Adult Bedwetting: Tips for Sleeping Dry

by Alex James

The medical term for wetting the bed is nocturnal enuresis, and it most commonly affects young children. Adults are not immune to nighttime bedwetting, though. While enuresis isn’t something to be embarrassed about, it could indicate a problem with bladder control or another health issue. If you want to treat bedwetting effectively and reduce the likelihood of accidents at night, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause.

What is Nocturnal Enuresis?

Nighttime incontinence, also known as enuresis or bedwetting, occurs when a person unintentionally leaks urine while sleeping.

Remember that this is not the same as involuntary urination which occurs frequently in young children. Wetting the bed at night is a common problem in young children, particularly as they learn to manage bladder control during toilet training. However, adults may also experience nighttime wetting for a variety of reasons.

Depending on the underlying bladder dysfunction problem, there are two different medical terms for wetting the bed. Here are some explanations:

  • Primary Nocturnal Enuresis – Primary enuresis describes problems with unconscious urination that arise as an adult because sleep dryness was not attained during childhood.
  • Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis – Secondary enuresis entails problems with involuntary urination in which night-time wetting begins in late childhood or adulthood after sleep dryness has been achieved.

What causes bedwetting in adults?

Due to age-related bodily changes, the frequency with which an individual must use the restroom increases. Getting up to use the restroom once or twice during the night is completely normal. Different factors contribute to this phenomenon.

  • In teenagers, the bladder muscle is more elastic, allowing the average person to store up to 0.5 liters of urine. However, this capacity typically decreases by about 50% in middle age.
  • Hormonal changes that cause dilute urine contribute to an increased need to urinate with advancing age. While total urine output may not change, nighttime urination is commonly more prolific.
  • Excessive fluid intake is one example of a lifestyle factor that can increase urinary output. A need to urinate at night may also be brought on by consuming caffeine or alcohol after dinner.
  • A lack of antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which tells the kidneys to produce less urine, could also play a role.
  • In order to prevent nighttime urination, the body produces an extra antidiuretic hormone (ADH). However, if your body is not producing enough ADH at night, you will have a greater-than-normal amount of urine and will need to use the restroom more frequently.
  • Nocturnal polyuria, or adult bedwetting, occurs when the kidneys fail to respond to increased levels of circulating ADH by decreasing their own urine production. Adults who experience this abnormality may wet the bed, but it is also a symptom of type I diabetes and should be evaluated by a doctor.

Other factors include a considerably reduced bladder capacity, overactive or unstable bladder muscles (occasionally brought on by bladder irritants like alcohol and caffeine), and medication side effects.

Are there any risk factors for nocturnal enuresis?

Some of the following risk factors, or the aforementioned causes of adult bedwetting, may apply to you if you are one of the one in one hundred adults who experience enuresis.

  • Malignant enlargement of the prostate
  • Diseases of the Nervous System
  • Variations in genes
  • Sleep apnea with obstruction
  • Infection of the urinary tract
  • Abuse of alcoholic beverages and/or caffeine
  • Nephrotic syndrome

The diagnosis of adult bedwetting

The majority of people who have wet the bed only once or a few times don’t need to worry about it. But if these mishaps become regular occurrences, keeping you up at night, and interfering with your life, it may be time to consult a medical professional. Your doctor will start your appointment with a physical examination and some general health questions. You should remember the following for this reason:

  • Time of day and how often you wet the bed
  • Total nightly urine loss (a lot or a little)
  • fluid intake before bedtime Any additional daytime symptoms

Your doctor may also perform additional tests, including but not limited to:

  • One way to detect kidney, ureter, bladder, and urethral disorders are through a urinalysis, which analyzes a urine sample for abnormalities.
  • Testing for infectious bacteria in urine is called a “urine culture,” and it’s a crucial part of diagnosing a urinary tract infection.
  • Uroflowmetry involves urinating into a specially designed funnel that tracks urine output and flow rate over time.

What can be provided to improve bedwetting?

Bedwetting may improve if the affected person modifies some of their daily routines. The following are examples of available treatments:

  • Researchers recommend avoiding large fluid intake in the hours leading up to bedtime. Constant hydration is recommended because dehydration can lead to urinary tract infections, which can aggravate incontinence.
  • Taking steps to limit or abstain from ingesting alcohol and/or caffeine.
  • Maintaining a bladder log.
  • Putting the bathroom clock on snooze.
  • wearing nighttime absorbent underwear.
  • Using disposable liners to safeguard your mattress.


Experts advise that all adults who experience nighttime bedwetting visit a healthcare provider as soon as possible because enuresis can be caused by another underlying medical condition. A urologist in Karachi will be able to rule out other serious medical conditions by reviewing your medical history, talking about your symptoms, and conducting any necessary tests.


1. Can bedwetting continue into adulthood?

Bedwetting has a negative impact on children’s health and quality of life, and if untreated, it can last into adulthood. About one in ten children will be permanently affected by bedwetting if they do not receive treatment. These findings add to the growing body of evidence suggesting that as many as 18% of people continue wetting the bed into adulthood.

2. When does bedwetting turn into a problem?

If your child is still wetting the bed at age 7, it’s time to see a doctor. Your child has been night-dry for a while, but now they’re starting to wet the bed again. If you also experience painful urination, unusual thirst, pink or red urine, hard stools, or snoring, it’s possible that you have a condition called enuresis, or sleep wetting.

3. Is bedwetting hereditary?

Bedwetting is sometimes a genetic trait. Bedwetting is strongly inherited. Approximately 50% of kids who wet the bed have a parent who also had this problem. If both parents experienced enuresis, the likelihood of their child doing so increases to 75%.

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