Bedwetting, particularly when a child returns to wetting the bed after at least six months of dryness, can be confusing and upsetting for both parents and kids. Kids have no idea what's happening when they wet the bed; they simply wake up in the mess. They often feel embarrassed, and maybe even afraid. 

For many kids, if they're having difficulty staying dry overnight, doctors tell parents to wait, that kids will eventually outgrow this stage. What not all doctors realize is that bedwetting is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. 

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Obstructive sleep apnea in kids can lead to bedwetting by changing hormone balances. While we sleep, ADH, a hormone limits the amount of urine we create; in kids with OSA, this hormone is lower than it should be, while the hormone that encourages urine production (ANP) is higher. This leads to kids whose bladders fill earlier than they should, and kids don't wake to go to the bathroom. 


If your child is autistic, has epilepsy that requires two or more medications to control, or is experiencing behavior changes or dropping performance at school in supports, these are indications that they may be experiencing tiredness during the day. You should also be concerned if your child snores regularly, or if they are regularly difficult to wake up in the morning.


The good news is that once the OSA is treated, kids usually stop wetting the bed very quickly. In children, OSA is usually treated by removal of the tonsils and adenoids; in some situations, doctors may instead recommend a CPAP machine. 


Call our clinic today to schedule a complete sleep evaluation with a pediatric sleep specialist and take the first step towards a solid – and dry – night of sleep.