Is bed wetting the sign of something more serious?

Is bed wetting the sign of something more serious?

Wetting the bed – also known medically as nocturnal enuresis – can be embarrassing, upsetting and have a detrimental effect on your confidence as it can happen at any time during sleep or napping.

Bed Wetting in Children

In many cases of bed wetting in children this is not a sign of anything serious, but simply a phase in their development. Children are most likely to wet the bed regularly (at least twice a week) aged four and a half1 and the chances of them wetting the bed decrease as they get older. If bed wetting is effecting your child’s social life, for example preventing them from going on trips or having sleepovers, then visit your GP for advice.

There are also a number of tips on how to help your child improve their bladder control in the SlumberSlumber Sleep Clinic.

Bed Wetting in Adults

If you are wetting the bed as an adult and are unsure why, it may be due to a number of causes; from drinking late at night, having an oversensitive bladder or a urinary tract infection. Take a look at the SlumberSlumber sleep clinic for more common causes of adult bed wetting.

Something more serious?

Diabetes 

Bed wetting can be a symptom of diabetes, for example. People with diabetes have abnormal blood sugar levels and to compensate for this the body creates lots of sugary urine, which is why diabetics are often also thirsty. Coupled with weak bladder control, this can lead to bed-wetting during sleep.

Prostate/bladder issues

Wetting the bed could also be a symptom of an enlarged prostate as a result of infection or cancer. Or you may have something physically wrong with your bladder, causing it to weaken.

Sleep apnoea

This can also lead to bed wetting as your brain focusses more on obtaining more oxygen than other, less important, bodily functions such as bladder control.

Bed wetting can often be managed or treated, but the first port of call is always your GP.

For more advice about other sleep-related issues visit the SlumberSlumber Sleep Clinic. For products that can help keep you dry at night visit our bed wetting product page.

Is bed wetting the sign of something more serious?

Wetting the bed – also known medically as nocturnal enuresis – can be embarrassing, upsetting and have a detrimental effect on your confidence as it can happen at any time during sleep or napping.Bed Wetting in ChildrenIn many cases of bed wetting in children this is...

5 Top Tips to conquer bed wetting in adults

Bed wetting is very much a taboo subject, particularly in adults and while it might not remove the embarrassment, it’s important to know that nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) is involuntary and not your fault. There are many factors that can contribute to an adult...

What should I do if my child is wetting the bed?

Firstly, don’t panic. Bed wetting is extremely common in children and many will grow out of it over time.The medical name for bed wetting is nocturnal enuresis and describes a condition where a person passes urine during the night and is most prevalent in...

I’m a grown adult – why am I wetting the bed?

Wetting the bed as an adult can be distressing, but it is much more common than you might think. 1% of adults1 will experience bed wetting (also known as nocturnal enuresis) in their lifetime and it can lead to sufferers limiting the activities they take part in such...

Bed Wetting: What is it and how can I stop it?

What is bed wetting? Nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting as it’s more commonly known can be very worrying, often causing frustration and embarrassment in both children and adults. Many people wet the bed, with one in every 1001 people affected...
5 Top Tips to conquer bed wetting in adults

5 Top Tips to conquer bed wetting in adults

Bed wetting is very much a taboo subject, particularly in adults and while it might not remove the embarrassment, it’s important to know that nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) is involuntary and not your fault.

There are many factors that can contribute to an adult experiencing nocturnal enuresis but the most important thing is knowing how to conquer it. Here are our top tips…

 

  1. Monitor your fluid intake

Limit your fluid intake a few hours before you plan to go to sleep. However, it’s important that you don’t completely cut back on your intake, as dehydration can irritate your bladder. Avoid drinking caffeinated and carbonated fluids at night.

 

  1. Regain bladder control

It’s important that you increase your bladder capacity. Try going to the toilet every hour during the day and then resist the need to go when it’s not scheduled. In order to help regain bladder control, gradually increase the time interval between toilet breaks.

 

  1. Visit the toilet before bedtime

If you frequently go to the toilet throughout the day, especially if this is due to an overactive bladder, this can carry on into the night causing you to wet the bed. Always remember to empty your bladder before you go to sleep.

 

  1. Keep dry during the night

Opt for waterproof bedding to give you peace of mind that you’ll have a comfortable and restful night’s sleep. Reusable waterproof bed pads are perfect for multiple uses from childhood bed wetting and pregnancy to old age and everything in between.

For more information and to learn about different waterproof bedding options, visit our product page.

 

  1. See your doctor

Many people are extremely embarrassed that they suffer from bed wetting and are therefore, often reluctant to speak to their Doctor. However, it’s crucial that you provide your GP with specific details so that the underlying problem can be identified and treated effectively.

It’s recommended that you keep a diary detailing your bed wetting patterns 2-3 weeks prior to visiting your doctor.

For more information about bed wetting and how to treat it visit our Sleep Clinic.

Is bed wetting the sign of something more serious?

Wetting the bed – also known medically as nocturnal enuresis – can be embarrassing, upsetting and have a detrimental effect on your confidence as it can happen at any time during sleep or napping.Bed Wetting in ChildrenIn many cases of bed wetting in children this is...

5 Top Tips to conquer bed wetting in adults

Bed wetting is very much a taboo subject, particularly in adults and while it might not remove the embarrassment, it’s important to know that nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) is involuntary and not your fault. There are many factors that can contribute to an adult...

What should I do if my child is wetting the bed?

Firstly, don’t panic. Bed wetting is extremely common in children and many will grow out of it over time.The medical name for bed wetting is nocturnal enuresis and describes a condition where a person passes urine during the night and is most prevalent in...

I’m a grown adult – why am I wetting the bed?

Wetting the bed as an adult can be distressing, but it is much more common than you might think. 1% of adults1 will experience bed wetting (also known as nocturnal enuresis) in their lifetime and it can lead to sufferers limiting the activities they take part in such...

Bed Wetting: What is it and how can I stop it?

What is bed wetting? Nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting as it’s more commonly known can be very worrying, often causing frustration and embarrassment in both children and adults. Many people wet the bed, with one in every 1001 people affected...
What should I do if my child is wetting the bed?

What should I do if my child is wetting the bed?

Firstly, don’t panic. Bed wetting is extremely common in children and many will grow out of it over time.

The medical name for bed wetting is nocturnal enuresis and describes a condition where a person passes urine during the night and is most prevalent in children.

What is causing my child’s bed-wetting?

There’s not always an obvious reason as to why your child is wetting the bed but it’s worth trying to identify the problem if you can. Here are some reasons to consider:

  • A child’s urinary bladder doesn’t have the strength to hold urine throughout the night
  • Urine production in a child is high at night
  • Suffering from emotional problems, such as stress or anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Sweet foods at night
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Diabetes
  • The child may not have been toilet trained yet
  • Excessive fluid intake throughout the evening
  • Delayed bladder maturation – lack of coordination between the bladder and the brain

Top tips to help your child stop bed wetting

Reward dry nights

Encouragement is key. Firstly encourage your child to empty their bladder before they get in to bed. Whenever your child doesn’t wet the bed encourage them by saying they are improving, they are growing up and that they are very good. Building up their confidence is an important step to combatting the problem.

Wake up your child

At night wake them up after 3 or 4 hours of sleep so they can go to the toilet and again early in the morning. Restrict excessive drink intake after 7pm.

Delay urination during the day

When your child needs the toilet in the day, it’s recommended that you distract them for a couple of minutes so that they have to wait. Eventually, your child will learn to control their bladder better.

Counselling

Counselling forms the main part of the treatment, as it’s essential that your child is assured that many other children also wet the bed but it’s only temporary.  Anxiety and feelings of guilt around the problem can make bed wetting worse.

Keeping your child dry at night

A simple measure you can take is to ensure that your child’s bed has a waterproof mattress cover or pad and pillow protectors. Find more about bedding options here.

If your child wets the bed, ask them to help you change the sheets. By doing this you can help them take responsibility for the bed wetting, as well as making them feel part of the solution rather than the problem.

It’s also a good idea to check whether your child is suffering from constipation, as this puts further pressure on the bladder. Bladder instability can cause night and day time accidents. If you do notice that your child isn’t having a daily bowel movement, increase their fluid and fibre intake. Apple juice, fruits, vegetables and whole grains greatly lower the risk of constipation.

If your child is over the age of five and is still frequently wetting the bed, it’s advised that you visit your doctor.

ERIC

Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence (ERIC) is a UK-based charity for people affected by bed wetting. The charity’s website provides useful information and advice for both children and parents.

For more information about bed-wetting visit our Sleep Clinic.

 

Is bed wetting the sign of something more serious?

Wetting the bed – also known medically as nocturnal enuresis – can be embarrassing, upsetting and have a detrimental effect on your confidence as it can happen at any time during sleep or napping.Bed Wetting in ChildrenIn many cases of bed wetting in children this is...

5 Top Tips to conquer bed wetting in adults

Bed wetting is very much a taboo subject, particularly in adults and while it might not remove the embarrassment, it’s important to know that nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) is involuntary and not your fault. There are many factors that can contribute to an adult...

What should I do if my child is wetting the bed?

Firstly, don’t panic. Bed wetting is extremely common in children and many will grow out of it over time.The medical name for bed wetting is nocturnal enuresis and describes a condition where a person passes urine during the night and is most prevalent in...

I’m a grown adult – why am I wetting the bed?

Wetting the bed as an adult can be distressing, but it is much more common than you might think. 1% of adults1 will experience bed wetting (also known as nocturnal enuresis) in their lifetime and it can lead to sufferers limiting the activities they take part in such...

Bed Wetting: What is it and how can I stop it?

What is bed wetting? Nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting as it’s more commonly known can be very worrying, often causing frustration and embarrassment in both children and adults. Many people wet the bed, with one in every 1001 people affected...
I’m a grown adult – why am I wetting the bed?

I’m a grown adult – why am I wetting the bed?

Wetting the bed as an adult can be distressing, but it is much more common than you might think. 1% of adults1 will experience bed wetting (also known as nocturnal enuresis) in their lifetime and it can lead to sufferers limiting the activities they take part in such as holidays, long journeys and sharing a bed with a partner.

Nocturnal enuresis / bed wetting can happen any time you fall asleep, whether that be in your own bed, on a sun lounger or even a long train journey!

Persistent adult bed wetting

If you’re wetting the bed persistently it could be due to two reasons:

  • Primary enuresis

If you’ve wet the bed continuously since childhood it’s likely that you have primary enuresis. There are many causes of primary enuresis, such as having a small volume functional bladder capacity, which means your brain thinks your bladder is full and signals to release when in fact it is only half full. Alternatively, you could have the opposite problem and find that your bladder over-fills because your brain does not produce enough antidiuretic hormone to tell your body to wake up and visit the bathroom.

You may have an overactive or unstable bladder or simply be a very heavy sleeper.

Many of these causes can be treated with help from your Doctor and relieved in the mean-time with mattress protectors and night pads.

  • Secondary enuresis

Regardless of whether you wet the bed as a child, if you have started wetting the bed again – or for the first time – as an adult then there is probably a secondary underlying cause to your bed wetting.

Common secondary causes include:

  • Diabetes
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Sleep Apnoea
  • Some medicines and sleeping tablets

If you have started wetting the bed as an adult it’s best to talk to your Doctor to help work out the reasons why.

Adult bed wetting – one time

If you’ve wet the bed just once or twice as an adult it could be down to a urinary tract infection or the types and amount of liquid that you drink.

Diuretic drinks such as caffeinated drinks and alcohol can irritate your bladder causing it to quickly produce more urine, drank late at night these could cause you to wet the bed.

If you’d like more information about bed wetting visit the SlumberSlumber Sleep Clinic and make an appointment with your GP if you’re feeling concerned.

For products that can help keep you dry at night visit our bed wetting product page.

Is bed wetting the sign of something more serious?

Wetting the bed – also known medically as nocturnal enuresis – can be embarrassing, upsetting and have a detrimental effect on your confidence as it can happen at any time during sleep or napping.Bed Wetting in ChildrenIn many cases of bed wetting in children this is...

5 Top Tips to conquer bed wetting in adults

Bed wetting is very much a taboo subject, particularly in adults and while it might not remove the embarrassment, it’s important to know that nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) is involuntary and not your fault. There are many factors that can contribute to an adult...

What should I do if my child is wetting the bed?

Firstly, don’t panic. Bed wetting is extremely common in children and many will grow out of it over time.The medical name for bed wetting is nocturnal enuresis and describes a condition where a person passes urine during the night and is most prevalent in...

I’m a grown adult – why am I wetting the bed?

Wetting the bed as an adult can be distressing, but it is much more common than you might think. 1% of adults1 will experience bed wetting (also known as nocturnal enuresis) in their lifetime and it can lead to sufferers limiting the activities they take part in such...

Bed Wetting: What is it and how can I stop it?

What is bed wetting? Nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting as it’s more commonly known can be very worrying, often causing frustration and embarrassment in both children and adults. Many people wet the bed, with one in every 1001 people affected...
Bed Wetting: What is it and how can I stop it?

Bed Wetting: What is it and how can I stop it?

What is bed wetting?

Nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting as it’s more commonly known can be very worrying, often causing frustration and embarrassment in both children and adults.

Many people wet the bed, with one in every 1001 people affected throughout their adult life, just with very few speaking about it. So if you’re suffering from nocturnal enuresis, just remember that you’re not alone. Some people wet the bed regularly from a young age, while others may stop during childhood and begin again in adulthood.

Bed wetting can be a very stressful experience, affecting relationships and damaging your self-esteem. It can cause practical problems too, including having to frequently change wet sheets and bedding. This in turn can have a huge impact on staying away overnight and going on holiday.

What causes bed wetting?

Causes of bed wetting can differ depending on how long you have suffered with it. However, in some cases you may just produce larger amounts of urine during the night. It could be related to any of the following:

Muscle and Nerve Control

The necessary nerve and muscle control for your bladder to work correctly may not have developed, meaning that your bladder muscle contracts and empties when it’s only half full of urine. The mechanisms that reduce urine production at night have not developed.

 Sleep apnoea

Since breathing during sleep can be difficult for those with sleep apnoea, the brain works harder to take in oxygen than it does to control other bodily functions, like bladder control. Find out more about sleep apnoea here.

Urine infection

If you have a urine infection this will irritate your bladder, making you need the toilet more frequently.

Diabetes

This is a condition which means your blood sugar is too high. Your kidneys produce lots of sugary urine to lower the sugar. You will pass more urine and if you have weak bladder control, you could suffer from bed wetting.

Alcohol, coffee or diuretic medicines

Diuretics are medicines that encourage the kidney to make more urine and are used to treat high blood pressure. It’s recommended that you avoid taking a diuretic at bedtime as you’ll need to pass urine during the night and this can cause bed wetting if you have weak bladder control. Alcohol and coffee have a similar effect, so it’s advised that you avoid them within 3 hours of bedtime.

Sleeping Tablets

Although sleeping tablets can improve your sleep, it can also mean that you don’t wake up when you have a full bladder, causing you to wet the bed.

Bed wetting in children

Most children outgrow bed-wetting by about seven years old. By this age, bladder control is stronger and fully developed. Lifestyle changes, medical treatment and support from family and friends can help children combat bed wetting.

In the UK it’s estimated that2:

  • 1 in 12 children, aged four and half years old wet the bed at least twice a week
  • 1 in 40 children at seven and half years old regularly wet the bed
  • At nine and half years old, 1 in 65 children wet the bed regularly

Read this article for help treating your child’s bed-wetting habits.

Adult bed wetting

It’s estimated that around 1 in 100 people continue to wet the bed into adulthood (primary enuresis), with some people starting to wet the bed when they come into adulthood (secondary enuresis).

This usually requires referral to a specialist such as a urologist (a specialist in treating conditions that affect the urinary system) or an incontinence adviser.

Learn more about adult bed wetting here.

Bedding essentials to keep you dry at night

Waterproof mattress and pillow protectors are essentials tools for coping with bedwetting.

Reusable Bed Pads take away the stress of having to change the whole bed. An absorbable bed pad is perfect for endless uses from pregnancy to old age and everything in between.

It’s also worth considering a bed wetting alarm. This involves wearing a small sensor on your underwear and an alarm on your pyjamas. If the sensor starts to get wet it simply sets off the alarm. Overtime, the alarm should help you recognise when you need to get up and go to the toilet.

Read more about waterproof bedding here.

What can I do to stop my bed wetting?

Firstly it’s important to remember that bed wetting is not your fault, so there is no need to feel guilty or embarrassed. If bed-wetting is happening frequently it’s important to see your doctor. You must clearly state that your problem is wetting the bed and don’t pass it off as cystitis or some other urine problem – the doctor’s guesswork doesn’t usually pay off! It’s recommended that you keep a diary detailing your bed wetting patterns 2-3 weeks prior to visiting your doctor.

Sometimes wetting the bed can be a sign of a more serious problem – read this article to find out when you should visit your GP.

Is bed wetting the sign of something more serious?

Wetting the bed – also known medically as nocturnal enuresis – can be embarrassing, upsetting and have a detrimental effect on your confidence as it can happen at any time during sleep or napping.Bed Wetting in ChildrenIn many cases of bed wetting in children this is...

5 Top Tips to conquer bed wetting in adults

Bed wetting is very much a taboo subject, particularly in adults and while it might not remove the embarrassment, it’s important to know that nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) is involuntary and not your fault. There are many factors that can contribute to an adult...

What should I do if my child is wetting the bed?

Firstly, don’t panic. Bed wetting is extremely common in children and many will grow out of it over time.The medical name for bed wetting is nocturnal enuresis and describes a condition where a person passes urine during the night and is most prevalent in...

I’m a grown adult – why am I wetting the bed?

Wetting the bed as an adult can be distressing, but it is much more common than you might think. 1% of adults1 will experience bed wetting (also known as nocturnal enuresis) in their lifetime and it can lead to sufferers limiting the activities they take part in such...

Bed Wetting: What is it and how can I stop it?

What is bed wetting? Nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting as it’s more commonly known can be very worrying, often causing frustration and embarrassment in both children and adults. Many people wet the bed, with one in every 1001 people affected...

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