For years, a full bladder was thought to be the cause of Nocturia, or nighttime urination; however, recent studies have pointed out that Sleep Apnea can also be a cause of this problem. As surprising as this may sound, there is a logical explanation as to why a lack of breathing can lead to nighttime urination.
How it Occurs
When the soft tissues in our neck close, it limits our intake of oxygen, triggering a series of physiological events in our bodies that ultimately ‘trick’ us into believing we have to urinate:
- First, our bloodstream’s oxygen supply decreases, while carbon dioxide levels increase. This makes our blood more acidic; and, as a result, our heart rates drop and the blood vessels in our lungs contract. This all sends an alert to our brains telling our bodies to wake us up in order to reopen our airways.
- Simultaneously, our hearts began to race and let out false signals of fluid overload telling our bodies to get rid of sodium and water by urinating.
Sleep apnea can cause all sorts of vague symptoms that can confuse people. Many times, sufferers don’t even know they have this serious condition, because they’ve failed to tie their symptoms together. Men often believe that their nocturia is owed to prostate enlargement. On the other hand, women often attribute their difficulties to bladder over-activity.
You should consider getting tested for sleep apnea if your nocturia is happening in conjunction with any of the following:
- Daytime fatigue
- Maintenance insomnia
- Breathing difficulties
- Attention and memory problems
- Morning headaches
Nocturia and/or bed wetting isn’t something to be ashamed of; it’s a warning that something isn’t quite right. Fortunately, help is only a phone call away.