Sleep is vital for good health and wellbeing.
We need an adequate amount of good night’s rest to function properly.
But at one point or another, most people experience sleeping problems.
Physical, medical, environmental, and many other factors influence your quality of sleep.
Even problems affecting your prostate gland can disturb your sleep pattern.
How do prostate issues influence your sleep, you wonder? Read on to find out.
How prostate issues can affect your sleep
The most common prostate issues are:
- Prostatitis (inflammation)
These problems induce a wide range of symptoms, including frequent urination, nocturia or nocturnal polyuria (urinating at night), blood in urine or semen, painful ejaculation, pain or burning during urination, dribbling of urine, decreased urine flow, among others.
The effects of prostate conditions aren’t limited to the gland itself. Symptoms can affect other aspects of a patient’s life, including sleep.
Scientists concluded repeated urination at night exhibits a major impact on sleep quality in patients with prostate enlargement and lower urinary tract symptoms. It’s also useful to mention that sleep disruption due to nocturia also caused other problems such as daytime fatigue and decreased levels of general wellbeing.
You see, frequent urination at night shortens sleep duration and may cause severe sleep problems. That happens due to sleep fragmentation.
You sleep for a short period of time, wake up to urinate, struggle to fall asleep again, and the cycle continues. It can also lead to immune suppression.
Besides BPH, other prostate tissue problems can affect the quality of sleep. Advanced prostate cancer is one example. Hormone therapy for prostate cancer, such as androgen deprivation therapy, can decrease the levels of sex hormones in the prostate cancer patient’s body.
Reduced levels of sex hormones can cause various symptoms, including depression and anxiety, thus making it difficult for a patient with prostate carcinogenesis to fall asleep.
For that reason, healthcare providers need to focus on managing the side effects of prostate cancer treatment, especially in cases of advanced disease, in order to address sleep problems in patients with this serious prostate disease.
Sleep and prostate cancer risk
It’s also useful to mention insufficient sleep can increase prostate cancer risk and thereby prostate cancer incidence. Conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea can induce an inflammatory response that results in prostate enlargement. In other words, the relationship between sleep and the prostate is more complicated than we think.
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How to improve your prostate problems so you can sleep better at night
While symptoms of prostate problems such as BPH and fatal prostate cancer jeopardize your sleep, there’s a lot you can do to get more good night’s rest. The main objective here is to address those symptoms first. Therefore, you need to be proactive.
The more frequently you get up during the night to urinate, the worse your sleep quality becomes. You can decrease the intensity or severity of nocturia with these tips:
Reduce fluid intake at night
Stay hydrated during the daytime, but try to limit fluid intake at night. In fact, you should avoid drinking anything two to four hours before your bedtime.
This doesn’t include only water, but caffeine and alcohol. You should strive to reduce caffeine and alcohol intake generally, not just at night, because they can irritate your bladder.
Avoid eating foods rich in water content at night
If you have multiple episodes of nocturia, it’s also wise to avoid consuming foods high in water content too much during the night.
These foods include melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, other acidic foods, and citrus fruits, among others.
Keep a food journal
Some foods can irritate your bladder and thereby increase the frequency of urination. It’s wise to keep a food journal so you can identify those foods. Some irritants may include chocolate, spicy foods, and artificial sweeteners.
Do Kegel exercises
Kegel exercises can strengthen pelvic floor muscles and produce a wide range of benefits such as improved bowel and bladder control, preventing premature ejaculation, helping improve erectile function, allowing the bladder to void completely, just to name a few.
To perform Kegels for men, you need to identify the pelvic floor muscles first. The best way to do it is to try and stop urine midstream.
The muscles you use to perform that action are pelvic floor muscles. Now, contract these muscles, hold for a few seconds, then release. Do these exercises several times during the day.
Retrain your bladder
A useful strategy to address nocturia and frequent urination are to “schedule” bathroom visits. Try to urinate at regular times, like every four to six hours during the day, to improve control over the overactive bladder.
This can be tricky at first, but a little bit of practice and learning how to retrain your bladder can go a long way.
7 natural ways to get better sleep
Besides managing prostate symptoms, you can do many other things to improve the quality of sleep.
Ideally, you should combine these approaches with the abovementioned tips to address prostate symptoms and doctor-recommended treatment for your condition.
So, other natural ways to get better sleep include:
1. Have a sleep schedule
Try to go to bed every night at the same time and wake up every morning at the same time as well. Strive to get seven to nine hours of sleep and adhere to your sleep schedule.
2. Create a calming environment
Your bedroom should be suitable for sleeping. Men usually don’t pay attention to the room setting, but it can help you get adequate sleep.
Your room should be cool, dark, and quiet. Avoid watching TV or using your phone in bed to eliminate any potential sleep disturbance.
3. Don’t take long naps
While power naps of up to 30 minutes are okay, you should avoid sleeping too long during the day.
4. Exercise regularly
Physical activity is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise can help with both your prostate problem and poor sleep.
5. Manage stress
Probably one of the most common culprits for sleep deprivation is stress. It can also aggravate your BPH symptoms.
Instead of ignoring stress, you should manage it proactively. Do something you find relaxing. For example, exercise is a great way to combat stress.
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Urinary symptoms associated with prostate conditions can affect the quality of sleep. Nocturia and frequent urination lead to sleep fragmentation, resulting in insufficient rest at night and increased daytime sleepiness.
The link between prostate and sleep requires more studies. Be proactive about managing these symptoms to improve the quality of your sleep.
Remember, a healthy lifestyle is vital. It can help you manage your prostate condition and also allow you to sleep properly.