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Bedwetting is most commonly experienced in children under the age of 6 years, however older children and adults can also suffer. There are numerous causes and influencing factors, but of most importance is to establish if the bedwetting is a regular occurrence or if it is something new. If it starts suddenly, see a health professional as concerns include urinary tract infections and diabetes.

One of the most common triggers for bedwetting is stress and anxiety. Children (or adults) that internalise their anxiety can find that when their body relaxes, such as during sleep, that they are able to relax all of their muscles – including urinary muscles. Internalisation of emotions, nerves and stress is very common and associated bedwetting indicates that body does not have a proper outlet to express these feelings.

Supportive measures for this type of bedwetting include:

  • Stress relieving herbs such as Chamomile, Valerian, and Lemon Balm during the day
  • Nutrients such as Magnesium (especially in tissue salt form such as Magnesium phosphate)
  • Flower essences such as Bach Flowers Rescue Remedy, Mimulus or Aspen
  • Lifestyle strategies such as meditation, relaxation and warm baths before bed

Another interesting concept is ‘over-hydrating’. This explains when people over-hydrate themselves too close to bedtime. One useful strategy to combat this is to encourage fluid intake during the day and then reduce (or cease) close to bedtime. This encourages urination during the daytime and can subsequently reduce the need to urinate during the night.

Bedwetting can also be triggered by food allergies. The offending food can become a source of stress for the body and again initiates a relaxation-triggered release of urine. Common food allergies include dairy products, citrus fruits and wheat/gluten. Avoidance of caffeine and other diuretic substances such as chocolate, coffee and tea should be discouraged especially in the afternoon/evening.