Bed Wetting


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Bed-wetting is also known as ‘nocturnal enuresis’ and is something that is very common amongst children. Thus due to its commonness, even though it is a tedious task for many parents it is just accepted as something that disappears with age. Bed-wetting occurs due to the individual not waking up when their bladder is full or inability to contract their bladder, which is something that comes with age. With its natural occurrence in children up to eighteen months, and then less regularly but still common in children up to the age five, bed-wetting is not seen to be a parasomnia. However, if bed-wetting does occur after the age of five and more than twice a week, it does become a cause for concern. It is thought to be a hereditary activity, and most children for whom bed-wetting becomes an issue for will find that their parents also had the problem in childhood. Up to the age of eleven, double the number of boys will suffer with bed-wetting than girls.

Primary & Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis

Bed-wetting in children up to the age of five is known as primary nocturnal enuresis and is just thought to be due to natural development. After the age of five it becomes secondary nocturnal enuresis and also becomes more of a concern as it is often related to illness or psychological aspects. Some illnesses that are thought to sometimes cause secondary nocturnal enuresis are kidney failure, illnesses relating to bladder control and diabetes mellitus. Another common factor of secondary enuresis is an infection in the urinary tract. The sufferer will feel abdominal pain, and wetting will occur during the day too and a burning sensation may accompany urination.

Controlling & Treatment for Bed Wetting

If your child is bed-wetting then you can take several steps to try and reduce the chances of a bed-wetting incident. Try to encourage them to use the toilet before they go to bed and try to reduce the amount of fluid consumed an hour or so before bed. If your child normally wets the bed at a particular time during the night then it may be a good idea to wake your child up at this time and encourage them to use the toilet.

Whether it is a child or adult suffering from this parasomnia, there are treatments available; a commonly used device in these cases are urine alarms which will make a sound and rouse the bed-wetter at the first sign of leakage. There are some medications available and will be prescribed by your doctor should he/she feel it necessary, (these include imipramine and desmopressin). However, in most cases bed wetting will just disappear with age.


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