More Drinking, Better Sleeping
There are many things that can enormously help us to achieve consistent and restorative sleep - especially when given a fair trial of a week or so. Today’s article focuses on the super importance of staying hydrated for overall well-being, as well as for amazing sleep.
How is staying hydrated connected to getting great sleep?
Simple. Dehydration blocks your body’s ability to release melatonin, the sleep hormone. Yep! And, a lack of melatonin in your system makes it very difficult to feel sleepy and ultimately to fall asleep.
Hydration, on the other hand, is essential to every cell. It supports your muscles and joints to work better. It removes waste from your body, promotes cardiovascular health, keeps your body cool, and absolutely assists in getting a good night’s sleep. In short, your body functions best when fully and regularly hydrated.
What Causes Dehydration?
There are many factors that can cause dehydration. This includes sleep itself, caffeine, alcohol, exercise, hot weather, inadequate water drinking, some medications, not enough vegetable/fruit consumption, kidney issues, diarrhea/vomiting, and pregnancy.
Not only can one become dehydrated due to any of the above, but I’d like to emphasize that we lose about 1 liter of water each night while sleeping from the humidity in our breath. Moreover, while dehydration can lead to poor sleep, conversely poor sleep can lead to dehydration! A recent Penn State study shows people who sleep for 6 hours or less have higher urine concentrations in the mornings compared to those who sleep for 8 hours.
Suffice it to say that any and all sleep ultimately leads to dehydration. Each one of us therefore should mindfully hydrate throughout the days for our overall health and good sleep maintenance.
►Drink approx. 12-16 oz of room temperature water first thing each morning
►Hold off on consuming your first coffee, tea or any caffeinated beverage until 90 minutes after waking
►Drink extra water when you exercise and/or sweat
►Drink an 8 oz glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume
Make sure not to drink excessively while eating - otherwise you risk diluting stomach acids that aid in digestion. Rather, drink most of your water in between meals ideally 2-hours post meal and up to 10 minutes before eating again. Stop drinking at least an hour before bedtime otherwise you may have an interrupted night of sleeping due to frequent urination.
How much we should drink varies per individual. Some say eight 8 oz. glasses of water a day is ideal. I say drink enough so that your urine stream is clear. Darker yellow color may indicate a need to increase your water intake.
By the way, how much do you drink today?
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Susan D’Addario, Author, Certified Sleep Science Coach, and Founder of Back-To-Sleep, helps people struggling to get a good night’s sleep so they can finally sleep soundly again and feel rested and ready to take on the world.