Bedwetting in adults while dreaming is a major cause of concern to many people. Your sleep is divided into two broad categories: REM and Non-REM sleep phases. The Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of your sleep is characterized by the way you move your eyes rapidly and behave as if you are awake. However, when you are at this stage of your sleep, you are deep asleep, and your body cannot move. The following are some of the essential features of REM sleep.
- Atonia. This is a state in which the muscles of your body become flaccid or weak to prevent you from acting out your dreams.
- Most dreams occur during this phase of sleep. Lucid dreaming is also said to occur during this phase of sleep.
- Rapid eye movements. If you wake up a person who is in this state of sleep, you will realize that the eyes of the person appear glazed and asymmetrical.
Deep sleeping and Adult Enuresis
There is a link between deep sleep and adult bedwetting episodes. Although there are many studies on the issue that have been conducted, one study that can help you understand this issue is that which was done by researchers from the International Enuresis Research Centre.
According to the study, there is compelling evidence to show that adult bedwetting occurs when individuals are in a deep sleep.
For many adults who wet the bed, the episode occurs at a time when they are deep asleep, and they cannot tell that the bladder is full. Interestingly, some adults experience dreams that they are peeing in the toilet when they are doing it while still in bed.
If this happens to you, you need to know that the problem is in the way your brain communicates with the other parts of your body when your bladder gets full.
Your brain is supposed to signal you to wake up at night the moment the bladder fills up. The bladder sends signals typically to the central nervous system to alert you of the need to empty it.
However, in some people, the mechanism fails to work when they are in the REM phase of sleep, and that is how they end up wetting the bed while dreaming that they are passing water at the right place.
Why do Adults Wet the Bed Sometimes?
Adult enuresis occurs in two types: Primary Nocturnal Enuresis and Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis. Primary Nocturnal Enuresis occurs in adults who never gain control over the bladder. Some people have a family history of wetting the bed.
For such individuals, they keep on wetting the bed occasionally even when they get to the age of seven. Have you ever seen an adult who is perfectly healthy but occasionally has those nocturnal accidents of wetting the bed? For such a person, the cause of the problem is usually hereditary.
For other adults who wet the bed, the problem occurs later in their adult lives. Many factors may lead to Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis. The following is summary of some of the most important causes that you should look out for.
- An irritated bladder. Some medications for health conditions may cause the walls of the bladder to be highly irritated. If this happens to you, you might lose full bladder control.
- Problems with ADH. ADH is a hormone that controls the way your kidneys function. If your body fails to produce enough ADH at night, you may develop a bedwetting problem.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). These bacterial infections may damage the bladder, thus causing involuntary passing of urine during the night in the affected individuals.
Bedwetting in Adults while dreaming: Treatments
If you find it difficult to control your urine when you are asleep, then you should see a doctor. Also, if your bedwetting occurs when you are deep asleep, and you usually dream that you are urinating, then you still must see a doctor.
Your doctor will focus on helping you overcome the bedwetting problem first. The doctor may then be interested in helping you overcome any psychological condition that may be interfering with your sleeping habits. Here is a summary of what you should expect when you visit your doctor.
- Your doctor will first carry out a thorough examination to determine the nature of your bedwetting problem. Doctors can make a diagnosis if they are convinced that you experience bedwetting regularly for some time.
- The doctor will then take you through some lab tests to rule out any other possible cause of bedwetting.
- Your doctor will take a detailed history of sleeping behavior and general mental health to assess the extent to which your psychological condition may be enhancing the situation.
- The specialist may then recommend that you use various behavioral therapies such as bladder training and taking less fluids at night to help address the problem.
- In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you take advanced therapies to resolve any mental condition that you may have which usually aggravates bedwetting in adults.
For more information on bedwetting, please read our previous comprehensive guide All About Bedwetting