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Will My Child Be Sleep Deprived When Using a Bedwetting Alarm?

June 28, 2021 2 min read

“I’m concerned that it will harm my child to wake up to the bedwetting alarm every night and that he will be too tired to focus at school”.

This is a common concern of parents but one that you don’t have to worry about. There are several reasons why your child should feel just fine the next day when using a bedwetting alarm.

Bedwetting alarms only sound when your child physiologically needs to urinate.

Since the first drops of urine are what trigger the alarm to sound, this is precisely when his body really needs to wake to go to the bathroom.  This is much different than setting an alarm clock or walking your son to the bathroom when you go to bed or are already awake.  This type of wakening is on the parent’s schedule, not your child’s body’s schedule.  If your son doesn’t need to use the bathroom on a particular night, the alarm will not sound.

Research indicates that bedwetting can occur within each sleep stage and does not follow any particular pattern.

This is why it’s impossible to predict when the wetting will happen without monitoring the actual occurrence of passing urine.  But this is also why bedwetting alarms are so useful in helping the brain and bladder begin to communicate.  The feeling of a full bladder precedes the alarm sounding.  Over time, the bladder is conditioned to hold the urine in until the brain is alerted.

Children immediately fall back asleep when they return to bed, often with little memory of the trip to the bathroom during the night.

Just because your son doesn’t remember going to the bathroom will not impact his learning.  The new conditioned response to the alarm and a full bladder can take place even at a subconscious level.

Children and adults have different sleep patterns.

Adults are more easily alerted during the night and also often take more time to fall back asleep.  Helping your son wake up when his alarm sounds is important, but not necessarily when your body would like to be wakened.  Parents initially can have difficulty falling back asleep and often alternate nights between parents to get a break.  Once your son can handle things on his own, the need for your help is less.

Parents may feel more tired the next day from being awakened at a time when their body was in deep sleep and not falling back to sleep quickly.  The most difficult time is the first two weeks.  After that, the frequency of wetting is less and your child will be more independent. 

Children usually do not feel more tired the next day because their sleep interruption is very minimal, just the couple of minutes it takes to walk to the bathroom.  Then they’re right back to sleep.  Having a change of clothes and a second waterproof pad handy (to place over the sheet) makes middle of the night interruptions shorter.



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