In Family, Family Portal, Health

What is Wetting the Bed for real?

What is Wetting the Bed and How Can an Individual Learn to Stop Wetting the Bed or Embrace Bedwetting as a Part of Growing Up?

Enuresis, the act of bed wetting, and its occurrence at night (nocturnal enuresis) and its effect on individuals of all ages, is a concern for the urological and general health of all healthy individuals. While it is not unusual, it has a stigma and is an unwanted act at any age. Measures can and should be taken to ensure that any known cause is discovered and dealt with to relieve the individual of this proclivity using available medical and behavioral tools.

Although anyone plagued with the habit wants to know how to stop bed wetting, bed-wetting can happen to people at any age for a variety of reasons, some medical, behavioral and/or psychological. It is of primary importance to discover the real reason for loss of bladder control by a usually continent, or toilet-trained person, before the individual is punished for the action. Bed wetting could be caused by something as simple as an infection of the urinary tract, or may be an underlying symptom of a more serious condition involving the individual’s muscles and muscle control, as bladder control relies on training the body’s muscles to exert control over emptying the bladder. If, due to a physiological condition, the individual can no longer control the muscles of the bladder, that individual will no longer have control of the bladder or of urination.

Upon the occurrence of a pattern of wetting the bed outside the scope of regular behavior, inquiry must first be made of whether there are physiological reasons for the behavior. Early detection of the onset of an infection may prove to be the reason for the wetting incidents. Absent physiological reasons associated with the behavior, emotional reasons should be examined. Often, changes in relationships, routines or other behavioral disruptions can affect even basic behaviors including toilet habits. Working closely with medical and behavioral professionals can often help with learning how to stop bed wetting.

Wetting the bed can occur at any age, for numerous reasons, but occurs most frequently with youngsters under six years of age.. Adults, too, wet the bed on occasion. It is important to not allow a child or adult to feel that he is the only person on earth who wets the bed. One of the difficulties encountered by having someone of any age in the house who wets the bed is that no one talks about the situation freely. It is not a popular topic at adult parties or children’ play days. Thus, families dealing with childhood bed wetting or adult bed wetting have no outlet to share struggles or successes or even helpful tips with others.

It is a certainty that anyone who wets the bed wants to learn how to make it through a night without wetting the bed and will do nearly anything to learn how to stop wetting the bed. Anyone who has dealt with waking up in a wet bed knows the discomfort of wet sheets and blankets. The sour smell which greets the sleeper upon awakening. And the discomfort, both emotional and physical, of being discovered in wet sheets by a sibling, parent, friend at a sleepover, or roommate at camp or school.

Usually, an individual who experiences bedwetting at night has good bladder control during waking hours and is fully “continent,” or able to control their urination. While bladder inconsistency is a hallmark of many diseases, there is usually a valid reason for wetting the bed that goes outside the scope of disease-caused incontinence. While diseases such as multiple sclerosis weaken muscles and cause loss of bladder or even bowel control, bedwetting can be caused and affected by numerous other factors as disparate as sleep habits, diet, and even nighttime behavior. Assessing all of those factors can provide insight into why an individual wets the bed and what steps can be taken to curb or cure the behavior.

Learning how to stop wetting the bed is the goal of bedwetters at any age. That goal being established, it is easier to talk about than to reach. For people of any age, it is important to look at nighttime rituals and behaviors to find the reason of some bed wetting behavior. Parents should be aware of their children’s nightly drinking habits. Minimizing the amount of liquid consumed within a few hours of the intended bedtime is a good start as bladder control issues are addressed. Minimizing the consumption of caffeine and carbonated drinks (think not only cokes, but also teas and even chocolate when regulating a small person’s caffeine intake. Even a mild urinary-tract infection can affect the way that urine is processed and the sensation of urine in the bladder).

The physical conditions surrounding the situation of adult bedwetting versus childhood bed wetting should also be considered, as the size of a child’s bladder is substantially smaller than an adult’s. This situation may come to an issue of volume of liquid as much as anything else for the individual.

Bed wetting in adults, especially, should be monitored with attention paid to outside forces including sexual encounters and infections from forces usually unavailable to children, including chemicals and exposures to chemical substances which the kidneys of even an adult may be unprepared to deal with. This includes fragrances, creams, and detergents which children may not be exposed to but which may impact adult bedwetting. Known causes of bedwetting such as unfamiliar chemicals, infections, reactions to medicines, and too much alcohol may prove to be the culprits causing bed wetting in adults and adolescents.

Beyond bed wetting: there are implications posed for the entire family of individuals who wet their beds. This is so whether the act is regular or infrequent. The behavioral pattern involved must be scrutinized to determine what sort of action should be taken to address the behavior. Managing the sanitary sleeping space of the wetter should be a priority, as urine can be abrasive to the skin after just a short time exposed to it, and may cause undetected discomfort because the child involved may be unaware of the cause of her discomfort.

The choice to seek professional help to help a pattern of consistent bedwetting is a difficult one for children or for adults experiencing bedwetting in themselves or a partner. Bedwetting within a mature relationship presents a significant obstacle to intimacy but not an insurmountable one as the relationship progresses. Honest dialog and reasonable mechanics to handle the requisite cleanup are necessary parts of that equation. Often, a third-party (M.D. or therapist can encourage communication and dialog between affected parties.

Bed wetting and sleep-overs are always a difficult subject for all involved. It is conceivable that a parent does not know of her child’s nocturnal bed wetting if it has a psychological cause that causes it to manifest itself when away from home, but usually, parents are aware of the problem. This should be addressed carefully so as not to traumatize the child or embarrass him.

Discretion versus secrecy is always a factor to be considered. No one wants to be labeled as a bed-wetter or pants wetter at any age, and that pejorative label should be avoided at all costs. On the other hand, it is unfair to ignore the situation and allow a child to go unprepared into a situation where he might wet himself or a strange bed.

Growing up dry and wanting to not be one of the many bed wetting adults after a childhood of bed wetting is always a welcome milestone. It is possible to outgrow bed wetting or deal with it medically so that it does not continue to have a chilling effect on an individual’s life until adulthood. Adults with medical situations may develop adult-onset bed wetting along with an unwelcome disease which causes it; this is often one of the causes of adult bed wetting. There are ways around and through these issues which must be faced and solved by the bed wetting adult to keep life as normal as possible. Medical intervention exists to enable even an incontinent adult to enjoy a dry night without too much difficulty; the necessary medical professionals must be consulted to ascertain the correct course to follow to ensure a dry, healthy night’s sleep for all involved.

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