Drinking Water Before Bed
Are you in the habit of drinking water before bed? Did you ever stop and ask yourself, should you drink water before bed? Is it fine to do so?
It’s known that water is essential for life, a primary key to survival and prevention of dehydration. However, drinking water before bed may cause some sleep issues. This article explores the science behind hydration and sleep and the potential pros and cons of drinking water before bed. Keep reading to know more.
How Does Drinking Water Before Bed Impact Sleep
Drinking water before bed can trigger the frequent need for urination at night. Although the body slows down urine production at night for people to sleep 6 to 8 hours without urinating, some wake up more often to urinate at night.
This can disrupt sleep and cause sleep deprivation, leading to other health conditions like weight gain, high blood pressure, and even high cholesterol. Hence, drinking too much water before bed is not advisable.
However, that does not mean you should not drink water at all. Water is essential for life, and without water, humans can survive only for days. And considering the water requirements, drinking insufficient water can affect the kidney, heart, and metabolic functioning.
Pros of Drinking Water Before Bed
Although drinking water right before bed is not advisable, there are certain benefits of drinking water before bed. Following are the reasons why you should drink water before bed.
Lowers Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
Drinking water induces several physiological alterations in the cardiovascular system. An article published in Scientific Reports suggests that water decreases heart rate and blood pressure, thereby reducing cardiac workload.
Similarly, another study suggests drinking water habitually before bedtime may reduce blood pressure. It helps the heart pump blood more efficiently.
According to the few published studies addressing water consumption and mood, a study demonstrated that water intake led to significant mood changes. A daily water intake increase led to a considerable mood improvement in habitual low-water drinkers, who reported less fatigue, less confusion, less thirst, and who tended to be less sleepy.
Contrary to that, habitual high water drinkers were forced to reduce their daily water intake. They became more thirsty, less calm, less content, and less vigorous and reported lower positive emotions.
Relieves Headache Symptoms
Sometimes lingering headaches can make it hard to fall asleep. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice comments that water intake is a cost-effective, non-invasive, and low-risk intervention to reduce or prevent headaches.
Another piece of evidence highlights that dehydration is closely related to promoting migraine headache frequency and severity.
Drinking water before bed benefits includes the prevention of dehydration. When the balance between water intake and water loss is disrupted, it causes dehydration. Water accounts for 60% of body weight, and people can become dehydrated if they lose as little as 3% of their body weight from water depletion.
The common symptoms of dehydration are dry mouth/tongue, thirst, headache, lethargy, fatigue, dry skin, muscle weakness, light-headedness, dizziness and a lack of focus.
Cons of Drinking Water Before Bed
Considering all the benefits of drinking water, is it good to drink water before bed? Guess not. Here’s one reason why drinking a lot of water before bed may not be ideal.
As explained before, when you drink water before bed, you may have to get up in the middle of the night to visit the restroom, causing unnecessary sleep disruption, further causing sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can further lead to other health conditions like weight gain, high blood pressure, and even high cholesterol.
Another thing about trips to the restroom at night is that when a person goes to the bathroom overnight two or more times, they may be experiencing what is known as nocturia.
Nocturia can stem from other underlying health issues or is a cause of simply being too well hydrated; it affects 2% to 18% of people aged 20 to 40. It is an independent predictor of insomnia and deterioration of sleep quality. In addition, nocturia is also known to impair functioning, life quality and productivity and is associated with sleep apnea.
When Is the Best Time to Drink Water
As mentioned before, there are benefits to drinking water before bed if only drunk at the right time. Dr Hansa Yogendra, an Indian yoga guru and director of The Yoga Institute in Mumbai, explains the right time to drink water and when to stop drinking water before bed. She says that if you are thirsty before bed, you can take a sip of water to quench the thirst, however, avoid drinking a lot of water before bed.”
“When a person feels thirsty, it’s because the body requires water; therefore, you must drink, at night the best time to drink water is one hour before bed”. This allows you to empty your bladder before bed and get a sound rest at night without any possible disruptions.
Things to Consider About Drinking Water Before Bed
There are certain things to consider about drinking water before bed.
As explained before, drinking too much water before bed contributes to nocturia. A condition often described as the most bothersome of all urinary symptoms and associated with long-term sleep deprivation.
And disruption in the sleep cycle has been linked to exhaustion, mood changes, somnolence, impaired productivity, increased risk of falls and accidents, fatigue, lethargy, inattentiveness, and cognitive dysfunction. You can reduce the chances of nocturia by avoiding drinking large amounts of fluids before going to bed.
Nocturnal enuresis is defined as nighttime bedwetting. It is a common condition that can cause substantial psychological distress in children. There are three commonly proposed mechanisms for bedwetting: excessive nocturnal urine production, bladder overactivity and a failure to awaken in response to bladder sensations. Regardless of whether or not a person experiences bedwetting, it is a good idea to empty the bladder one last time right before going to sleep.
Although it is essential to stay hydrated and drink enough water during the day, it can be disruptive if you drink just before bed. Avoid drinking water or fluids at least one hour before sleeping to prevent waking up at night.
Is it good to drink water before bed?
As explained in the article, drinking water just before bed might not be a good idea because it can cause unnecessary sleep disruption, with no guarantee that you may fall right back asleep.
Is drinking water before bed good for weight loss?
There is no evidence to support the claim that drinking water before bed will help you lose weight. Rather, it can indirectly lead to weight gain. Drinking water before bed can lead to unnecessary sleep disruption, which can cause hormonal alterations, which may favour an increase in calorie intake and decreased energy expenditure, ultimately leading to weight gain.
Is drinking water before bed good for your heart?
Yes, it is possible. A study suggests that drinking water habitually before bedtime may reduce blood pressure, helps the heart pump blood more efficiently, and prevent strain on the heart, blood pressure, and heart rate.
How much water should you drink before bed?
You can have a glass or two of water before bed; however, remember that the best time to drink water is one hour before bed.
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