Did you know that when you sleep, your brain suppresses certain bodily functions like urinating, so that you can get deep sleep. Deep sleep is when your body does much of its recovery and healing. It’s also the one time that certain parts of brain health and maintenance get performed.
So it’s pretty important!
It’s not unusual for people younger than their 70’s to occasionally wake once a night to pee. As we age, up to 2 times a night might be acceptable. However, waking frequently to urinate, 2 or more times for most people can be a sign that something else is going on.
You could have an overactive bladder if you’re going frequently throughout the day and night. This could be due to infection, bladder irritants, or a kind of habitual up-training of the bladder in which you feel like you have to go more often than you really do.
If however, your daytime frequency is appropriate for your amount of fluid intake (Hint: a physcial therapist can help you determine this!), then waking at night to pee could a sign of a problem with your sleep due to airway dysfunction such as sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which the body is not getting enough oxygen through the night. Over time, it can cause a multitude of systemic health problems due to the stress of this lack of oxygen.
When we are not getting enough oxygen at night, we don’t enter deep stages of sleep, night-time urination is not suppressed, and we may wake more often due to the need to urinate.
If this is happening to you, talking to your doctor about a sleep study is an important step to ensuring that you are getting quality sleep and protecting your long-term health.
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