If your child is having a problem with bed wetting, a sleep doctor can help. While the two may not seem connected – they are. Most children should stop wetting the bed by the time they are six or seven because they will have learned how to properly control their urination as part of their potty training. Some kids take longer than others to potty train so if your child is in Kindergarten and still having issues, don’t worry.
If, however, your child is older than six or seven and still having problems, it is time to examine why. In the majority of these cases, the child continues to have bed wetting problems on a regular basis, almost like they have never fully learned how to control their bladder. Ten percent of the children that continue to wet their bed do so off and on. In these cases, there are studies that have indicated it may be due to emotional stress rather than a physical problem. Modern medicine is conflicted regarding what the reason for prolonged bed wetting is. This is perhaps, due to the fact that as with any condition it depends on the child and what issues they are struggling with.
As a sleep doctor, we have found that bedwetting is often a result of a child having difficulty breathing. Most parents don’t think about this but when a person doesn’t get enough oxygen, their sleep will be disturbed, they will be restless and have a difficult time waking up when they do eventually get sleep. Children with this issue will typically exhibit other signs as well. For example, they may snore very loudly, or their blankets and sheets may be tossed around from a restless night. In this situation, it is often a lack of oxygen that is to blame and the bedwetting is simply another sign of the condition.
As a sleep doctor, we can help by getting your child the oxygen they need while they sleep. We will start by conducting a study to determine if they are indeed getting less oxygen than they should. If this is the case, we will make an impression of their teeth and create a removable oral appliance that they can wear. This looks like a cross between a full retainer and set of dentures because it surrounds the upper and lower teeth then holds them in position. This is important because the lack of oxygen is often caused by the lower jaw falling backwards and the tongue with it. As such, the airway is blocked off and snoring, or bad sleep happens as a result. When an oral appliance is worn, the jaw and tongue are prevented from falling backward. While fairly simple, this non-invasive solution makes it possible to breathe properly.
When working with a sleep doctor, your child will breathe better and get an improved quality of rest. This may also solve any bed wetting problems that they are struggling with.