Parents will often describe their child that suffers from nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) as being a deep sleeper. They will tell stories about how their child will be soaked in the bed without even waking up. If the child is taken to the restroom to pee in the middle of the night she is usually not aware of what is taking place and she does not remember it in the morning. “My child is a sleep-walking zombie when I take her to the restroom in the middle of the night”.
Studies have shown that sleep disorders such as sleep apnea (not taking normal breathes or having difficulty breathing while sleeping) are more common in those that wet the bed. Enlarged tonsils are a known cause of sleep apnea and some physicians have gone as far as to recommend a tonsillectomy (the removal of tonsils in the throat) in children with bedwetting and sleep apnea. This is not standard practice, and should be viewed as potentially aggressive treatment for bedwetting.
Bedwetting alarms are used to wake a child during sleep when they wet. There is certainly some correlation between being a deep sleeper and not being aware of the need to wake up and use the restroom. It may be true that bedwetting is associated with deep
sleep, but most deep sleepers are not bedwetters. Most children are deep sleepers because they are very active during the day and their bodies burn a lot of energy. Deep sleep and sleep disorders are only part of the explanation as to why some children wet the bed.
Dr. Smith is board certified and he has authored or co-authored many articles, papers, chapters, and books in Urology and Pediatric Urology. His research has been presented throughout the world. Dr. Smith’s dedication to helping children with urologic problems inspired him to establish PottyMD.