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Can Sleep Apnea Cause Bed Wetting?

If your child is suffering from sleep apnea, it is not uncommon to have the child start having bedwetting episodes as a result of this sleep disorder. The degree of sleep apnea varies with the individual but most of them have a significant snoring problem. Generally they stop breathing for more than ten seconds. This is followed by a partial wakefulness or gasp and then they begin snoring again. Many times the snoring is caused by breathing through the mouth due to a blockage in the air passages.

Research has shown that more than half of those children who had more than one breathing pause per hour were likely to experience bedwetting. Although it is not entirely clear why the chronic bedwetting occurs it is suggested that because they are not getting a restful night's sleep their ability to arouse themselves when their bladders are full lessens because they are so tired. Another reason could be that the snoring puts increased pressure on the bladder and could even increase urine production.

Many times the child has enlarged adenoids or tonsils and surgery to remove them will alleviate the snoring or sleep apnea problem and at the same time lessen the occurrences of bedwetting. Bedwetting is very common in preschool age children even without the sleep apnea problem but as they grow older the occurrences of bedwetting generally become fewer until the problem eventually goes away. However, some children do not outgrow it and these children should be seen by a physician to determine the root cause of the bedwetting. As a child gets older the bedwetting becomes more and more embarrassing so it is imperative that the child get help as the longer it goes on, the worse it can get - making it more and more difficult to remedy the situation.