Frequent night awakenings and urination may be due to obstructive sleep apnea, not enlarged prostate

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | Bladder | Wednesday, August 17, 2016 - 12:00 PM

Frequent night awakenings and urinationFrequent night awakenings and urination may be caused by obstructive sleep apnea, rather than enlarged prostate. The study compared men aged 55 and 75 years old with an enlarged prostate diagnosis who reported nighttime urination (nocturia) at least once a night. The control group did not have prostate enlargement or nocturia.

The study found that over half of the patients with an enlarged prostate may have a sleep disorder, which could actually be the reason for nocturia, rather than the enlarged prostate.

Researcher Dr. Howard Tandeter said, “If nocturia severity in BPE [benign prostate enlargement] patients is actually a pre-existing sleep disorder, this can now be treated and help improve patients’ quality of life. Even among those patients with well-defined medical reasons for nocturia, sleep disorders may still be found as the source of most awakenings from sleep. Therefore, the diagnosis of a sleep disorder should be seriously considered whenever a patient reports frequent awakenings from sleep to urinate, since the problem is treatable.”

Tips to relieve symptoms of enlarged prostate

Depending on the size of the prostate and the associated symptoms, there are many different treatment options available.

For example:


  • Surgery
  • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) – a scope removes the center of the prostate only leaving the outside
  • Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP) – cuts are made in the prostate gland to allow easier urination
  • Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) – electrodes destroy the inner part of the prostate, shrinking it and improving urination
  • Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA) – radio waves destroy excess prostate tissue that blocks urine flow
  • Laser therapy
  • Prostate lift

Although you may not be able to prevent the enlargement of your prostate, implementing the following measures can help ease symptoms and improve prostate health.

  • Reduce beverage consumption in the evening to minimize the urge to urinate at night
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Go to the bathroom and relieve your bladder the moment you feel the urge
  • Urinate at regular times
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • Keep your body temperature warm – cold temperatures promote urine retention

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Related Reading:

Enlarged uvula can lead to snoring and obstructive sleep apnea

Urinary incontinence in men: Causes, symptoms, and treatment


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