Bedwetting can be highly embarrassing, and so may stop people feeling confident to participate fully in many of the enjoyable activities of life. It can lead to avoiding school camps and holidays and present difficulties with friendships. It is important not to give up on trying to achieve a successful outcome. Bedwetting can be eliminated even in teenagers and adults.
Most adults sleep less deeply than children so some sufferers finally outgrow the bedwetting problem in their teenage years as their sleep becomes less deep. This is not the case for everyone. Research has found that about two percent of adults between the ages of sixteen and sixty wet the bed several nights each week.
Teenagers and adults who wet the bed fall into several different categories.
Bedwetting every night
In this group bedwetting has continued since childhood with no improvement in the teenage years. The causes are generally the same as for children. The main difference is that families have often tried a variety of approaches without success and may have given up hope of ever solving the bedwetting issue.
The teenager often appears not to care about the issue. They do care but have come to believe that nothing can help them. They have tried one thing after another and nothing has worked.
Trying one strategy at a time often leads to disappointment. It is essential to use a combination of strategies because it is highly likely that there are multiple causes, not just deep sleep, plus there is more chance of success by combining all the strategies together.
Bedwetting several nights each week
There has been some improvement since childhood but the bedwetting persists. This pattern is very common.
Once again, all the steps of a combination program need to be followed.
Although many teenagers and adults in this group will respond well to the initial steps on the Bedwetting Cured DVD it is likely that the occasional wet night will still occur unless the alarm is used as well.
With young children, a wet bed once a fortnight or once a month will seem like a very good result if the child was previously wetting every night. The occasional wet night is not acceptable with older children, teenagers or adults. This is where the alarm comes in.
The pad and bell alarm should be used as it does not have to be set up each night. The alarm mat can go under the fitted sheet. The alarm mat has a lead which plugs into the alarm sound box on the bedside table. The alarm sound box can be disconnected if friends are visiting.
A teenager or adult may find it hard to stick with a rigid program of drinking as set out on the DVD. When they are with friends they will want to have a few glasses of their favourite drink in the evening or may even be drinking alcohol.
To be able to live life as their friends do it is usually necessary to use the alarm as well as the steps on the DVD to achieve completely dry nights.
Aim for thirty dry nights then six months of dry nights. Once you have achieved this you will be feeling secure that the bedwetting has been resolved. The best method is to follow all the strategies on the Bedwetting Cured DVD and purchase one of the extremely loud Pad and Bell alarms.
Episodes of bedwetting
Some teenagers and adults go for long periods remaining dry, even weeks or months, only to have the bedwetting return. The reason for this is usually that the person is borderline. That is they have one or more of the causes of bedwetting either some of the time or to a minor degree.
As well as deep sleep, for example, they may have a relatively small bladder capacity. In the summer when they perspire more, less urine is produced so the bladder doesn’t fill up and they have a dry night.
In winter with less fluid lost through perspiration the bladder may become full during the night. As usual they sleep heavily and end up wetting the bed.
It could be any of the causes which change marginally e.g. constipation which comes and goes, consuming food and drink which increases urine production or moving house to a strange bed which may improve the situation only to have it return when back in the usual bed. Children, teenagers and adults who are borderline need to follow the whole program to eliminate the bedwetting entirely.
Bedwetting only after drinking alcohol
Alcohol suppresses vasopressin, one of the natural hormones, also called antidiuretic hormone.
Normally smaller amounts of this hormone are released during the day and increased amounts overnight leading to a larger volume of urine produced during the day and a smaller volume of urine produced at night.
After consuming alcohol the levels of this hormone drop, leading to an increase in urine production. The bladder will fill up more rapidly and may need to be emptied more frequently including during the night. If the person is a deep sleeper or the alcohol has made them sleep more deeply they may not wake when their bladder is full.
What is the best method of curing this problem? Start with the steps on the DVD and use a Pad and Bell alarm which can be left on the bed and is the loudest. There are several options, the loudest which is the iDry® alarm, the Malem Deluxe which can be recorded with a sound e.g. a mobile phone ringtone or voice. Test if you wake to an alarm on your mobile phone. The Malem Bedside alarm has sounds or can be set with a recordable message. It is louder than the Malem Deluxe alarm but not as loud as the iDry® alarm. Choose the best alarm for your circumstances. The alarm will help to make the connection between the bladder and the brain and eventually you will start to wake before wetting.
Some medication acts in a similar way to the hormone vasopressin. It is only available with a doctor′s prescription. We do not recommend using this as a first option as it generally will not cure the bedwetting. It is better to achieve a permanent solution naturally rather than be on lifelong medication.
(It is sometimes worth trying the medication for a few weeks to check if it would work in case of a holiday or school camp and this should be done well in advance).