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Week 7, 2013


Sleep Apnea and Nocturia  


North Branford, CT 2/17/2013. This article discusses the relationship of nocturia and sleep apnea.

Sleep relaxes body, organs and tissues including the tongue and its attached muscles. Generally when people sleeps on their back, the gravity of earth pulls the tongue down wards to their throat and blocks the breathing passage. The lung is not capable of pushing the tongue away and clear off the breathing passage. In fact during inhale breathing phase, the lung creates negative pressure (vacuum) which further pulls tongue to throat for a tighter seal. Breathing ceases and apnea occurs in sleep.

Each apnea causes an awakening at night. This is why many sleep apnea patients find themselves have lots of dreams at night since they awake a lot at night due to lots of apneas. If you do not awake, you do not remember your dreams. Therefore too many of dreams at night may be an indication of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause frequent awakenings.

The purpose of awakenings is to re-activate the relaxed muscles to move the tongue away from blocking the breathing and allow the lung to resume breathing. The activations of multiple organs (blood users) at the same time cause a sudden blood demand and the blood pressure droops in the arteries (blood supply) and a short duration of high blood return to heart in veins (blood return). The heart quickly responds the situation and beats harder to outputs more blood through arteries to each organ, which creates a higher than normal blood pressure spike in arteries.

The kidney intends to regulate the blood pressure. When pressure spike occurs, the kidney opens and releases water and sodium from blood to the bladder to reduce the blood pressure. The urine in the bladder increases.

Frequent awakenings fill the bladder quick, frequent urination occurs at night. Frequent urinations at night are also called Nocturia.

Nocturia is an indication of prostate enlargement for men, but it could be a sign of sleep apnea for both men and women. Treatment of sleep apnea could eliminate nocturia and potentially stop prostate enlargement.

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Last Week Article: Sleep Apnea vs. Frequent Urination at night