Poor sleep quality is common among ambulatory women with urgency urinary incontinence, according to a new study. Increasing frequency of incontinence is associated with greater degree of sleep dysfunction.

The study examined baseline characteristics of 640 women (mean age 56 years) who had participated in a 12-week randomized controlled trial of pharmacotherapy for urgency-predominant urinary incontinence. They reported an average of 3.9 urgency incontinence episodes per day and 1.3 episodes of nocturia per night, William D. Winkelman, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues reported in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery (2018;24:76-81). At baseline, 57% had poor sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI] score greater than 5), and 17% reported daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale score greater than 10).

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An increase in total daily incontinence episodes, total daily urgency incontinence episodes, total daily micturitions, and moderate to severe urge sensations all were associated with higher self-report of poor sleep quality based on the PSQI. On multivariable analysis, greater frequency of nighttime urgency incontinence was associated with poor sleep quality, according to the investigators.


Winkelman WD, Warsi A, Huang AJ, et al. Sleep quality and daytime sleepiness among women with urgency predominant urinary incontinence. Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg. 2018;24:76-81).  doi: 10.1097/SPV.0000000000000547