A common symptom to watch out for? Get up to urinate two or more times during the night. Two or more cases of nocturnal urination (nocturia) occur in about 80 percent of people with obstructive sleep apnea, says Carleara Weiss PhD, MSH, RN of Aeroflow Sleep. However, this does not mean that everyone who wakes up to use the toilet has sleep apnea. This is just a clue that you can use to understand what is happening to your health.
What is sleep apnea?
As mentioned above, sleep apnea is a respiratory disorder that causes short, frequent pauses in breathing during sleep, says Dr. Smith. These pauses last only seconds at a time, but can occur hundreds of times during the night, reducing oxygen flow and affecting both sleep quality and overall health, he adds. There are several different types of sleep apnea, says Dr. Smith.
One of the most common types of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which is when the airway is blocked due to the mechanics of the throat. Central sleep apnea is characterized by the exchange of messages between your brain and your body – which in effect results in you missing a rhythm of breathing while you sleep. There is also, according to the Mayo Clinic, a type of combination that characterizes both sources of the disorder called complex sleep apnea syndrome.
Research shows that sleep apnea negatively affects the amount and quality of our sleep and puts us at a higher risk of experiencing adverse events such as a car accident or developing conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. These risk factors make it critical for those affected by sleep apnea, or those who suspect it may be, to see a doctor and receive treatment for their condition.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea are snoring, frequent breathing breaks, excessive tiredness or drowsiness during the day, morning headaches, insomnia, depression, acid reflux, irritability and frequent nausea. urination.
However, the symptoms appear differently depending on the sex. Men traditionally fit the snoring stereotype more often, while women usually replace the symptoms of snoring with hot flashes and night sweats. And as we mentioned, the most important obstacle in diagnosis is that most people may not know they have the condition.
When you wake up to pee every night a sign of sleep apnea
Getting up frequently to use the bathroom at night can be a sign of sleep apnea. if is accompanied by the other symptoms reported, says Dr. Smith. Urinating at night is a condition known as nocturia. An estimated 50 million American adults have the disease, with only 10 million of them being diagnosed.
Other nocturia symptoms to watch out for include fatigue, drowsiness, memory loss, or a typically short attention span. It is not uncommon for nocturia and sleep apnea to be misdiagnosed.
“Although the exact mechanism is not fully understood, the thought is that during episodes of sleep apnea, the body receives less oxygen which causes the heart to pump more blood faster, which can cause increased blood volume to be filtered through kidney, which produces more urine. says Aleece Fosnight MSPAS, PA-C, CSCS, CSE, NCMP of Aeroflow Urology.
Both Fosnight and Weiss recommend that patients monitor their urine overnight on a diary, along with other symptoms such as snoring, waking with a dry mouth or dry throat, headaches, daytime sleepiness, dehydration and mood swings. .
Common treatments for sleep apnea
The diagnosis is extremely important for sleep apnea, says Dr. Smith. Treatments are largely based on the type of disorder you have, your severity and your symptoms. A popular form of treatment is called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), according to the Mayo Clinic. This treatment involves the use of a mask attached to a machine that draws a constant flow of air to ensure that your body receives the right amount of oxygen, despite the effect of sleep apnea on your breathing. Surgery is an option to reduce certain symptoms and you can talk to your doctor about the mouthpieces you can wear to support your airways.
What to watch out for and understand
There are many physiological reasons why one may wake up frequently to pee, Fosnight says. As we get older, we do not get enough sleep, which makes us more prone to easy waking. Waking up is a biological trigger for the bladder to signal that it is time to urinate. However, if you do not sleep soundly, it may wake you up to urinate and make it difficult for you to fall asleep if it happens every night — it can also deprive you of quality sleep.
Trying to limit fluid intake to 90 minutes before bedtime and avoiding bladder irritants such as soft drinks, alcohol and acidic drinks can all prevent you from getting up to urinate at night. If you follow these rules and continue to experience nocturia — consider talking to a provider about your symptoms.
Many adults associate nocturnal urination with a “normal” part of aging and do not report it to their doctor, says Dr. Smith. However, it is important to discuss bladder health at your next check-up — along with any other observed symptoms.
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