OAB and Fatigue: Get the Sleep You Need for Better Symptom Control
Overactive bladder (OAB) can bring on a number of discomforts that interfere with every aspect of your life, and fatigue can be easily overlooked. After all, you have physical, social and emotional challenges to work through every day, and simply controlling your symptoms can take a good deal of planning and flexibility.
However, sleep deprivation is not only common in OAB patients, but it’s also one of the most detrimental aspects when it comes to quality of life.
Experts suggest that average adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep, but when you live with OAB, that sleep probably comes in parcels. The problem when your sleep is punctuated with trips to the toilet is that small discomforts begin to build momentum, and before you know it, your body is performing far below its potential.
Nighttime Interruptions and Their Consequences
Many OAB patients struggle with nocturia, which is the need to get out of bed to urinate at least two times during the night. Unsurprisingly, this condition can lead to a number of discomforts during the waking hours, like low energy, chronic fatigue, irritability and poor immune function. If nocturia goes untreated for too long, OAB-related symptoms can worsen, and your quality of life can suffer in a number of significant ways:
Waking Often Interferes With Restorative Sleep
Every night, your body cycles through several different stages of sleep, and each stage is important for different reasons. The third and deepest phase of non-REM sleep is when blood is directed away from your brain and into your muscles, rebuilding tissue and re-energizing your body in preparation for the day ahead.
It follows that too many visits to the bathroom during the night will eventually interfere with these phases of rejuvenating sleep, and that can lead to chronic daytime drowsiness.
Lack of Sleep Can Compound Emotional Distress
OAB and depression are undoubtedly linked: one study found that 60 percent of OAB patients with urge incontinence experienced depression. But depression is also a known cause and effect of sleep deprivation; experts agree that a lack of sleep caused by another medical issue (such as OAB) will very likely make depression worse.
Low Energy and Fatigue Can Worsen Other OAB Symptoms
A chronic lack of quality sleep will guarantee sluggish mornings, daytime sleepiness and poor concentration. In turn, OAB sufferers who are starved for sleep will be more prone to falls and injuries, and they may find that work responsibilities and social life suffer more acutely.
Moreover, fatigue-induced forgetfulness can interfere with your OAB medication schedule and management.
Next page: available medications and practicing good sleep hygiene.