Association of Sleep Disorders with Nocturia: A Systematic Review and Nominal Group Technique Consensus on Primary Care Assessment and Treatment

Emma Papworth, Shoba Dawson, Emily J Henderson, Sofia H Eriksson, Hugh Selsick, Jonathan Rees, Amy Gimson, Ed Strong, Nikki Cotterill, Alyson L Huntley, Marcus J Drake*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Sleep disorders affect responsiveness to sensory information and can cause nocturnal polyuria and reduced sleep depth; hence, these are potentially influential in understanding the mechanism of nocturia.

To report the systematic review (SR) and expert consensus for primary care management of nocturia in sleep disorders.

Evidence acquisition
Four databases were searched from January to April 2020. A total of 1658 titles and abstracts were screened, and 23 studies potentially applicable were included for full-text screening. The nominal group technique (NGT) was used to derive a consensus on recommendations for management using an expert panel with public involvement.

Evidence synthesis
Thirteen studies met the SR inclusion criteria, all of which studied obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), with ten evaluating the effect of continuous positive airway pressure. The NGT consensus discussed the assessment of OSA with other key sleep disorders, notably insomnia, restless legs syndrome/periodic limb movements of sleep, and parasomnias, including non–rapid eye movement (non-REM) parasomnias and REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD). The NGT considered that the use of screening questions to reach a clinical diagnosis is a sufficient basis for offering conservative therapy within primary care. Reasons for referral to a sleep clinic are suspected sleep disorder with substantially impaired daytime function despite conservative treatment. Suspected RBD should be referred, and if confirmed, neurology opinion is indicated. Referrals should follow local guidelines. Persisting nocturia is not currently considered an indication for referral to a sleep clinic.

Sleep disorders are potentially highly influential in nocturia, but are often overlooked.

Patient summary
People with sleep disorders can experience nocturia due to easy waking or increased bladder filling. We looked at published research, and information was limited to one form of sleep disturbance—obstructive sleep apnoea. We assembled a group of experts, to develop practical approaches for assessing and treating nocturia in the potentially relevant sleep disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-51
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Urology Focus
Issue number1
Early online date10 Jan 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding/Support and role of the sponsor: This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) programme (grant reference number NIHR RfPB PB-PG-1217-20034). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 European Association of Urology


  • Nocturia
  • Lower urinary tract symptoms
  • Sleep disorders
  • Nominal Group Technique


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