Abstract and Keywords
Nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) is one of the most well-studied sleep disorders of childhood. This common condition occurs in up to 20% of school children. Although most children will outgrow their problem, nocturnal enuresis can persist into adulthood. Nocturnal enuresis is considered one of the parasomnias and is diagnosed when the night wetting persists beyond the age of 5 in a child who has attained daytime continence.
The etiology of nocturnal enuresis is multifactorial and occurs when the child is unable to arouse from sleep in response to a full bladder sensation, with excessive nocturnal urine production and/or reduced nocturnal bladder capacity commonly being a feature. An understanding of the physiology of sleep and the relationship between sleep arousal and nocturnal enuresis is a first step to understanding how treatments work. It will enable clinicians to identify the most appropriate treatment for each individual and appreciate why some children fail treatment.
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