Could hydration be the key to a better night’s sleep?
We’re always shouting about the benefits of drinking more water. The advantages for your body, mind, and even your appearance are many.
While drinking more water is well known for reducing fatigue and maximising performance by day, by night the benefits continue. Dehydration has a number of knock-on effects and can impact sleep quality and quantity.
In this blog post, we take a closer look at how hydration is the key to a better night’s sleep and share our top tips for keeping night-time dehydration at bay.
A word about night-time dehydration
Your body naturally loses fluid through sweating and other normal bodily processes at night, which will leave you susceptible to the negative effects that go hand-in-hand with dehydration.
Even drinking a lot of water throughout the day right up until you go to bed won’t prevent this. But by making a few changes to your habits and your bedroom you can limit dehydration, even if you want to have a lie-in! Here National Sleep Foundation explains more:
“An overly dry or warm bedroom can also lead to extra fluid loss during the night, as can a late-day intense exercise session without sufficient rehydration. Drinking excessive alcohol can exacerbate these fluid-compromising scenarios, which in turn can cause you to feel tired or lethargic the next day.”
Sleep apnoea and snoring can also make you more vulnerable to night-time dehydration. Treating these conditions or lessening their symptoms should, therefore, be a priority and will enable you to reap all the rewards of hydrating for better sleep.
Are you getting enough?
Night-time dehydration interferes with sleep in many ways. It can worsen snoring, increase leg cramps, heighten blood pressure and cause excessive thirst meaning all you’ll get is a disturbed night. Dehydration also affects your body the morning after, with brain function significantly impaired into the next day.
If you have dark coloured urine, parched skin, concentration problems, regular headaches and excessive fatigue throughout the day, then it is advisable that you increase your water intake.
Tips for hydrating for sleep
Staying hydrated throughout the day is one thing. As bedtime draws closer, you may be conscious about drinking enough water without having to wake up in the night to go to the toilet.
Striking the right balance is the key, and it’s easier than you think. Keep hydrated throughout the day rather than drinking large quantities in a short period. Tracking your intake and setting reminders are other great ways of ensuring you’re drinking water at regular intervals. Try these water tracking apps to get started.
Stay hydrated on the go by investing in a reusable water bottle and taking it everywhere with you. In the latter half of the day, you should also limit the consumption of caffeinated drinks. Sugar has been proven to disturb sleep too. If you’re looking for a quick sugar hit, get it from eating healthier snacks.
In addition to this, upping the water content of your diet will hydrate you. Water-rich foods like watermelon, strawberries and cucumbers all count, and so do soups and stews. Sticking to filtered water will also mean a better-tasting drink.
Remember water isn’t just for drinking. Discover the relaxing and soothing impact of hot water just before bed by indulging in a hot bath, warm foot spa or hot compress, and prepare yourself for a great night’s sleep in every way.