The Role of Hypnotherapy in Treating Bedwetting

Hypnosis for bedwetting

Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, affects up to 20% of 5-year-olds and 10% of 10-year-olds (Medical Journal of Australia, 2005). Traditional treatments typically involve medications, which may offer only temporary relief and can have undesirable side effects, or bedwetting alarms that often disrupt the entire household. In contrast, hypnotherapy offers a non-invasive and gentle approach, providing a compelling alternative that directly addresses the unconscious patterns associated with bedwetting.

Bedwetting hypnosis may not only improve communication between the brain and bladder but also enhance bladder control during sleep, offering a durable solution without the drawbacks of conventional options.  

How Hypnotherapy Works for Bedwetting

Hypnotherapy engages the unconscious part of the brain that governs automatic functions, such as blinking, breathing and bladder control during sleep. Since bedwetting isn’t consciously controlled, hypnotherapy can effectively improve the communication between the brain and the bladder leading to better bladder control at night.  

During hypnosis, children enter a natural state of deep relaxation and focused attention, similar to being engrossed in a story or a daydream. This state makes the unconscious mind more open to positive suggestions and therapeutic interventions. By utilizing this heightened suggestibility, hypnotherapy can effectively instill new behaviors and strengthen bladder control mechanisms, directly addressing the issue of bedwetting.

Children frequently experience trance-like states during regular play or when using their imagination. Hypnotherapy harnesses this natural capability, making the therapeutic process particularly effective for them. In the context of bedwetting, a skilled therapist can guide a child to use their imagination to access their inner resources and change the unconscious patterns contributing to bedwetting.

Some Techniques Used in Bedwetting Hypnosis

Hypnotherapy utilizes a variety of techniques to address bedwetting, including:

Reframing the problem: Therapists encourage children to shift their focus from the problem (a wet bed) to the desired outcome (a dry bed), changing their outlook and expectations.

Understanding Body Mechanics: Children learn how the bladder works and its communication with the brain, which helps them respond to bladder signals during sleep.

Relaxation and Visualisation Techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or calming visualizations help children reach a state where the suggestions for dry nights can be more readily accepted by the unconscious mind. This has the additional benefit of creating calm at bedtime.

Through guided imagery, children visualize themselves waking up dry and feeling successful, and waking up to use the bathroom when their bladder is full. This not only builds confidence but also helps reinforce the brain-bladder connection.

Use of Metaphors and Stories: The use of metaphors in hypnotherapy is particularly effective with children.  It uses their strong imagination to help them understand and accept helpful ideas more easily. For example, a story might depict a superhero who learns to listen to the signals of his body to save the day, mirroring the child’s journey towards waking up dry. 

Direct and Indirect Suggestions: Therapists use carefully crafted suggestions to encourage dry nights, enhance responsiveness to bodily signals, and assist the child in waking up to use the toilet.  

Building Confidence and Self-Awareness: Hypnotherapy uses positive affirmations and visualizations to boost a child’s confidence, helping them feel more in control of their bodies. 


Benefits of Hypnotherapy for Bedwetting

Hypnotherapy is recognized for its gentle, non-invasive, and drug-free approach to treating bedwetting, appealing to those seeking alternatives to medication and alarms. This method can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each child.

Beyond managing bedwetting, hypnotherapy can also positively affect other aspects of a child’s life.  It can create calm at bedtime, alleviate stress, enhance sleep quality, and boost overall emotional well-being.

For children who might feel self-conscious about their bedwetting, hypnotherapy offers a discreet treatment option.  It respects their privacy and dignity, especially through online hypnosis programs that can be used at home.

The Stay Dry at Night program exemplifies an accessible online format, offering both standardized and personalized recordings. These recordings help improve brain-bladder communication and bladder control. The program stands out by thoroughly addressing various underlying causes of bedwetting in a weekly guide.

How Long Does Hypnotherapy Take to Work?

The duration of results from hypnotherapy can vary, with some children seeing improvements after just one session, while others may need several sessions. Online bedwetting hypnotherapy can take the same amount of time to work as traditional face-to-face sessions, offering a cost-effective alternative that allows for repeated sessions without incurring additional costs.

Is Bedwetting Hypnosis Effective?

Research consistently shows positive outcomes for hypnotherapy as a treatment option for bedwetting, particularly in children. Here are some key studies that illustrate its effectiveness:

    • Diseth & Vandvik (2004): In this study, hypnotherapy demonstrated lasting effects for boys with chronic and complex forms of nocturnal enuresis. After three months and again at one year of follow-up, nine out of twelve boys had achieved 6-7 dry nights per week, underscoring the long-term benefits of this approach.
    • Edwards & Spuy (1985): This study highlighted hypnotherapy’s significant impact compared to no treatment. Over a six-month period, 48 boys aged 8-13 years experienced a notable decrease in nocturnal enuresis, proving the efficacy of hypnotherapy in real-world settings.
    • Bayne (2023): Modern studies continue to support the effectiveness of hypnotherapy. A 2023 study found that children who participated in a self-administered online hypnosis program for bedwetting saw an increase in dry nights. This reinforces the value of online hypnosis as a primary treatment for children with primary nocturnal enuresis.

These studies collectively suggest that hypnotherapy is not only a viable tool for managing bedwetting but also offers both immediate and long-term benefits for children struggling with this condition.

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Addressing Myths and Misconceptions

Many misunderstandings about hypnotherapy, such as the belief that it involves mind control or forces people to act against their will, are simply not true. This is the case whether the hypnotherapy is conducted face-to-face or delivered through recordings. Hypnotherapy is a scientifically recognized practice that enhances focus and suggestibility while ensuring that the individual always remains in control.

It’s important to differentiate therapeutic hypnotherapy from stage hypnosis. Although stage hypnosis is also a form of hypnosis, it is performed for entertainment purposes. Participants agree to engage in activities that are amusing for an audience. They are aware that they are part of a show, which makes them more open to following suggestions for entertaining actions. This can give the misleading impression that the hypnotist is controlling them completely.

Whether conducted in person or via recordings, therapeutic hypnotherapy is a respectful and safe approach. It maintains the autonomy of the participant, actively involving and empowering them throughout their therapeutic journey.

Bedwetting Hypnosis: Conclusion

In conclusion, hypnotherapy stands out as a safe, effective, and respectful method for overcoming bedwetting. By harnessing the power of the mind to foster deeper brain-bladder connections, it offers a natural and gentle solution.


Bayne, A. (2023). Self-guided Online Medical Hypnosis Program Improves Dry Nights in Children With Nocturnal Enuresis in a Prospective Single-Center Pilot Study.. Clinical pediatrics, 99228231186690.

Caldwell, P., Hodson, E., Craig, J., & Edgar, D. (2005). 4. Bedwetting and toileting problems in children. Medical Journal of Australia, 182.

Diseth, T., & Vandvik, I. (2004). [Hypnotherapy in the treatment of refractory nocturnal enuresis].. Tidsskrift for den Norske laegeforening : tidsskrift for praktisk medicin, ny raekke, 124 4, 488-91.

Edwards SD, van der Spuy HI. Hypnotherapy as a treatment for enuresis. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1985 Jan;26(1):161-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1985.tb01635.x. PMID: 3972929.

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