Myths and Facts about Bed Wetting

There are many myths surrounding bed wetting. Let’s take a look at them and then dispel the fallacies with the truth.

Myth- Children who wet the bed are lazy.

Fact- Laziness has nothing whatsoever to do with bed wetting. Bed wetting is an involuntary problem. Many bed wetters are very deep sleepers who do not awaken when their brain receives the message that their bladder needs to be emptied. It can greatly affects a child’s self esteem to be called lazy because of bed wetting.

Myth- Consuming too many liquids before bedtime can cause bedwetting.

Fact- It is a good idea to limit the amount of liquids a child consumes before bedtime, in particular those full of caffeine. However this alone is not alone as consuming too many fluids is not the cause of bed wetting.

Myth- Bedwetters are children with deep-seated emotional or psychological problems.

Fact- This is very rarely the case. Bedwetters are normal, healthy children who have not yet developed nighttime bladder control. However psychological problems can result due to the bed wetting. This behavior can cause a child humiliation and can wreck havoc on one’s level of self-esteem. There is a form of bed wetting known as secondary enuresis whereby a child who is having emotional issues such as problems at school, the death of a family member, etc. may begin wetting their bed due to the stressful situation.

Myth- Putting diapers or disposable underpants on a bedwetting child will only prolong the bedwetting habit.

Fact- Diapers or disposable underwear will not prolong bedwetting but are instead a way to assure that a child does not wake up in the morning feeling both wet and cold. This is also a way to cut down on the amount of laundry that needs to be done on a regular basis and will prevent sheets from having to be changed during the course of the night. Wearing disposable underwear is for the comfort of the bed wetter and has no effect on when the behavior will be over.

Other bedwetting facts worth being aware of:

  • Bed wetting seems to have a genetic connection. Studies have proven that three out of every four bedwetters came from a family where there was a history of it.
  • Most children outgrow the deep sleep that causes them to not be aware of the “internal signal to urinate.”
  • Some children who are bedwetters have a bladder that is not “anatomically smaller” than other people but is instead “functionally smaller.” What this means is that they are not aware that their bladder is full and needs to be emptied until after there has been an accident.
  • Some children who wet their beds “produce insufficient amounts of the hormone that tells the kidneys to make less urine while they sleep; as a result their bodies make more urine.”
  • Although it is not terribly common, there are medical problems that can cause bed wetting. Some of these problems include bladder infections, diabetes, constipation and spinal cord abnormalities. Of these conditions constipation is the most common medical reasons for bed wetting to develop.