Exercising can reduce those nocturnal visits to the toilet

Exercising can reduce those nocturnal visits to the toilet

Read about the author Samantha Evans

According to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise led by a researcher at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, men who exercise infrequently are more likely to wake up at night to urinate, a condition known as nocturia (Wolin et al 2014).

Nocturia is the most common lower urinary tract symptom in men. Nocturia is defined as waking two or three times during the night to pee and severe nocturia is defined as waking three or more time to urinate.

It can be very stressful for both the man and his partner who may have their sleep disturbed each time the man gets up during the night to urinate. Sleep deprivation can be harmful to health and impact upon your life in many ways, leaving you too tired to function or concentrate. It can also impact upon your relationship.

Often menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and inability to sleep can lead to both partners becoming sleep derived.

The need to urinate may be caused by an enlarged prostate known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). An enlarged prostate can press on the urethra, causing the urge to pee. Other causes may be due to over production of urine, low bladder capacity and sleep disturbances. Being overweight can lead to sleep apnoea whereby the person stops breathing for short periods of time which can wake them up as well as increasing snoring which can be disruptive to sleep.

Wolin and her colleagues analysed information from a larger, ongoing clinical trial called the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO). Men between the ages of 55-74 years were eligible for the trial and included 28,404 men who already had prevalent symptoms of BPH (prevalent group) and 4,710 men who had newly developed BPH (incident group).

Among the men in the incident group, those who were physically active one or more hours each week were 13% less likely to report nocturia and 34% less likely to report severe nocturia than compared with men who took no physical exercise. Even low to moderate-intensity physical activity, such as walking regularly at a moderate pace, yielded benefits.

The benefits of exercising are huge by reducing body size, improving quality of sleep, decreasing stress levels and promoting better overall health and well-being. Wolin et al believes that further research in needed in this area, concentrating more on the amount of physical activity necessary to help reduce this problem.