Wetting the bed – also known medically as Nocturnal Enuresis – can be embarrassing and upsetting. It can also 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) when they’re aged four and a half,1 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.
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. It’s always worth talking to your GP about anything that you’re not too sure of.
Something More Serious?
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.
Wetting the bed could also be a symptom of an enlarged prostate as a result of infection or cancer. You may also have something physically wrong with your bladder, causing it to weaken.
This can also lead to bed wetting, as your brain focuses on obtaining more oxygen rather 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.