man going to the bathroomDid you wake up to wet sheets in the middle of the night recently? If so, you’re not alone. Over 5 million Americans struggle with adult bedwetting. Nocturnal enuresis is known as involuntary urination that disrupts one from sleep. If your doctor has recently diagnosed you with nocturnal enuresis then you’ll want to know all you can about this condition. We’ll also explain other tips on how to clean urine the best ways possible and the best incontinence supplies to use along the way, so you can stay asleep and dry as much as possible. 

Causes of Adult Bedwetting 

  • Overactive bladder muscles-When muscles in the bladder(detrusor muscles) are overactive, adult bed-wetting is more likely to occur. According to NAFC, 70-80% of adult bedwetting patients have overactive bladder muscles. 
  • Heredity - Children with both parents that were previous bedwetters are 77% more likely of becoming a bedwetter as well.
  • Specific medications- Sleeping pills or any other hypnotics, psychiatric medications like risperidone and clozapine can increase bedwetting in adults. 
  • Smaller bladder capacity- People with bladders that have a smaller functional bladder capacity (FBC) aren't able to hold much urine so they tend to have primary nocturnal enuresis. 

How Nocturnal Enuresis Diagnosed?

  • Urinalysis – Analysis of urine by physical, chemical and microscopical means to test for the presence of disease. 
  • Uroflowmetry – A test that measures the volume of urine released from the body, the speed and how long it takes to release. 
  • Physical examination 
  • Ultrasound of kidneys and bladder

What You Can Do to Get the Best Treatment

  • Record when accidents occur (during the night or the day)
  • Record beverages that you drink at night (sugary, carbonated drinks, alcoholic drinks)
  • Record the number of nights that are dry vs. night when wet
  • Record the strength of the urinary stream - is the stream strong or is it mostly dribbles? 

How to Manage Nocturnal Enuresis in Your Personal Life 

  • Get comfortable talking about the issue with friends, family, and your doctor. The more you can talk about it the better.
  • Join support groups or find others that are experiencing this condition too, talking to others experiencing the condition helps diminish the stigma surrounding this type of bladder leakage and support you along your journey. The internet is full of great support organizations like The Simon Foundation for Continence. There is an article written by a man with nocturnal enuresis that explains his perspective managing the condition. 

Overnight Incontinence Products that Help Manage Adult Bedwetting

Best Ways to Clean Urine from Clothing or Bedding

Other Effective Tips to Manage Nocturnal Enuresis 

  • Do not to drink fluids right before sleeping. For example, if you go to bed at 10 pm have your last beverage by 8 pm. 
  • Void your bladder before bedtime even if you don’t have to go
  • Restrict the amount of caffeinated & alcoholic drinks throughout the day
  • Set an alarm in the middle of the night to prevent an accident in bed

Questions for your Doctor

It's important to talk to your doctor about which treatment options and medications are best suited for your situation. NorthShore does not offer medical advice. This article is not meant to a replacement for a physician consultation.

  • Anticholinergic medications – helps calm irritated or overactive bladder muscles
  • Desmopressin acetate – boost ADH so kidneys stop producing as much urine at night 
  • Sacral nerve stimulation – an implanted device that sends signals to the muscles in your bladder to stop unnecessary contractions
  • Clam cystoplasty (bladder augmentation) – a surgery that uses tissue from other parts of the body, specifically the intestinal muscle and inserts a patch to the bladder to increase the capacity the bladder can hold of urine

If you have issues with leakage at night be sure to consult your doctor first. It’s important to tell your doctor all of your symptoms and be honest with him or her with what’s going on. The more you can talk about your symptoms the better treatment you’ll get in the near future. Absorbent products such as adult diapers, liners, and mattress protectors are great to have between surgical treatment if that's the treatment plan you choose with your doctor. Call us to find your best product. We have products specifically designed for overnight protection that will help keep you dry, comfortable and asleep!