Why is no one talking about the biggest cause of sleep disturbance? The need to pee at night.
Date: Mar 2019
Every other day there’s a report posted online about the risks of sleep deprivation – yet no one’s talking about the major reason people of all ages are struggling to sleep: nocturia
The term nocturia (derived from Latin nox, night, and Greek ούρα, urine), is generally used to describe a person who is waking to pass urine more frequently than normal, i.e. more than once per night. Its causes are varied and, in many patients, difficult to discern. To be identified as suffering from nocturia one excludes the last void before going to bed, but includes the first-morning urination if the urge to urinate woke the person. The figures below relate to those needing to urinate more than once a night and do not include those many, many additional people who need to go only the once!!
Although nocturia is little-known to the general public, a number of studies have demonstrated that more than 50% of men and women over the age of 60 have been measured to have nocturia in many communities and this increases significantly in the over 80`s. Symptoms can start as early as the 20`s and although nocturia rates are about the same for both genders, data shows that there is a higher prevalence in younger women than younger men and older men than older women.
Disturbed sleep, or insomnia, often goes hand in hand with nocturia, i.e., the sensation of a full bladder leading to the need to get up to urinate at night. Three-quarters of participants in a survey of US residents aged 18 years or over cited the need to go to the bathroom as the most frequent reason for nocturnal awakenings. Indeed, going to the toilet was the primary reason for night-time awakening across all age groups, and the proportion affected increased with age: 39.9% in those aged 18–44 years to 77.1% in those aged 65 or above. Other causes of night-time awakenings such as spontaneous awakening, being bothered by a bed partner, being awakened by a child, due to thirst or due to a dream were reported less frequently and their prevalence decreased with age. The need to pee at night really is the biggest cause of sleep disturbance...... and by a long way!
Uninterrupted sleep is necessary for the maintenance of physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The associated insomnia and sleep deprivation can cause exhaustion, changes in mood, daytime sleepiness, impaired productivity, fatigue, increased risk of accidents, and cognitive dysfunction. The economic costs associated with nocturia are enormous, It`s estimated to be over $100 billion per annum in the USA, based on lost productivity alone.
25% of falls that older individuals experience happen during the night, of which 25% occur while waking up to void. In addition, nocturia may also increase risk of mortality and morbidity. In Germany for example over 216,000 fractures are directly attributed to nocturia each year! Finally, there is some evidence to suggest that sleep deprivation may have an effect on the function of the immune system, blood pressure, heart attacks and stroke. There is also increasing evidence that poor/ interrupted sleep increases the risk of early dementia.
Enter a simple part solution: the Handi-P. An innovative 21st-century reinvention of the chamber pot to help you (and your partner) get back to sleep quicker and reduce injury risk.
The Handi-p has been designed to look like a vase so doesn’t need to be hidden away. It`s to be used sitting or standing by the bedside – and possibly without having to fully wake up. There’s no lid and so it’s permanently open, ready for use (no fumbling around in the dark) yet it remains spill-proof, odour-proof, noise-reducing and visible thanks to a removable glow-in-the-dark band round the neck. It`s hygienic and easy to empty and clean.
The normal average adult bladder discharges approximately 265 ml of urine per urination and the design of the Handi-P allows it to safely contain 650ml; With this amount inside, even if the unit is knocked over thanks to its unique design there is no spillage. If necessary, the Handi-p can hold a total of up to 1,400ml and remain incredibly stable.
The Handi-P is not a cure or treatment for nocturia although it may be a really useful accessory to lessen the unpleasant side effects of the main symptom, frequent urination. No more turning the lights on, opening and closing doors, getting cold, becoming disorientated, risking injury, or waking others.
A demonstration of its use and the rationale behind its design can be seen here: http://www.handi-p.com/
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Last revised: 11 March 2019
Next review: 11 March 2020