What is Bedwetting a Sign of?

Bedwetting can not only interrupt sleep, but can also cause anxiety and social embarrassment. Furthermore, prolonged bedwetting may impede participation in overnight activities like camping and sleepovers.

Children who had been sleeping through the night for some time can begin wetting the bed again if there is significant emotional stress or family changes, such as moving, grieving the loss of a loved one or welcoming a new sibling into their household.


Antidiuretic hormone (ADH)-mimicking medications are the go-to choice for treating bedwetting; this substance decreases urine production at night, thus decreasing chances of bedwetting episodes. Some doctors may also recommend sleeping aids that relax bladder muscles to further help decrease incidences. As medications have not yet been shown to be an effective cure for bedwetting, their use should only be utilized alongside behavioral treatments for best results.

Bedwetting or nocturnal enuresis usually subsides as children grow older; if it continues past late teenage years it could indicate health issues or emotional difficulties like stress, anxiety or trauma that need to be addressed immediately.

Nocturnal enuresis can take an enormous psychological toll on anyone affected, particularly children. Children may become embarrassed and ashamed at having wet sheets and clothing and may shy away from sleepovers and camps for fear of exposure. Parents can help by assuring children that accidents aren’t their responsibility and reminding them that they’re not alone in experiencing accidents.

An examination and history will help to pinpoint what’s causing bedwetting, followed by urinalysis to rule out urinary tract infections or any other medical problems, along with possible X-ray and/or ultrasound imaging of kidneys and bladder to search for abnormalities.

Bedwetting may be caused by deep sleep patterns that are common during adolescence and puberty, or it could be an indicator of an obstructive sleep apnea disorder like snoring. Once identified as its source, treatment options exist that can help reduce or even stop bedwetting altogether. Behavioral treatments typically involve improving sleep hygiene by restricting fluid consumption in the hours prior to bedtime and awakening regularly to go to the bathroom before sleeping. Bedwetting alarms and bed height adjustments may also assist. Switching up bedding styles and eliminating triggers that could trigger bedwetting such as caffeinated beverages or fragranced laundry detergents may also be effective solutions to nocturnal enuresis, such as scent-laden laundry detergents or caffeinated drinks. Surgery should only be considered once other non-invasive measures have failed.

Urinary Tract Infections

The bladder is a muscular receptacle used to store pee and urine. When full, nerves send signals to the brain telling it’s time to pee, while muscles contract and push out its contents. Wetting occurs when someone experiences primary nocturnal enuresis or bedwetting at night; when this happens they are termed bedwetters.

Wetting can occur for various reasons. One factor may be drinking too much fluids in the hours leading up to bedtime. Children should be encouraged to reduce their fluid consumption in the evening and not to urinate directly before going to sleep, and avoid caffeine or alcohol-containing beverages in their evening meals or beverages. Furthermore, they should learn to use the bathroom before going to sleep without spending too long there or risk having accidents in bed.

Some individuals may be more susceptible to bedwetting due to genetics or family history. They could have a reduced bladder capacity or be suffering from conditions that prevent their kidneys from slowing urine production, such as diabetes insipidus, overactive bladder (OAB) or a form of diabetes known as diabetes mellitus. Other health issues could also contribute, such as urinary tract infections, pelvic organ prolapses, neurological disorders or bladder/kidney stones as well as abnormalities of the urethra/ureters which lead to bedwetting.

If a child or teenager suddenly begins wetting the bed after being dry for some time, or an adult begins wetting, it is essential they visit their healthcare provider immediately. A physical exam and medical history review will be completed, along with urine or imaging tests to ascertain what caused it; your healthcare provider may suggest talking with a mental health professional if psychological/emotional factors may be at play; most people with bedwetting eventually grow out of it or find better treatments and won’t have to continue dealing with it forever.

Nervous System Disorders

Bedwetting is a normal part of childhood and, for most kids, will eventually disappear as they mature. But persistent bedwetting in adulthood could indicate medical issues like a urinary tract infection or abnormalities to kidney or bladder functions or health conditions affecting nervous system functions – not to mention stress or psychological causes such as depression.

Bed-wetting is much more common among boys than girls and affects 15% of 5-year-olds, 7% of 6-year-olds and 1-2% of adults.

Bedwetting is typically not serious and can usually be managed through home treatments and training; however, visiting a healthcare provider may be necessary in some instances. They will conduct a physical exam and review your complete medical history in order to ascertain what may be causing nocturnal enuresis, as well as ordering tests such as urine analysis or blood work in order to pinpoint its source and guide treatment accordingly.

Desmopressin, an ADH mimicking pill, may be taken just before sleeping to reduce urine production while asleep and reduce its volume while asleep. Studies have proven its efficacy with children aged five years or older; however it will not completely resolve nocturnal enuresis.

Other medications may increase the risk of bedwetting, including hypnotic and insomnia medications as well as some psychiatric medications like thioridazine and clozapine. A change in diet as well as reduced alcohol and caffeine consumption may also help alleviate this condition.

Bedwetting may be a telltale sign of health issues in either your nervous system or urinary tract, while in children this behavior could indicate obstructive sleep apnea caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids or issues with breathing muscles controlling breathing. Diabetes could also play a factor in producing large quantities of urine production.

Infants and toddlers’ brain-to-bladder connections have not fully formed yet, making it hard for them to control when their bladder empties; oftentimes releasing urine whenever it feels full. By contrast, older children and teens are usually able to control when their bladder empties, giving them better control when to empty. If a child experiences other urinary tract symptoms such as daytime incontinence or soiling their clothes then further tests will need to be completed by their physician.

Health Issues

Bedwetting may be an indicator of an underlying medical condition, so it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Nocturnal enuresis affects people of all ages although children tend to outgrow it over time. Adults may experience it due to urinary tract infection, sleep apnea, diabetes or issues with nervous systems or bladder muscles as well as medications and hormones contributing to it. A healthcare provider will conduct a physical exam and take an in-depth medical history before conducting tests such as urine analysis or blood workup to identify what caused this issue and make recommendations on what can be done to solve it.

Bedwetting should never be punished and children and teens with the condition should understand it is not their fault. Because brain-bladder connections don’t fully develop until later ages, it takes time for these youngsters to figure out how to control their bladder at night. Wetting children may feel embarrassed and ashamed and avoid social activities due to fear they will have an accident during sleepovers or social gatherings at night.

Medical professionals typically classify bedwetting into uncomplicated and complicated cases. Complications often include problems urinating, soiling or daytime urinary incontinence. Healthcare providers will usually perform a complete physical exam and order urinalysis tests to check for infection or other issues with the bladder, as well as ordering x-rays or ultrasound imaging to look for kidney issues or cysts; additionally X-rays and an ultrasound of kidneys/bladder are often performed to complete their diagnosis; blood tests as well as metabolic panels may also be useful to evaluate blood sugar/cholesterol levels/other health issues in addition to providing insights.

Children who wet the bed may benefit from medication to reduce urine production. Desmopressin* works well for many children and can significantly decrease wetting episodes. Before taking this medication, however, it’s essential that all side effects be discussed with a pharmacist; in particular if other health problems or drugs are being taken by them. A healthcare provider may prescribe low dose antidepressant therapy in order to help.