Sleep Disordered Breathing and Bedwetting

Sleep Disordered Breathing and Bedwetting

Sleep Disordered Breathing and Bedwetting

A factor that could play a role in childhood enuresis is sleep apnoea or sleep disordered breathing. The most common cause of sleep apnoea in children is large adenoids, which are located behind the nasal passages. Most children with large adenoids snore, but do not have sleep apnoea. The few children who do develop sleep apnoea actually stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep.

So how does sleep apnoea cause bedwetting? You may already be wondering this. Sleep apnoea in children causes restless sleep, headaches, exhaustion and sleepiness the following morning and at school. Since they're so tired, they don't realize they need to urinate.This leads to bedwetting. 

It’s also believed that sleep apnoea can change the chemical balance in the body, especially the brain. Some doctors believe this might be what causes the bedwetting. To help you understand this, I’ve included a Youtube clip below, which explains what childhood sleep apnoea is and the signs to look out for. 

Personally for me and my family, we actually went through sleep apnoea with our youngest child Cooper when he was not quite 7 years old. He used to snore something fierce and his snoring would sometimes wake us from 2 rooms away. We thought nothing of it until we went on a camping trip in our caravan. At night we’d put the kids to bed then hubby and I would stay up for a hot drink. Cooper would start snoring then nothing. He’d actually stop breathing for a short while then jolt himself back up, half waking himself up from the shock! So we decided to record one of these episodes on our phone so we can re-play it back to our GP. As it turned out, Cooper’s dentist asked us if Cooper snores in his sleep because she noticed his enlarged tonsils. This then spurred us on to take him to the GP, was quickly referred to an ENT specialist and within 4 weeks had his adenoids and tonsils removed! 

Sleep disorders in kids not only leave them cranky and tired, but they may have all sorts of behavioral issues in school, at home, and in their social lives. 

If your child wets the bed regularly, is overtired and you suspect they may have untreated sleep apnea, I’d recommend book an appointment with your doctor. The doctor may recommend a sleep study or surgery to remove their adenoids and tonsils if sleep apnea is occurring.

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