checked out. The earlier it’s diagnosed the better.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea-Related Nocturia
If your nocturia is directly related to sleep apnea, there are a few solutions you can try to offset, and perhaps even reverse, some of the effects:
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment; Dutch researchers found that nighttime bathroom visits were reduced by more than half in OSAS patients with CPAP therapy
- Pink-noise stimulation (light waterfall sounds playing while you fall asleep)
- Slow wave sleep stimulation (helps improve and slow down brain wave activity for better, more restful sleep and promotes stronger cognitive function)
- Lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and quitting smoking
Although nocturia is a major symptom of sleep apnea, remember that it can still be related to other illnesses or disorders. You should talk to your doctor about any other symptoms you may experience. They can run the proper diagnostic tests and make appropriate treatment recommendations for you.
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