More Success with Bedwetting Alarm When Evening Fluids Are Increased
A recent new study from Russia suggests that children who drink extra fluids before bed while using a bedwetting alarm are actually more successful in achieving dryness. This is contrary to what often occurs in families, who limit evening fluids in their children with bedwetting.
The authors hypothesized that more intense use of the alarm system would speed up the development of the conditioned response of awakening caused by the desire to urinate.
In the study of 294 children, with the average age of 11.3, Group A used the alarm with normal fluid intake, while Group B drank either water or any transparent non-colored fluid once immediately before going to sleep. The volume was 4-5ml/kg of body weight, which translates to 6-7.5 ounces for a child who weighs around 100 pounds.
Effectiveness was measured in frequency of wetting episodes per week and episodes of spontaneous awakenings, in response to the urge to urinate. Total length of time of alarm use was not noted.
Complete resolution of bedwetting two weeks after the end of alarm therapy was found in 24% in Group A, but 39% were completely dry in Group B. This difference was statistically significant and shows an improvement in outcome when increased fluid intake is used in combination with bedwetting alarm therapy.
In my book, Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness, I discuss the use of fluid challenges toward the end of alarm therapy. Fluid challenges consist of drinking an extra glass of water before bed to insure that the child can spontaneously wake to walk to the bathroom. After reading the results of this study, I recommend using fluid challenges earlier in the alarm treatment.