When one speaks of bedwetting, it is usually with reference to children and their inability to achieve nighttime dryness by a particular age. Various reasons such as bladder immaturity, stresses and so on could be the reasons for this.
However, bedwetting is something that occurs in adults as well. This inability to hold on to urine while asleep or Nocturnal enuresis, to give it its proper name, is something that an estimated 2% of adults suffer from! This condition is different from cases when a person has to awaken more than once in the middle of the night to go use the bathroom.
Types of Bedwetting in Adults
There are two types of adult bedwetting:
Primary nocturnal enuresis – This refers to persistent bedwetting that continues right from childhood, where nighttime dryness was never achieved for long than six months duration.
Adult onset or secondary enuresis – This kind of bedwetting begins at some point of time during adulthood after years of nighttime dryness.
Sleep Enuresis Causes or Reasons for Bedwetting in Adults
The reasons for bedwetting among adults could be many –
- Genetics is a strong determinant in bedwetting – when one or more parents have been bed wetters, a child has a 44% chance of being one whereas if parents are not enuretic, there is only a 15% chance of a person being a bedwetter.
- For whatever reasons, the nervous system is unable to process and relay the fact that the bladder is full.
- Alcohol consumption is known to increase production of urine.
- Caffeine is also a known diuretic and increased consumption of this by way of coffees, teas or sodas can contribute to urine production.
- Certain infections of the urinary tract, particularly the bladder, can cause the sort of incontinence that result in bedwetting.
- Sometimes it could simply be weakened muscles that cause bedwetting. Childbirth can weaken muscles, advance age, illness or surgery could all weaken muscles of the urethra and this could make a person unable to hold on to urine.
- Some types of cancer can also create pressure on the bladder that results in bedwetting. An enlarged prostate, a pregnancy or even being very overweight can put this sort of pressure on the bladder.
- While developmental delays and mental retardation as well as conditions such as ADHD are predictors of bedwetting among children, in adults depression or other mental illness such as Alzheimer’s disease could cause bedwetting.
- Certain medications and chronic constipation could also be responsible.
- Psychological causes such as abuse, stress, could be at the root of bedwetting.