Sleep Enuresis or Nocturnal Enuresis is generally known as Bedwetting. This is an individual’s inability to properly prevent urination while asleep. In children, this is the occurrence of urination in sleep at least two times per month while an adult will only need to experience it once each month to be diagnosed with Sleep Enuresis.
Doctors will usually consider a bedwetting child to be a girl who is older than four and a boy who is over the age of five. As children grow older, the occurrence of bedwetting will usually decline.
Only about 10% of six year olds will experience this condition with roughly 3% of 14 year olds still wetting the bed.
Adults suffer from Sleep Enuresis as well, but in very small numbers. Enuresis is considered to be primary if the individual doesn’t have dry nights or their nights are only occasionally dry. If considerable periods of dry nights pass between bedwetting episodes, the condition is considered secondary.
Most people who have Sleep Enuresis will show no other symptoms other than wetting the bed. However, if concerns with the kidney or nervous system are present, additional symptoms may appear, such as:
- Frequent urination
- Burning and urgency when urinating
- Straining to urinate
- Pink or cloudy urine with occasional blood spots in underwear
Often bedwetting will run in the family and the child will have a similar experience that a parent had when they were younger. In cases where a child has Attention Deficit Disorder or a learning disability, they may have an increase probability of bedwetting. Children with allergies also have a higher occurrence of Enuresis than the general population.
Sleep Enuresis may also be caused by:
- Production of large amounts of urine at night
- The inability to hold urine through the night
- Habitually ignoring the need to go to the bathroom
- Urinary tract infections or pinworms
- Abnormality of organs
- Neurological concerns
- Emotional problems
These are just some of the many causes that can be linked to Sleep Enuresis. In many cases, especially in children, the condition will eventually go away naturally over time.
To treat this condition, the best thing you can do is to modify your habits before bedtime. You can start by reducing the amount of fluids you consume during the last few hours before you go to sleep.
All citrus products should be avoided and if you notice certain foods or beverages increase your experience with Sleep Enuresis, you will want to limit or avoid them at night as well.
In most cases, behavioral treatment will be a safer and more effective treatment option. While it can take longer to produce results, the improvement is going to be longer lasting.
Behavioral therapy for children
- Retention Control Training: A child is trained to hold their urine a few minutes longer each time they need to go. You can slowly add time to each restroom break until your child has strengthened the muscle that helps to control urination. When handled under the direction of a doctor, this can be a very useful practice that will get significant results.
- Night-lifting: For this method, you will wake the child periodically through the night. By teaching your child to get up and go to the bathroom several times, they are more likely to make it through the night without experiencing bedwetting.
- Moisture alarm: The moisture alarm can be a very successful tool when it comes to stopping bedwetting. With this tool, your child will be woken up if the pad gets wet. This also helps your child to stay dry.
- Hypnosis: Hypnosis is another effective treatment. This process involves your child listening to a tape that repeats instructions to program information in your child’s brain. This helps your child to respond more appropriately when their bladder is full.
Medication for adults
Medications and hormone therapy are available for adults. If you decide to go this route, you will want to consult with your doctor about the approach that will be the most effective for you. Some of the most common types of medication that you may be prescribed, include:
Each medication has its own benefit and you will want to discuss the possible risks and side effects with your healthcare provider. However, since these medications have proven to be very effective over the years, they are certainly worth considering.
You should note that medication therapy is often coupled with counseling sessions. Counseling is very effective for both psychological and stress caused bedwetting. Keep this in mind when you take the first steps to treat Sleep Enuresis.
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