How is Bed-wetting Related to Sleep-Disordered Breathing?

Child sleeping and wet the bed
Up to a certain point in a child’s development, bed-wetting can be a fairly normal occurrence, because the kidneys, the bladder, and many of the associated muscles have simply not developed fully, so that full control is not really possible. However, after about age 6, development should be complete and bed-wetting no longer an issue. For some children though, the problem persists beyond this age, and one of the major causes can be sleep disordered breathing.  

How does sleep disordered breathing lead to bedwetting?
There are several reasons why your child not sleeping well at night can trigger episodes of bed-wetting. During deep sleep, a hormone is produced which decreases bladder production, so when there’s a lack of deep sleep, less of that hormone is produced, and the child will have increased urine production and a greater need to urinate at night. 

If sleep is frequently disrupted, it causes the heart rate to become elevated, and that leads to an increase in blood pressure. One of the ways that the body automatically attempts to lower blood pressure is through the elimination of fluids, which leads to an increased need to urinate. It’s also true that when a child experiences sleep-disordered breathing, the brain does not function normally, and that causes the body to withdraw into a kind of protective mode. This causes some body activities, such as urination and bladder control, to be overlooked.

Signs of inadequate sleep
If you suspect your child is having issues with sleeping, there are some signs which you can look for, the first of which might be dark circles under the eyes. You might also observe daytime fatigue, or behavior issues such as unusual aggression or hyperactivity from your child. Sometimes an inability to focus can be a sign of poor sleeping habits at night as well, possibly leading to ADD/ADHD and/or academic challenges in school. 
Treatment for sleep-disordered bed-wetting 
If you think your child may be suffering from sleep-disordered bed-wetting, we urge you to contact us at the Breathing and Sleep Center in Colorado Springs, CO. We’ll be able to diagnose the issue and work with you on a program of treatment which should improve your child’s nightly sleeping, and hopefully eliminate or reduce the tendency for bed-wetting.


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