Busting Bedwetting Myths
Post #2: Preparing for a good night’s sleep
As a parent, you’ll know only too well the impact of a poor night’s sleep on your child, yourself and the rest of the family. If your child is undergoing bedwetting management, such as an alarm routine, it can make it harder for the family to get a good dose of shut-eye each night.
So it’s important to ensure that your child (and you!) gets a good night’s sleep with some regular bedtime routines. There are a number of strategies you can use to help your child get a good night’s sleep while effectively managing their bedwetting at the same time.
Here are our top five tips:
- Avoid screen time before bed: Avoiding screens like TV, video games or computers in the few hours before bed will help your child relax and minimise the restlessness that comes with spending too much time on screens.
- Know what to drink (and when): Drinking more fluids during the day and less at night will ensure your child is well hydrated and not feeling thirsty right before bed. Avoiding caffeinated and fizzy drinks, like tea, coffee and soft drink, will also help as these drinks tend to increase the amount of urine in the bladder.
- Make their room feel comfortable and safe: Make your child’s bedroom environment feel relaxing, safe and comfortable by keeping the space cool, quiet and dark (or using a nightlight if they’re afraid of the dark).
- Keep regular sleep and wake times: It helps to get your child’s body clock into a regular rhythm. You can do this by encouraging your child to sleep and wake up at the same time every day; and by keeping wake-up times on weekends to within two hours of their school-days.
- Bladder train during the day: Talk to your doctor to see if your child could benefit from a bladder-training program. This is best supervised by a continence professional and involves the child learning to ‘hold on’ for longer periods.
For more advice on other ways to help them get a good night’s sleep, talk to your healthcare professional. Our checklist gives a good starting point for discussions about bedwetting with your doctor. You can also contact the Continence Foundation of Australia’s Helpline on 1800 33 00 66 or visit www.continence.org.au
- Kids Matter. How screen time affects rest. Available online: www.kidsmatter.edu.au/families/enewsletter/screentimeandsleep (last accessed 1 Feb, 2017)
- Raising Children Network. How to sleep better: 9 tips for children. Available online: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/good_sleep_habits_tips.html (last accessed 1 Feb, 2017)
- Sleep Foundation. 2011. Sleep Tips for Children. Available online: https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/pdfs/Sleep-Tips-for-Children.pdf (last accessed 1 Feb, 2017)
- Department of Health. 2008. The Dry Night: Advice for parents of children who wet their beds. Available online: http://www.bladderbowel.gov.au/assets/doc/DryNight.html (last accessed 1 Feb, 2017)
- Better Health Victoria. Fear and anxiety in children. Available online: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fear-and-anxiety-children (last accessed 9 Jan, 2017)
1. Myint M et al. J Pediatr Urol 2016;12:112e1-112e6