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My 8 Year Old Son's Snoring And Bed Wetting Problems

by Fatima

I have an 8 year old who has enlarged adenoids and enlarged tonsils. He snores very loudly and wakes up frequently at night to change his position or catch his breath. Basically, he is very restless and very seldom sleeps soundly. He also wets the bed (at least once or twice a week at nights). What do you think is the problem with him?

Kevin: Hi Fatima, Thanks for writing in. Based on your description, it sounds to me likely that your son may be having episodes of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction of the airway during sleep, and snoring is often a symptom of this obstruction (noise is made when the airway is small and the effort to breathe increases). The apneas themselves occur when the airway completely shuts, causing the individual to wake up briefly (so brief the awakening is not remembered) in order to breathe.

In children with sleep apnea, large adenoids and tonsils are often responsible for the small airway size.

What's more, the continuous awakenings during the night often confuse a child's urinary system. The body knows to make less urine during sleep, but when it is constantly being woken up by apneas, the body can be tricked into thinking that it is not sleeping and therefore should produce a normal amount of urine. It is in this way that sleep apnea in children often contributes to bedwetting.

I wish you all the best. Please let me know if you have any questions, or if you'd like to update this page with the status of your son please feel free to do so in the comments section below. More information on sleep apnea and children can be found by following the links I've included above.


(Please keep in mind that I am a student of sleep science and not a medical doctor. Please take any thoughts I give with my background in mind.)

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