Wetting the Bed with ADHD

Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bladder control problems

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Everyone is born as a bed-wetter. As children grow, their body learns not to release urine while sleeping. However, children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have more bladder control problems than other children, according to a new study.

Bladder control problems are more common in children with ADHD than in other children of the same age. Specifically, children with ADHD are more likely to wet their beds, to frequently have an urgent need to pee, and to have problems emptying their bladder.

"Children with ADHD are more likely to wet the bed."

While the study did not show why children with ADHD are more likely to have these problems, it does increase our understanding of the relationship between ADHD and urinary problems. Hopefully, more studies like this will lead to relief for kids with ADHD and bladder control problems.

According to Lyle D. Danuloff, Ph.D., at the Enuresis Treatment Center, treating kids' bed-wetting can not only relieve them of their sleep disorder, but also reduce some of the symptoms of ADHD.

For their study, Dr. Ozgu Aydogdu, of Ankara University School of Medicine in Turkey, and colleagues looked at 64 children with ADHD and 124 healthy children. The researchers found:

  • Children with ADHD had a score of 11 on a questionnaire that assesses lower urinary tract symptoms. A score of 9 signals bladder control problems.
  • Children without ADHD had a score of about 3 on the questionnaire
  • Children with a high score in the Conners Parent Rating Scale-revised (a tool to rate behavioral problems in children with ADHD) were more likely to have urgency - the urgent need to go to the bathroom.
  • Children with a higher hyperactivity score were more likely to have enuresis, or "bed-wetting." 
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Review Date: 
April 14, 2011
Last Updated:
September 19, 2011