That children with nocturnal enuresis (“bedwetting”) are deep sleepers is a fact that their parents often state when asking for advice. However, until today no clear difference in sleep has been observed between children who do and do not wet the bed. This study investigates the difference in sleep parameters and heart rate variability (HRV) between enuretic and control children in their home setting by using a wearable sleep tracker during a long observation period.
Twenty‐one enuretic and 18 control children, aged 6 to 12 years old, slept with a wearable sleep tracker device, a Fitbit Charge 2, for 14 consecutive days. In addition, nocturnal urine production (voided volumes and/or weight of the diaper) were measured. The HRV was calculated using the standard time and frequency domain parameters. The Kruskal‐Wallis test was applied to evaluate the differences in the sleep and HRV parameters between both groups.
Compared with healthy controls, enuretic children showed a higher standard deviation (P = .0209) of minutes spent in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep among the different nights. In addition, they showed the tendencies to fewer awakenings (P = .1161), although this was not significant. Analyzing the wet nights of the enuretic children, they showed higher autonomic activity, lower sleep efficiency and a higher restlessness compared with their dry nights and to the control group.
This 2‐weeks sleep‐study, using a wrist‐worn sleep tracker device Fitbit Charge 2, in the normal home environment has shown that enuretic children have a larger variation in their REM sleep and sleepless efficiently during a wet night when compared with non‐bedwetting children.