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Bed sheets drying on a clothesline
Recommended Amount of Nightly Sleep for Kids


  • Ages 3 to 6: 10 – 12 hours of sleep each night

  • Ages 7 to 13: 10 – 11 hours of sleep each night

  • Ages 14 to 18: 8 – 9 hours of sleep each night

Bedwetting and Childhood Bladder Control

Nocturnal enuresis is the name for bedwetting that occurs after the age where most children have learned how to control their bladder at night. Bedwetting is usually a developmental delay that many children grow out of as they get older. It is a common childhood complaint, affecting 1-2% of children. Most girls are able to control their bladder around age 6. For boys, it’s usually around age 7.


Parents can become anxious about their child’s bedwetting. They can become concerned about their child’s development, and stressed over doing extra laundry. It takes longer to get ready in the morning if parents must deal with soiled clothing and linens. Sometimes there is the cost of an additional mattress.


Usually the child is unable to control his or her bladder. The child may feel ashamed or discouraged, but the situation isn’t their fault. A small percentage of teens still continue to wet the bed, causing embarrassment especially during sleepovers, summer camp, or school events that require the teen to travel out of town.


Why does bedwetting happen?


A full bladder must be able to send signals to the brain to communicate the fact that it can’t hold any more urine. If there is interference to these signals, a child who is a deep sleeper may not wake up in time to void their bladder. This may be caused by nerve interference in the low back. The situation can also be complicated by immature reflexes.


Chiropractic as a possible solution


A misalignment of the bones (vertebrae) of the spine can occur without the child having any complaints of back pain. A chiropractor can check for any misalignments that may be causing nerve pressure, and correctly position the bones of the child’s spine. This can result in healthier nerve communication between the bladder and central nervous system.


Chiropractic treatment is gentle. It doesn’t involve medication, and it has helped many children to stop wetting the bed at night. Chiropractic isn’t a promised cure for nocturnal enuresis. Some parents report that chiropractic helped reduce their child’s number of wet nights, but did not completely fix the problem. Other parents have said that chiropractic treatment made a huge difference. The amount of progress that can be made with chiropractic depends upon whether or not nerve interference exists, and if pressure on the nerves is affecting the signals going to and from the child’s bladder. Because each child’s situation and health concerns are different, schedule an appointment with a local chiropractor for an evaluation to see if chiropractic can help.

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