Caffeine doesn`t worsen bedwetting, but affects sleep

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2010, 00:00 AM IST

Washington: Drinking caffeinated beverages such as soft drinks and soda doesn`t seem to affect bedwetting problem in young children, but it does affect their sleep, a
new study has claimed.

Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Centre in the US carried out a survey of parents of more than 200 children, asking them to report the types and amounts of snacks and beverages their child consumed on a daily basis.

It was found that 75 per cent of children surveyed consumed caffeine on a daily basis, and the more caffeine the children consumed, the less they slept, the researchers
reported in `The Journal of Pediatrics`.

Lead researcher Dr William Warzak said: "Some children as young as 5 years old were consuming the equivalent of a can of soda a day."

The authors also noticed that the older children drank more caffeinated beverages. "Children between the ages of 8 and 12 years consumed an average of 109 mg a day," Dr Warzak explained, "the equivalent of almost 3 12-ounce cans of soda."

However, the researchers found that caffeine was not linked to bedwetting in these children.

"Contrary to popular belief," Dr Evans, co-author and statistician, clarified, "children were not more likely to wet the bed if they consumed caffeine, despite the fact that
caffeine is a diuretic."

Stressing on the need of parental awareness regarding their child`s caffeine consumption, Dr Warzak said: "Parents should be aware of the potentially negative influence of caffeine on a child`s sleep quality and daily functioning."

The authors also suggested that pediatricians may be able to help by screening patients for caffeine consumption and educating parents about the potentially harmful effects of
caffeine.

PTI