We keep hearing that people should drink at least eight glasses of water every day. It has numerous health benefits, such as keeping our skin supple and body cool, maintaining our cardiovascular health, improving the functioning of our muscles and joints, cleansing our bodies, etc.
But does hydrating yourself also help with sleep?
Turns out, it does.
The relationship between sleep and water runs deep. Being dehydrated can disrupt your sleep and cause poor quality sleep. Learn more.
Relationship between sleep and water
Being dehydrated can disrupt your sleep. When we are not hydrated enough, our mouths and nasal passages tend to go dry during sleep. This causes snoring, which in turn, leads to interrupted, poor quality sleep.
Nocturnal leg cramps are also triggered by dehydration. Being low on fluids causes bad sleep, which in turn impacts one’s alertness, cognition, and productivity the next day.
Therefore, dehydration causes poor sleep; however, poor sleep causes dehydration too.
According to research, when we are sleep deprived, the secretion of a hormone called vasopressin is disrupted. This hormone is released by the pituitary gland during sleep. Its work is to improve fluid retention by our body by instructing the kidneys to produce less urine. This hormone is released in a greater quantity toward the end of our sleep every night. However, if your sleep gets disrupted before completion, then this hormone isn’t released, thus causing the production of more urine, which in turn leads to dehydration.
Types of dehydration
There are two types of dehydration, broadly speaking – acute dehydration and chronic dehydration.
We are all prone to acute dehydration in cases such as extreme heat exposure, diarrhea, and physical exertion.
The easiest way to find out if you are suffering from acute dehydration is by checking the color of your urine – the darker it is, the more dehydrated you are.
Chronic dehydration, on the contrary, is caused over a period of time.
While chronic dehydration is a medical emergency, acute dehydration should not be neglected either. The signal it is giving you is that the body is functioning on lesser water than it requires to function healthily. This has numerous negative effects, and one such negative effect is bad sleep.
Sleep and water: How to hydrate better to sleep better
The simplest tip to hydrate better is to drink more water, pure water. If this is difficult, you can squeeze some lime into the glass and drink it.
If the temperature in the place you live has suddenly shot up, then you need to replenish the body fluids. One way to do this is to prepare an electrolyte drink at home. For this, take a glass of water. Add a pinch of iodized salt to it. Add two tablespoons of sugar, for instant energy. You can add a few drops of lime juice for flavor. Mix the contents. Drink this electrolyte often and throughout the day to stay hydrated.
As soon as you wake up, try to drink three glasses of warm water. If your body has lost its fluids during sleep due to lower secretion of vasopressin, then this will help replenish your system.
Also, wait for two hours before you drink your first cup of caffeine. Caffeine is diuretic, which means it promotes the production of urine, which isn’t what you want when you are dehydrated.
How many glasses of water do you drink every day?