Sleep Apnea and IC

I would have never thought that treating my sleep apnea would improve my IC symptoms.  I was at the point where I was waking up every 1 to 2 hours to use the bathroom.  I was always completely exhausted both physically and mentally.  The only 1542661801601thing I could think of was when was my next opportunity to sleep.  I never felt rested even if I took naps during the day.  And “yes” I said naps [plural] each day.  I was trying to work full-time, and parent two children while being fatigued 24/7.

How did I get diagnosed with sleep apnea?  At one of my dental appointments, the hygienist suspected that I might have sleep apnea because I was grinding my teeth at night.  I also had a weird snoring pattern.  I would sort of gasp for air in one quick “sputter” or breathe.  I mentioned this to my doctor, and he suggested I have a sleep study done.  When the sleep center called to schedule my evaluation, I was told I would have to spend the night in their facility with probes on me.  I thought that there was no way I was going to do that because I got up every hour or so to go to the bathroom.  I ended up not doing the sleep study at that time.  Months later, I was desperate for sleep, and followed through with the sleep study; however, this doctor sent you home with a device and other diagnostic probes, leads and wires.

The test results showed that I had mild to moderate sleep apnea.  I purchased an APAP or Automatic Positive Airway Pressure device.  The difference this device has made in my life is remarkable.  Now, I usually go to the bathroom 2 times a night, and when I wake up I feel completely rested.  I guess when you think about sleep and IC, this connection does make sense. 

Sleep is “essential… because it contributes significantly to the restoration and recuperation of physical and mental functioning [Alis Kotler, Judith Reishtein, Patricia Shewokis © 2011 Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates Urologic Nursing, pp. 159-165, 172].

My body never had a chance to replenish or recover from the day because I was never getting quality, deep sleep.  I still have IC; however, my nights are more restful.  There is a negative aspect to not waking up during the night.  When I do get up in the morning, my bladder pain level tends to be high because I have not emptied my bladder which then causes spasms.  The trade off of getting a good night’s sleep is worth the pain.  I grab an ice pack to help ease the pain, and I move forward with my day.


    1. Diane – Getting the CPAP machine was life changing. No joke. I was physically and mentally exhausted from lack of quality sleep, and again my sleep apnea was mild to moderate. The mask 😷 does require some getting use to but it is worth the effort. Start by wearing the mask for an hour watching tv then increase your time. I don’t even notice it anymore. Let me know how it works out for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have something in common with you… going to the toilet often and it’s because of my fibroids pressing on my bladder unfortunately but operation have side effects and I am not ready for it. I am glad you can now sleep better. I can understand not having a good sleep really is a pain itself.

    Liked by 1 person

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