Bedwetting Q & A

Common Questions about Bedwetting

At the Enuresis Treatment Clinic, bedwetting is treated as the result of an inherited deep sleep disorder rather than a physical or psychological condition. The Clinic uses biofeedback (using the wetting episode, the “biological”, and “feeding back” to the  cause…the sleep disorder), and behavioral conditioning to treat enuresis. Enuresis affects millions and millions of Americans, including over 2 million known adult enuretics.

Bedwetting can be caused by a physical problem, usually associated with a physical trauma or accident but that is very rare. An inherited deep sleep disorder is almost always the cause. Once you have the mindset that this is from a sleep disorder and NOT a physical or emotional problem, the whole thing begins to make sense.

Why is this happening at night?

Because the bedwetter can’t wake up!

Why do most bedwetters awaken tired & irritable in the morning?

Because they are not getting healthy sleep!

Why are concentration & focus so difficult for many bedwetters?

Because they are not getting healthy sleep! They spend the night in stage 4 of sleep which is oxygen deprived. If the brain is deprived of oxygen…the symptoms can be identical to ADD/ADHD.

Why is my bedwetter doing well in school even though he is a bedwetter?

Two types of bedwetters do well in school in spite of being a bedwetter. “Perfectionists”, because they are born to overcome obstacles, and those who awaken easily in the morning, because they have elevated into a lighter sleep as morning approaches. But, they still have the unhealthy sleep.

Why do many bedwetters experience daytime accidents, leaking, last minute rushing to the bathroom, and using the bathroom frequently?

Because they are sleeping so deeply at night that the muscle that is supposed to lock the urine inside the bladder is not being instructed by the brain to lock. Thus, it is weak from non use and, in some cases, cannot hold the urine during the day either!

Why does my bedwetter not have the daytime problems you describe?

There are many variables. If a bedwetter is physically active during the day, they may be using up most of the fluids in their body. Often they don’t drink much, live in a warm climate, sweat a lot, etc.

Why isn’t the medical community looking at this as a sleep disorder?

That one, we don’t have an answer for, but it’s getting much better. We have, in the past few years had much more interest and even referrals from doctors. We have always had doctors bring their own children to us.

What about sleep disorder clinics?

If someone put you in a strange room, in a strange bed, with electrodes on your head…would you sleep like you normally do? And, if they do diagnose the sleep disorder…you’re right back to the medical treatments again. Very frustrating!!

You say this is inherited…we don’t know of anyone in our families that have wet the bed.

The three most common symptoms of this sleep disorder are: bedwetting, sleepwalking and night terrors. Thus, you can inherit the deep sleep but the symptoms may differ. Also, some people inherit the sleep disorder and are nonsymptomatic. Keep in mind also that many will not discuss this with ANYONE! Not even family members. Also, we often will find that there are family members with sleep apnea which may well be the connection.


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