Background: Nocturnal urination (nocturia) is such a commonplace occurrence in the lives of many older adults that it is frequently overlooked as a potential cause of sleep disturbance. Methods: We examined the prevalence of nocturia and examined its role in self-reported insomnia and poor sleep quality in a survey of 1424 elderly individuals, ages 55-84. Data were derived from a 2003 National Sleep Foundation telephone poll conducted in a representative sample of the United States population who underwent a 20-min structured telephone interview. Nocturia was not a focus of the survey, but data collected relevant to this topic allowed examination of relevant associations with sleep. Results: When inquired about in a checklist format, nocturia was listed as a self-perceived cause of nocturnal sleep "every night or almost every night" by 53% of the sample, which was over four times as frequently as the next most often cited cause of poor sleep, pain (12%). In multivariate logistic models, nocturia was an independent predictor both of self-reported insomnia (75% increased risk) and reduced sleep quality (71% increased risk), along with female gender and other medical and psychiatric conditions. Conclusions: Nocturia is a frequently overlooked cause of poor sleep in the elderly and may warrant targeted interventions. © 2008 Elsevier B.V.
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