Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is a common condition in which an individual unintentionally releases urine during sleep. Bedwetting can occur in both children and adults, and can have various causes, including:
- Genetics: Bedwetting can run in families, indicating a genetic component to the condition.
- Delayed development: Some children may experience bedwetting because their bladder has not yet developed the capacity to hold urine throughout the night.
- Mouth Breathing: open mouth, dry mouth, sleep disorders and sleep apnea are something I never considered when my daughter was having issues.
- Hormonal imbalance: Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) is a hormone that helps the body reduce urine production at night. Some individuals may have a hormonal imbalance contributing to bedwetting.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as urinary tract infections, constipation, or diabetes can contribute to bedwetting.
- Psychological factors: Stress, anxiety, and other emotional issues can also contribute to bedwetting.
- Certain medications: Some medications such as diuretics, sedatives, or antidepressants can increase urine production or affect bladder function, contributing to bedwetting.
It is important to note that bedwetting is not caused by laziness, stubbornness, or a lack of control of the bladder. It is a medical condition that can be effectively managed with appropriate treatment. Treatment options may include medications, bladder training exercises, lifestyle modifications, counseling, or myofunctional therapy depending on the underlying cause of bedwetting.
You’ve been trying everything to help your child or teen stop their bedwetting. I understand the frustration I am a parent of a child that suffered from the embarrassment of bedwetting. We tried everything. Even the alarm that wakes you up. Which makes no sense after using it. By the time the alarm goes off it’s too late. Waking everyone up and adding to the stress.
We were finally able to find the source of the issue, after years of heartbreak and frustration. Seems it was an inherited and disruptive sleep disorder and mouth breathing. By using exercise to change the tongue position and keep the lips closed, breathe through the nose and properly changing the pattern of sleep, the bedwetting ended permanently.
Once we corrected the mouth breathing and sleep pattern, we had dry nights. Poor quality sleep often affects daytime functioning as well– energy levels, mood, behavior. – that often produce symptoms that mimic ADD or ADHD.
How can you help a child that is bedwetting?
If your child is bedwetting, there are several things you can do to help them:
- Be supportive and reassuring: Bedwetting can be embarrassing and stressful for children. Let them know that bedwetting is a common condition and that it is not their fault.
- Encourage good bathroom habits: Encourage your child to use the bathroom regularly during the day, and to empty their bladder completely each time. Also, limit their fluid intake in the evening, especially before bedtime. This did not work for us. It is worth a try.
- Use waterproof bedding: Protect your child’s mattress with waterproof sheets or mattress covers, and provide them with absorbent underwear or pads to wear at night. We double sheeted the bed so we could just take off the top layer, throw it in the washing machine. The second layer was like the first and already to go.
- Encourage bladder training exercises: Bladder training exercises can help improve bladder control.
- Consider medication: In some cases, medication may be recommended to help manage bedwetting. Medications such as desmopressin or imipramine can help reduce urine production or improve bladder control. FYI if you choose this option, it also dries out the mouth, nose, and eyes. I am not a fan of this.
- Chiropractic adjustment:This option did help, It just did not eliminate it.
- Consult a healthcare professional: If bedwetting persists despite these interventions, it is important to consult a healthcare professional. They can help determine the underlying cause of the bedwetting and recommend appropriate treatment.
Many of the above did not work for us. I added them because they were options we were given. They are still common options given to parents today. I wished I had known about myofunctional therapy sooner.
I do not recommend having your child practice holding their urine for progressively longer periods of time during the day, and encourage them to wake up and use the bathroom during the night. These are things that were recommended to us. Things I tried as well. I was not bedwetting but I was getting up 2-3 times in the middle of the night to pee. Turns out I was mouth breathing also. Myofunctional therapy helped both of us.
Remember, bedwetting is a common condition that can be effectively managed with the right approach. With patience, support, and appropriate treatment, most children will outgrow bedwetting over time.
Everything changed for the better once we corrected the underlying sleep disorder.
Benefits we’ve seen over the years include:
- Healthy sleep for the first time each night, and waking up dry each and every morning!
- Eliminating the dark circles under the eyes
- Feeling more refreshed when waking
- Ability to focus better because we were both sleeping better
- Improved grades
- More pleasant social interactions, because she was not sleep deprived
- Higher self-esteem
- Increased well-being
- Increased levels of energy and/or decreased hyperactivity
- Ability to attend sleepovers without fear, anxiety or embarrassment
- Elimination or diminishment of ADD/ADHD symptoms – likely to eliminate the need for medication for some children
What we found does NOT CAUSE bedwetting that we were told contributed to it?
- Fluid consumption
- Toilet training mistakes
- Underdeveloped bladder
- A missing hormone
- Poor diet
- Physiological challenges
What does NOT CURE bedwetting at least for us?
- Alarms by themselves
- Pull-ups & Goodnites
- Mats / pads
- Restricting fluids
- Changes in diet
- Psychotherapy/ counseling
- Rewards or punishment
- Wakening your child in the middle of the night for trips to the bathroom
For us all of the above attempts to cure bedwetting only scratched the surface, or the results were temporary. Money and time were wasted; disappointment at the outcome. It’s heartbreaking for both the parents and the child.
Taking The First Step To Stopping Bedwetting!
First Step is a free Consultation with a myofunctional therapist so we can take a medical history, evaluate the situation, discuss your child’s habits, and then begin to design the right treatment plan to meet their particular needs and related symptoms.
Being properly informed is important. We need to dispel the numerous myths and misconceptions out there, and also provide you with specifics about our approach. Because you’ll then have the right information, you can clearly determine what treatment is the right fit for you.
Everything Changes For The Better
When you correct the underlying disorder, everything changes for the better. I had no idea we could use our own body and retrain muscles in our tongue and face to help stop bedwetting as well as other symptoms I noticed but did not think we related.
Because we know you have questions, we invite you to reach out to us for an 10-15 informational conversation. Allow us to provide you with some relief by knowing there’s legitimate help available. At that time, you may wish to schedule your Free Consultation. No obligation.
When retraining the brain and muscles to function properly we can put an end to suffering. You learn methodical and productive actions to take specific to your childs individual needs.
The Length Of Time
The average length of treatment is a minimum of 12 sessions that could take 3 months to a year. Factors that determine the length are consistency of implementation, the age, and ability to perform the exercises.
Important Note: We need enough time to work with patients to develop lasting habits. The younger the age of the patient, the sooner we can use their own growth and development.
You made need a team approach with other providers as well. everyone is different. what is the cause?
The Pivotal Factors Of Treatment
Pattern Correction – The central focus of our program is on habits.
Your child’s treatment plan is tailored to their brain and muscles.
Bedwetting As A Sleep Disorder
Ending chronic bedwetting is based upon the scientific conclusion that bedwetting-nocturnal enuresis-is caused by an inherited deep-sleep disorder.
Bedwetting Is A Parasomnia
Chronic bedwetting is classified as a parasomnia, which Johns Hopkins refers to as an under-recognized sleep disorder causing abnormal behavior in the night. This same sleep disorder causes sleep talking, sleepwalking, sleep paralysis, night terrors, and bruxism.
By permanently ending bedwetting by attending to the disorder, we are contributing to someone’s sense of self, their health and well-being, and how well they function on a daily basis. Healthy sleep and a dry bed will do that.
Dr. Roger Broughton’s Breakthrough Study
Dr. Broughton is a Professor Emeritus of Neurology and Neuroscience at the University of Ottawa. His study’s findings concluded that all bedwetters share a disordered deep-sleep pattern. Not restorative deep sleep, but rather the kind of sleep where someone doesn’t even hear a smoke alarm or feel an earthquake.
I am not the only one that talks about the connection to sleep.
The Bedwetting Cure™ based their program on Dr. Broughton’s study. His research has been focused on the dissociations between wakefulness and sleep. Imagine talking to someone who is fast asleep but responds as if awake, and after being awakened, has no recollection of the conversation. This is what it’s like for bedwetters.
The sleep study conducted by Dr. Broughton is titled, “Sleep Disorders: Disorders of Arousal? Enuresis, Somnambulism, and Nightmares Occur in Confusional States of Arousal, Not in Dreaming Sleep”.
As a result of his study, Dr. Broughton shows the difference between the normal sleep pattern and that of a bedwetter. In normal sleep, people fall slowly from Stage 1 (lightest sleep) into deeper stages, and then back to lighter stages where it’s easy to awaken. It’s cyclical.
A bedwetter falls quickly into deep sleep and stays there for longer periods.
You can also read Dr. Broughton’s abstract here.
A Normal Sleep Pattern Vs A Bedwetter’s Pattern
Sleep is a natural state of rest for the mind and body. A third of your life is spent sleeping. In fact, sleep is not a passive state. A lot goes on in your body during sleep, and your brain organizes and solidifies learning and memory which improves your concentration and promotes innovative and flexible thinking. Sleep strengthens your immune system and enables repair of your nervous system. A good night’s sleep relieves stress by quieting your nervous system and establishing a sense of well being. Sleep is where our body heals and repairs itself.
With bedwetting-nocturnal enuresis-a person may sleep for 10 hours, yet only have the experience of seven or eight hours. There is a compromise to the health and quality of their sleep, and that means they’re not always receiving the essential aspects and benefits expressed above.
- Sleep begins in stages 1 and 2, (theta sleep) and then progresses to 3 and 4, (delta). After stage 4 sleep is complete, stage 3 and then stage 2 are repeated before entering REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is where we dream. Once REM sleep is over, the body usually returns to stage 2. We then cycle through these stages approximately four or five times throughout the night. During the last one or two cycles, there is no delta sleep at all.
- On average, we enter the REM stage approximately 90 minutes after falling asleep. The first cycle of REM sleep might last only a short amount of time, but each cycle becomes longer. REM sleep can last up to an hour as sleep progresses. Good quality sleep requires both non-REM and REM sleep in uninterrupted cycles.
- In most studies, sleep electroencephalograms have demonstrated no differences or only nonspecific changes in children with and without nocturnal enuresis. When surveyed, however, parents consistently maintain that their child with nocturnal enuresis is a “deep sleeper,” compared with their offspring who are not bedwetters. Other surveys have found that children with nocturnal enuresis are more subject to “confused awakenings,” such as night terrors or sleepwalking than children who do not wet the bed. Source: American Family Physicians – 2003.
Someone who experiences bedwetting remains primarily in the deep Stage 4 sleep too long; therefore, they’re missing uninterrupted cycles and limiting REM dream sleep.
This compromises normal, healthy, and restful sleep. This is why we often see bedwetters with mood irregularities, ADD/ADHD symptoms, difficulty awakening in the morning, and struggles with schoolwork.
This sleep pattern also causes the disconnect between the brain and the bladder, which ultimately leads to bedwetting.
How We Create Lasting Results
Brain plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity, is a term that refers to the brain’s ability to change and adapt as a result of repeated experiences. Modern research has demonstrated that the brain continues to create new neural pathways and alter existing ones in order to adapt to new experiences, learn new information, and create new memories.
Practicing a behavior enables it to become automatic over time, and if you practice enough, the behavior becomes a habit. A new neural pathway was created.
What a bedwetter needs is to develop a new neural pathway in the brain to establish a proper pattern of sleep, and once that’s in place, the bedwetting is gone.
Get right to the core of the problem without using drugs or invasive procedures. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that less than 1% of all bedwetting cases is caused by a medical problem. There has never been a medical, psychological, or pharmacological remedy to this problem.
Many parents have expressed their concern over their child’s symptoms of ADD or ADHD. There is a direct correlation between their child’s poor quality of sleep and how they’re able to function during the day. This made perfect sense to me once I understood it.
Perhaps your child has been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD when actually the underlying problem is oxygen-deprivation and a sleep disorder, says Sharon Moore author of “Sleep Wrecked Kids.” I absolutely loved this book and again wish I has found it sooner.
Bedwetting is caused by an inherited or epigenetic sleep disorder, causing the bedwetter to get less sleep, which is an oxygen-deprived sleep disorder by nature. Thus, when a person is in this stage of sleep for extended periods of time such as with bedwetters–affecting the brain, bloodstream, muscles, and all other organs–the resulting symptoms can be identical to that of ADD/ADHD.
We have discovered that, in most cases, once the sleep disorder has been corrected and the bedwetting stops, the symptoms associated with ADD/ADHD dissipate. In some cases where there is a legitimate ADD/ADHD disability, the symptoms improve enough that medications can most likely be discontinued.
Bedwetting & Bowel Problems Seen In Children With ADHD
Children with ADHD may also tend to struggle with bedwetting and other bowel and urinary tract problems.
Dr. Barry Duel, assistant professor of urology and a specialist in childhood urological diseases at UCI Medical Center’s University Children’s Hospital, found that children with ADHD scored three times higher than non-ADHD children on a questionnaire that surveyed the delicate issues of pre-adolescent bedwetting, improper bowel control, and other challenges.
Bedwetting Drug Therapy – Warning!
Over the years, hundreds of families who have tried medication to end bedwetting have expressed their frustration especially when the drugs are often found to be ineffective, or, if effective at all, the bedwetting resumes automatically once the drugs are removed from their system.
Most disconcerting is the fact that these drugs are being prescribed for children, especially when it’s not effective for treating the underlying cause of bedwetting: the brain and bladder can’t make the connection to let you know the bladder is full, and then bedwetting occurs. So if you’re trying to treat bedwetting with drugs, you’re not treating the issue itself – you’re treating the symptom.
Moore says doctors in the United States prescribe drugs far too casually, often setting a patient up for big disappointment. Suggesting medication for bedwetting is the worst thing because not only is it potentially harmful, but someone may be led to believe the problem is gone, but ultimately it’s nothing more than a temporary fix.”
CAUTION – Top Five Methods That Don’t Work for us
- Take Medication – Bedwetting drugs, simply dehydrate the body. They’re known to be only a temporary fix—at best with side effects that are alarming.
Some doctors also prescribe Tofranil to treat bulimia, ADD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder.
It should NOT be used to treat bedwetting.
- Wait, It Will Go Away – If you have been playing the waiting game and think they will outgrow it, and they don’t they’re devastated. Additionally, throughout the years, they continued to experience poor quality sleep, and they usually encountered other challenges: Tiredness upon awakening, behavioral issues, grades dropping, anxiety, etc.
Important Note: If someone outgrows bedwetting, they’re left with the disordered pattern. This means they’ll potentially develop other symptoms associated with the disorder such as sleepwalking, sleep talking, sleep paralysis, night terrors, and bruxism.
- The Mat Alarm – This did not make sense at all. We know this because we tried it, and wasted your money.
- Restrict Fluids – Consumption of fluids is not a contributory factor to bedwetting. It did not work either.
- Waking your child up to go to the bathroom– This did not work either for us and made me tired too setting an alarm to wake me up to wake her up to go to the bathroom.
Constipation – We’ve discovered over the years that constipation is actually a symptom of bedwetting not a cause. It’s the result of weakened and desensitized pelvic floor muscles.