Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software Tips to Help a BedwetterSleep Source

Tips to Help a Bedwetter

Posted On March 15, 2014
March 15, 2014

Picture this scene: It’s spring break and the family is about to embark on a much-needed family vacation. For weeks, everyone has been excited with anticipation to sail away on a Disney Cruise ship. But on the morning you are scheduled to leave, your 8-year-old son wakes up with a frown on his face and his cheeks wet with streaked tears. What could be wrong? Sheets and pajamas are wet but not with sweat. Yes, once again, he has wet the bed. For those parents who have a child that wakes up with urine-laden sheets and clothing, we have tips to help a bedwetter.

Bedwetting: Not a Sign of Poor Toilet Training

Many people are under the false impression that when a child wets his or her bed it is a sign of poor potty training. Or they might think the child is lazy. Both are myths. If occurring when the child is younger than seven, bedwetting (also known as nocturnal enuresis or nighttime incontinence) is frequently nothing more than normal childhood development. For the most part, the last step in complete toilet training is overnight dryness. In addition, it is a fairly common occurrence with over 5 million children in the United States being affected. After the age of seven, there might be cause for concern if bedwetting occurs more than twice a month. In these instances, your child might have developed a bladder control problem.

Bedwetting can be categorized into two different types: primary and secondary. With primary bedwetting, the child has never—or at least not on a regular basis—had a dry bed overnight. The cause is high production of urine at night without the child experiencing a brain signal alert that his or her bladder is full. On the other hand, secondary bedwetting occurs after the child has been dry overnight for 6 months. In this case, the underlying reason can be physical, emotional or evolve due to a change in sleep pattern.

Although bedwetting might seem like the end of the world and cause much anguish in a household, truth be told, most children outgrow involuntary urination when they sleep. If not, it is best to see a physician as there might be an underlying medical cause. Some of the indications that it is time to make that appointment are the following:

  • Painful urination, snoring, excessive thirst and pink urine accompany bedwetting, which can mean that your child has a urinary tract infection, sleep apnea, or diabetes, to name a few.
  • After being dry overnight for some time, bedwetting begins again.
  • Child is still wetting the bed after age 7.

Studies have shown that there is actually a genetic predisposition to bedwetting as it tends to run in families. In fact, three out of four children who wet their bed have a first-degree relative that was a bedwetter. Chromosomes 8, 12 and 13 have been identified as culprits.

Tips to Help Stop Bedwetting

First and foremost, you need to be patient and give your child understanding so that he or she does not develop any emotional baggage or lose self-esteem from bedwetting. Make sure to let them know that bedwetting is common and they are not alone. Helpful is to follow a practice of positive reinforcement by rewarding your child for dry nights.

Here are some additional tips to help your bedwetter:

Keep a journal: It is helpful to keep track of your child’s urination habits during the day and night. It is a good idea to include both food and fluid intake, and timing for each. Also keep track of sleep habits, i.e. time to bed and rise.

Bladder training: Try to get your child into a set schedule to visit the bathroom, day and night. Or at the very least, your child should visit the bathroom as soon as he or she gets the urge to urinate. It is important to encourage them to not go for long stretches of time holding urine. Your child can also learn stretching exercises that can assist in training the bladder to hold more urine.

Do not restrict fluid intake to excess but rather you can limit beverages a few hours before going to sleep. And lastly, have your child empty his or her bladder right before bedtime.

Moisture alarms: You can opt to use an alarm that will wake your child (or even yourself) when urination starts in the middle of the night. The alarm is meant to trigger the child to awaken and head over to use the bathroom. Successful alarm training to help lessen and stop bedwetting does not happen overnight. Actually, it can take several months and is proven to be 75 percent effective when used consistently.

Medication: Your doctor might prescribe a mediation to help treat your child’s bedwetting. There are several options that have been successful. First, there is desmopressiomn (DDAVP) that works by decreasing urine production at night and can be used on a short-term or long-term basis. The other drug that is routinely prescribed is imipramine (a tricyclic antidepressant) but with its effective use to combat bedwetting comes side effects. Hence, imipramine is prescribed as a last resort when most other treatment options have failed.

If you have sleep disorder and would like to learn more about available treatment options, we can help. Please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a free consultation.

About Phoebe Ochman

Phoebe Ochman, Director of Communications for Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America, manages all content and communications for the company.
  • Make Sleep a Priority in 2016

    Dec 30, 2015
    You say you want to bring in the New Year with a positive life change that will benefit you and your health. One of the most beneficial resolutions to your overall health is changing your sleep habits. For years you have heard that sleep is important, but have you really executed a plan to make […]

    Living With Panic Disorder and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Dec 17, 2015
    The sun is shining and the sky is blue. Keeping the top down on your convertible is a foregone conclusion. But wait, your palms become clammy, your heart starts to race, you can’t quite catch your breath and you have a sense of unexplainable danger. What is wrong? You might have just experienced a panic […]

    Somniphobia: Can People be Too Scared to Sleep?

    Nov 04, 2015
    You are addicted. You admit it. You can’t seem to get enough of the hit TV shows American Horror Story or The Walking Dead. After binge watching for 6 hours, you have finally unlocked somniphobia. But somniphobia isn’t just about getting to the end of a new series. Somniphobia is something real to people who […]

    Incidence of Gout Double for Sleep Apnea Sufferers

    Oct 29, 2015
    A recent study out of the UK has shown risk of developing gout was up to 60% higher among patients with sleep apnea versus individuals without sleep apnea. Gout is a complex form of arthritis that causes the body to make an excess of uric acid causing pain at the base of the joints. Sleep […]
  • About Us

    Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America was founded for the sole purpose of providing superior sleep solutions for our patients to improve their overall quality of life.

    We seek to gain a thorough understanding of each patient’s sleep disorder and individual medical needs in order to provide the best care and treatment solutions available to effectively treat their sleep condition.
  • What We Do

    We offer a unique and comprehensive form of sleep apnea treatment that effectively seeks to cure sleep apnea over the course of an average of 6 treatments.

    Having the ability to significantly impact our patients’ lives for the better through improved sleep and minimizing health risks is something that we take great pride in. Please take a look at what our patients are saying and view some of our Sleep Apnea success stories.
  • Contact Us


    Email (required)


Copyright © 2013 Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America | Website | Powered by AHP