Wetting the bed after you’ve had a few drinks is a problem no one wants to experience.
Although the majority of people will outgrow the problem of bedwetting in childhood, for a small percentage of adults it continues to be an embarrassing issue. For many of these adults, bedwetting might occur after drinking alcohol.
But is alcohol actually a cause of bedwetting?
Although alcohol itself is not a cause of what is known as Nocturnal Enuresis (wetting the bed at night), excessive intake of any fluids at night and the resulting full bladder obviously puts people who have trouble controlling their bladder during sleep at a higher risk of wetting the bed.
Along with caffeine, alcohol is known to be a diuretic. In short, this means that is has an effect on the kidneys that results in the urge to urinate excessively. This is also the reason that alcohol can cause dehydration; your body is expelling more fluids than it is taking in when you drink alcohol.
The urge to urinate excessively during and after drinking can then continue on while a person is sleeping.
People with good bladder control are able to withhold this urge whilst asleep, or until woken during the night where they can make their way to the bathroom.
However, people with difficulties in controlling urination may not be woken by the urge to urinate, and may simply void some or all of their bladder in bed whilst sleeping.
If you have noticed a pattern of bedwetting on nights that you’re consuming alcohol, the common sense approach would be to either reduce or completely eliminate alcohol altogether.
However, this is not always a solution. If there is an underlying cause for the bedwetting, with alcohol simply being the final trigger, medical advice should be sought and diagnostic tests carried out.
If there is a medical condition with the bladder or kidneys, it is this underlying problem that should be addressed.
Naturally, it goes without saying that regular and excessive alcohol consumption is highly likely to be contributing to a bedwetting problem. Whether directly – through drinking too much, or indirectly – through causing ongoing damage to the kidneys; a reduction in alcohol consumption can only have positive effects if you’re absolutely serious about eliminating the embarrassment and disruptive issue of bedwetting as an adult.