You already know that dehydration can impact your focus, function and energy. But did you know that dehydration can also affect sleep quality? While it’s more common to think about hydration in the context of diet and exercise, an increasing amount of research is exploring the links between hydration and sleep.
Hydration is important for most systems of the body, which is why dehydration can have diverse symptoms, including effects on sleep.
People who are suffering from significant dehydration often find that they feel extremely tired, lethargic or fatigued. It can dry out the mouth, throat and nasal passages, causing discomfort and it can lead to leg cramps that wake you in the night.
At the same time, excess hydration can contribute to sleeping problems. Frequent urination at night, known as nocturia, can interrupt sleep with repeated trips to the bathroom. So finding the right balance of fluid intake can improve overall health and may contribute to better sleep without numerous trips to the bathroom or waking up feeling dehydrated.
How to Avoid Dehydration During Sleep
It’s normal for the body to have a net loss of water during the night, but there are steps hat you can take to keep tha from resulting in dehydration.
Focus On Good Sleep
Getting a sufficient amount of high-quality sleep is an important part of preventing dehydration. The body goes through multiple complex processes during sleep that enable recovery for overall health. By sleeping the recommended amount, you allow these processes to unfold and let your circadian rhythm better manage your body’s fluid levels.
How can you get better sleep? Have a consistent sleep schedule, put down your phone and other electronic devices at least an hour before going to bed, develop a relaxing bedtime routine and use a comfortable mattress.
Maintain Hydration Through the Day
If you frequently find yourself thirsty at night, it might mean that you aren’t staying hydrated during the day. By maintaining hydration through the day, you have less to worry about when bedtime rolls around.
Tips for healthy hydration:
- Sip fluids regularly. This means setting a reminder on your phone if you have a hard time remembering to drink water.
- Use a reusable water bottle. It’s better for the environment and you’ll always have water on hand.
- Drink water as your primary beverage. Avoid sugary beverages, including sodas and juices, as well as caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables that have high water content. This is an easy to increase your water intake.
Find a Comfortable Bedroom Temperature
Sweating can cause water loss at night, and if your bedroom is too warm or you tend to sleep hot, heavy sweating can make it more likely that you’ll wake up dehydrated.
Make sure that you can easily maintain a comfortable temperature through the night by keeping your bedroom thermostat on the cooler side. You can also wear light, loose clothing and use breathable bedding that keeps you from overheating.
Stay Hydrated Without Frequent Urination at Night
A common challenge is knowing how to stay hydrated during sleep without having to frequently wake up at night to go to the bathroom. Some things you can do to help you avoid both dehydration and excess trips to the bathroom include limiting alcohol and caffeine at night, reducing fluid consumption two hours before bedtime, and emptying your bladder before you head to sleep.