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Insomnia Worsened by Increased Nighttime Toilet Visits

August 30, 2007 | 67,523 views
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A Danish study team found that sleep-deprivation might lead to increased urinary output and more salt in the urine. Normally, the body follows a circadian rhythm, producing greater amounts of urine during the day, and lessened production at night, enabling uninterrupted sleep.

Sleep deprivation, however, was found to change the body’s blood flow, leading to:

    • More frequent bathroom breaks in the middle of the night
    • A reduced fall in nighttime blood pressure
    • Higher salt content in the urine 

The researchers speculate the reduced dip in nighttime blood pressure affects blood-pressure related substances, which in turn may keep the kidneys on a daytime schedule, hence the need to go to the bathroom during the night.

The American Physiological Society Press Release August 8, 2007

Reuters August 8, 2007

Science Daily August 8, 2007 

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Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Many problems can arise when your circadian rhythm is thrown out of whack by not getting enough sleep, and not sleeping well is clearly one of them. A vicious cycle develops as, the worse your insomnia is, the more it appears you may be waking up to urinate in the middle of the night. Not only will this make you feel immediately miserable, but it can also have very serious long-term implications for your health.

Previous research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Schools of Nursing and Medicine found a similar link. It suggested that sleep apnea, which can keep people from getting a good night's sleep, can increase nighttime voiding. Another study also found strong associations between sleep apnea symptoms and nighttime urination, and that sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed -- perhaps as much as 60 percent of the time. 

In addition, many of the subjects appeared to be somewhat dehydrated on arising. Several of our readers have reported that drinking more water, rather than less, prior to going to bed has in fact helped them with their nocturnal bathroom breaks. This is an interesting tie-in to the finding that many of the subjects with sleep apnea were dehydrated in the morning.

Of course, sleep apnea is only one cause of insomnia.

There are countless others, from stress to overactive adrenals to eye problems. Close to 40 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 15 reports they’ve experienced insomnia at least occasionally.

One of the most important things you can do for your health is to make sure you’re able to get a good night’s sleep. If you have trouble sleeping -- whether it’s accompanied by frequent bathroom stops or not -- I’d recommend you take a look at my 33 Secrets to a Good Night’s Sleep for all-natural, drug-free options.

As an aside, if you DO get up to use the bathroom during the night, please whatever you do, keep the light off. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your circadian rhythm and your pineal gland's production of melatonin and seratonin. As soon as you turn on that light in the bathroom, you will, for that night, immediately cease all production of the important sleep aid melatonin and this has been clearly shown to dramatically increase your risk of most cancers, but especially breast and prostate cancers.

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