Excessive Output of Urine During Sleep
Normally, the body produces a hormone that can slow the production of urine. This hormone is called antidiuretic hormone, or ADH. The body normally produces more ADH at night, so that the need to urinate is lower. If the body doesn't produce enough ADH at night, the production of urine may not be slowed down, leading to bladder overfilling. If a child does not sense the bladder filling and awaken to urinate, then bedwetting will occur.
Experts suggest that anxiety-causing events, occurring in the lives of children ages two to four, might lead to bedwetting, before the child achieves total bladder control. Anxiety experienced after age four might lead to wetting after the child has been dry for a period of six months or more. Such events can include:
- Angry parents
- Unfamiliar social situations
- Loss of a loved one
- Problems at school
- Overwhelming family events, such as the birth of a brother or sister.
Bedwetting itself is an anxiety-causing event. Strong bladder contractions, leading to leakage in the daytime, can cause embarrassment and anxiety, that lead to wetting at night.
Certain inherited genes appear to contribute to bedwetting. In 1995, Danish researchers announced they had found a site on human chromosome 13 that is responsible, at least in part, for bedwetting.
If both parents were bed-wetters, a child has an 80 percent chance of being a bed-wetter also. Experts believe that other, undetermined genes may also be involved in incontinence. If only one parent has a history of bedwetting, the child has about a fifty-fifty chance of having the problem. Some children wet the bed even if neither parent ever did.