What causes wetting the bed? It comes down to 2 primary causes. A deficiency in antidiuretic hormone which is the hormone that dries us up when we are sleeping. If you don't have enough of that then you're gonna need to get up and go to the bathroom at night. The other cause has to do with deep sleeping. I'll get into that here because that's one that we can really do something about.
Both heavy sleeping and a deficiency of antidiuretic hormone have to be present in order for bedwetting to occur. If you generate enough hormone, then you don't have to get up and go at night. If you're not sleeping so deeply then you'll be able to get up and go when you get the signals.
Now, that gives us some ideas about how to cure it. Your central nervous system, takes good care of you by sending signals to your brain and body. It's really programmed for efficiency. Because your brain has to take care of everything, you don't want to have to consciously think about every little thing that needs to happen. So, a lot of things are put on autopilot. There's a little part of your brain here called the reticular activating system. It's located near the brainstem. Your brain has an area that directs traffic. It tells you what to pay attention to and what to ignore. Like your shirt for example. Can you feel it? Yeah, it's obvious, now, that I call it to your attention. Before I mentioned it, that part of your brain was telling you, “Hey that's not important. Just ignore that.” Obvious but completely unnoticed. Your brain has the ability to pay attention to things and to ignore other things.
When you are sleeping very deeply, the conscious part of your brain turns off. You are unconscious and that's how we define sleep. Not all of your brain turns off, just the conscious parts. The rest of the brain is still active and doing things all night long. From the command center, your spinal cord has nerves that run through it down to the bladder. The bladder is kind of like a balloon that collects the fluid that's coming in and it starts to stretch and expand. As it stretches and expands, it triggers signals in the nerves that are attached to it. These signals get sent through these nerves up the spinal cord to the command center. We all know what it feels like to take a big drink of water and we know what happens in about 30 minutes. Your nerves signal that there is something important going on that you better take care of and you find your way to the.
What about when we are sleeping? The bladder is still filling up because we don't have enough of the hormone on board to slow it down like most people have. It's still filling. The signals go through the nerves to the spinal cord and get sent up here to the command center. The command center, for whatever reason, is programmed to say, “Oh, that's not important enough to wake up the conscious centers of the brain that can take us to the bathroom.” Well, meanwhile, the bladder down here is like, “Really? I can't hold this for much longer.” And it takes care of business on its own and then we have a problem. We're wetting the bed.
To cure it, there are medical treatments. Usually they are some synthetic version of the hormone that you take to dry up at night, and it's a one-time fix-it for one night. It doesn't fix the problem. What we want to do is train the command center to wake up the brain to get up! A lot of the kids that I've worked with who are bed-wetters, have no problem waking up on Christmas morning. Or on their birthday, or on that day when they get to go to the zoo. Why? Because their brain says to them, “This is important. This is worth getting up for.” It's not doing that with the signals from the bladder. We need to condition it.
Do you remember Pavlov? Pavlov was a scientist, who was studying the reaction of dogs to a bell ringing. He would ring a bell and the dog was like, “Whoa! It's a bell. No big deal.” Right. Then he would ring the bell and he would do a little puff of meat powder into the dog's mouth. Now the dog is like, “Oh! Uhmm.” And the dog would start to salivate because the meat powder causes the dog to salivate. That makes sense, right? Ding! Bell. No response. Poof! Meat powder, big response. Ding! No response. Poof! Meat powder, big response. Well pretty soon –ding! Big response. Why? Because the dog was conditioned that when the ding goes off, I'm going to get a puff of meat powder. It starts to anticipate the powder. It's called classical conditioning. This is an old concept that we are going to use to overcome the bedwetting.
What we want to have happen is when the brain gets the signal from the bladder that it needs attention, it tells the brain that, “Ding! Oh, time to move. Got to get some business taken care of right here. That's the classical conditioning that we are going for. Now, how are we going to do that? I've written an entire training program around this. Warning, it requires positivity and commitment, okay? Share this video with your child or whoever it is that you're trying to help with the bedwetting. If it's you, then get a team together. Share this video with them and then get a hold of my training program at finallydry.info. What you are going to get there is an e-book.
Basically it's a PDF, you can download immediately that has the whole training program outlined. There are exercises and programs that you are going to go through. Read the whole thing. Let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to help you, but here is how it works: It requires an alarm for you to purchase. They sell these online and you look for an alarm system that allows you to detect when there's a wetting incident. There are models designed with a strip that goes along the inside of the garment. Then two snap leads connect to a little battery-powered alarm. It's designed so that if there is any kind of moisture that gets in, an alarm with 100 decibels goes off. This is important because that's the ding.
The alarm typically won't wake up the child. This is what my research showed. They're going to sleep right through it. But who's going to wake up? Oh, yeah, mom, dad, the support team. It's going to wake them up and then they are going to wake up the child. It's all explained in the training program. We are going to do this again and again with some of the exercises that are built into the training program. We are going to do this enough to train the command center to respond not to the external alarm, to the one that's coming up from the bladder. My experience is it will take anywhere from three or four nights to 10 or 15 nights to get the training effect. You have to do this with positivity and commitment.
There may be a couple of things that surprise you. Sometimes people address this bedwetting problem by restricting fluids before bed, right? You don't get to have a drink after 7 o'clock or whatever. Actually, in the training program, we encourage fluid intake. Why? Because I want a really clear signal. You know how sometimes, it's like, “Oh, do I need to go or not? I don't know.” Yeah, no. We want the signal to be, “Ugh!” Very strong so, we actually encourage fluid intake together with the other training elements that allow us to start to train our command center to respond to the signals from the full-bladder.
And it doesn't happen immediately. You're going to have some wetting incidents, okay? Be ready for that. It's not a bad thing. It actually helps with our training program. There are lots of alarms on the market. Find one that's within your budget. I prefer the kind that are installed right in the underwear because you get a quicker response. You get a signal quicker than the ones that are in a pad on the bed or that have to go through multiple layers before they get to the signal. Get a hold of the e-book explaining in detail the steps to take at http://finallydry.info. Go through the training program, get your team assembled and let's take this on. I know that it works. We've tested it through research and clinical experience. This is something that we can get on top of, and I am honored to be on your team.