Bedwetting--not always what it seems: a sign of sleep-disordered breathing in children

J Spec Pediatr Nurs. 2003 Jan-Mar;8(1):22-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6155.2003.tb00180.x.


Issues and purpose: Nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) can linger long into childhood. Sleep research has documented that nocturia and bedwetting are symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in adults and that bedwetting is predictive of OSA in children.

Conclusions: Nocturnal polyuria is a cardiovascular response to negative pressure breathing (inspiration against a closed glottis), which is characteristic of OSA.

Practice implications: Evidence of nocturnal polyuria and sleep-disordered breathing are important signs of OSA, a serious but treatable condition.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Enuresis / etiology*
  • Enuresis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Information Services
  • Internet
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Polysomnography
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy