Let’s put this to rest once and for all: Peeing overnight is clearly linked to untreated sleep apnea.
Though studies linking untreated sleep apnea to having to get up in the middle of the night more than once to urinate have been around for several years, the latest study reaffirms the connection.
Now don’t get this mixed up with the concept of treated sleep apnea allowing someone to sleep through a full bladder.
It’s not an issue of sleeping through the sensation of a full bladder. It’s an issue of untreated sleep apnea causing the kidneys to produce urine!
CPAP treatment allows people with sleep apnea to get restful sleep, but it also virtually prevents urine production during sleep – provided that there are no leaks or other malfunctions in the equipment.
CPAP treatment reduces the frequency of nighttime urination, says a Dutch study which was presented at the European Association of Urology conference in London in the spring of 2017.
Dr. Sajjad Rahnama’l from the Maastricht University Medical Centre studied 256 patients who wore a CPAP mask for their obstructive sleep apnea.
Prior to treatment, 69 percent reported having to urinate more than once a night (nocturia).
After starting CPAP, 65 percent of that 69 percent reported a reduction in peeing frequency.
“This is the first study to show the true incidence of nocturia in patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea,” says Dr. Rahnama’I in the report.
“It’s also the first study to show the size of the effect of positive pressure mask treatment in patients with obstructive sleep apnea on their nocturia symptoms,” adds the paper.
“It may seem surprising that breathing problems can cause excessive urine production while asleep,” says Professor Marcus Drake from the European Association of Urology, “but actually the problem is very real.”
An obstructive event (airway blockage from soft tissue collapse) causes sudden alterations in blood flow to the heart, triggering production of a hormone called atrial natriuretic peptide, says Steven Park, an ear, nose and throat physician, on his site. This “makes you produce more urine.”
A person who otherwise feels healthy and fit may blame overnight peeing on being a light sleeper. They may think that it’s normal for urine to be produced while the body is asleep.
But it’s not normal. The kidneys are supposed to be pretty much turned off during sleep so that we can get uninterrupted sleep for optimal restoration.