Can stress and anxiety cause bedwetting?

Keeping your child free from stress and anxiety could be the route to dry nights

3 min read 100%

Can stress and anxiety cause bedwetting?

Keeping your child free from stress and anxiety could be the route to dry nights

3 min read 100%

How stress and anxiety affect your child’s bedwetting

Most experts agree that emotional stress can be a trigger for children or teenagers to start wetting the bed, even when they have been dry for months, or years.

Big upheavals and stresses in a child or teen’s life, whether at home or at school, can help explain why they start bedwetting. You might hear healthcare professionals refer to this as ‘secondary enuresis’.

How does stress lead to bedwetting?

Vasopressin, the hormone the body produces that regulates how much wee we produce at night, is known to be affected by anxiety. When a child is anxious, their body can run low on vasopressin. This can then mean they might produce too much wee for the bladder to hold at night, and increase the chance they might accidentally wet the bed.

Stress or anxiety may also cause your child to drink too much just before bedtime, or mean they forget to wee before they go to bed.

Why your child may be wetting the bed after starting school

Starting school is a special moment for your child, and one you should both be excited about. However, it can also be a bit overwhelming or upsetting. After all, it’s a lot of big changes to their routine, all at once! And this can cause stress or anxiety, along with bedwetting.

More often than not, this is just a case of secondary enuresis, and nothing to worry about. They just need a little support to help them as they adjust.

Does bedwetting cause stress?

While stress and emotional upset can be factors in bedwetting, it’s also true that worrying about wetting the bed, especially for older kids, can be stressful in itself, leading to a bit of a vicious cycle. Sleepovers, family visits and trips away can all cause extra anxiety about bedwetting, and this in turn can affect a child’s quality of life and mental health.

Can stress and anxiety cause bedwetting in young adults?

Yes. It’s estimated that bedwetting affects as many as 1 in 75 teens. We all know puberty can be a difficult time and the causes of teen bedwetting are usually stress related.

Try to talk to your teen sensitively about their worries and reassure them that they are not to blame. It’s important they know what they are experiencing is not unusual. In fact, teenage bedwetting is just another phase that happens to some kids—and they will grow out of it with the right support.

How to reduce stress and anxiety for your child

Bedwetting is a developmental stage that all kids go through, and it’s not always a straightforward journey. By using DryNites® Pyjama Pants and DryNites® Bed Mats—and with a little support from you—your little one will go to sleep worry-free, and wake up awesome.

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