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Water is the building block of life.
71% of the Earth’s surface is water and an astonishing 60% of the adult human body is H2O. Without it, living creatures die. Water powers the brain, delivers oxygen through the body, regulates temperature, flushes waste, and keeps joints lubricated.
Given the importance of this vital fluid, you might be wondering about drinking lots of water before bed, especially if you forgot your daily dose of H2O throughout the day. The answer may surprise you. While there may be a time and place for gulping down fluids, right before going to sleep might not be one of them.
Facts About Drinking Water Before Bed
When people sleep, they can lose about one to one-and-a-half pounds of water. That’s why it is typically a good idea to weigh yourself in the morning if you want the lowest number on the scale!
Breathing, sweating, and even getting up to urinate in the middle of the night all contribute to fluid loss. The problem arises when you drink too much H2O, especially right before bed. It could easily lead to having to get up to use the restroom, and the sleep interruption sleep can wreak havoc on one’s health.
As people get older, they could also suffer from conditions that make having to get up to go to the bathroom more likely. An overactive bladder, diabetes, and even certain medications can all have the effect of making one need to use the restroom at night. Because of this, it may be best to consume your last glass of H2O at least three hours before bedtime.
Amount of Water You Need
Everyone’s different, but in general, adults need 64 ounces of water per day. This equates to eight glasses of H2O with a cup capacity of eight ounces. This is equivalent to just under two liters, and there are plenty of liter sized bottles you can purchase to help you stay on track.
The 64-ounce suggestion is only a guideline. Other individuals may need to consume more, especially athletes, pregnant women, and people who live in particularly dry climates.
If you find that you have chapped lips, feel extra parched, or your urine is dark or odorous, those are all common signs that you may not be drinking enough fluids and you could be dehydrated. Consider upping your intake or consulting with a doctor to find the amount of H2O consumption that’s right for you.
Water & Sleep Deprivation Correlation
The primary correlation between water and sleep deprivation is that drinking too much before bed can make you get up to use the bathroom, a condition called “nocturia.” Any interruptions to sleep can disrupt your sleep cycle, making you feel less rested in the morning.
Further, getting up multiple times in the same night is likely to result in getting significantly less than the recommended seven to nine hours per night of shuteye. If this situation becomes a habit, people can be at a higher risk of the following:
- Weight gain and obesity
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
Pros & Cons
You might not have thought about the effect that H2O can have on your mood. It turns out that as little as a 1.5 percent loss of fluid can result in fatigue, anxiety, mood changes, headaches, lack of motivation, and difficulty concentrating.
It may be interesting to note that by the time the body feels thirsty, it may have already lost up to two percent of bodily fluids, meaning that thirst may not always be the best indication of when and how much to drink.
The body uses water to transport waste. The liver and kidneys especially need it to flush away all the toxins. When it becomes dehydrated, the body pulls liquid away from the colon and intestines, which can make digestion and bowel movements (another detoxifying activity) problematic.
Prevents Tension Headaches
Because water makes up so much of the brain and body, it is less of wonder that being dehydrated can lead to tension headaches. Staying hydrated can help to prevent tension headaches and can even lessen the frequency of migraines.
Helps in Weight Loss
Drinking H2O can be one of the easiest ways to control your weight. It might help in three ways:
1. Filling up on fluids suppresses appetite.
2. Having plenty of liquids boosts metabolism.
3. Not drinking enough may cause the body to hold on to every last drop of water for survival. The result can be bloating and a puffy appearance. By staying hydrated, your body can maintain a healthy balance of fluids.
Waking up during the night with the urge to pee can be a condition that’s been identified as nocturia. It’s been well-documented that interrupted and fragmented sleep can lead to fatigue in the morning and can result in sleep deprivation.
Who is at Risk for Nocturia?
In one study, nearly half of the overweight participants reported having to get up to relieve themselves at least once during the night. The study concluded that ovesity increases the likelihood of experiencing nocturia.
Patients with heart disease need their sleep, and waking up at night to urinate can be disruptive and damaging to their health. To make matters worse, these patients are also more likely to experience nocturia, potentially due to side effects medication.
Irregular glucose or blood sugar levels can stimulate the body to increase urine production, resulting in frequent nighttime urination.
Scientists have discovered an interesting link between depression and nocturia. It’s believed that taking antidepressants could ease the symptoms, although study results are mixed.
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy:
Also known as BPH, benign prostatic hypertrophy is when an enlarged prostate puts excess pressure on the bladder and can trigger frequent urination, particularly at night. This condition is typically observed in men over 50.
Having an overactive bladder can often be a sign of another underlying condition like BPH, diabetes, or a urinary tract infection (UTI). Regardless of the cause, the result is still the same – the patient has to get out of bed to use the bathroom. Treating the underlying condition is typically the best way to cure nocturia.
A bladder infection, also called a urinary tract infection, may cause the patient to feel the uncontrollable urge to urinate even if there’s little to no urine in the bladder. Falling asleep can sometimes eliminate the need to use the restroom, but these infections can also be major sleep disruptors.
How to Treat and Manage Nocturia
There are ways to treat and manage nocturia. Some require the intervention of a doctor or specialist, while other times simple lifestyle changes can vastly improve the condition.
Home remedies include:
- Abstaining from drinking fluids three hours before bedtime.
- If you take diuretics, try consuming them at least six hours before going to sleep.
- Wearing compression stockings or elevate the legs to prevent fluid from building up in the body.
There are some medications that can also help relieve symptoms of nocturia. Your doctor may be able to recommend something, or they might refer you to a urologist for further specialized expertise.
Another option is to find out what is causing the nocturia and treat that condition. If it’s due to a bladder infection, clearing it up should be a top priority, especially because the infection can travel to the kidneys if it’s not treated.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is drinking hot water and lemon good before sleep?
Yes, the combination of hot water and lemon can be excellent for sleep! In addition to hydrating the body and providing an extra dose of vitamin C, this beverage can also aid in digestion, which is important when you’re trying to get some rest, especially if you’ve indulged in a heavy meal or spicy foods.
As a precaution, make sure you brush your teeth after consuming this concoction. The acid from the lemon can erode tooth enamel, so rinsing it off can help prevent erosion of your enamel while you sleep.
Is it bad for the kidneys?
Not at all, within reason. The kidneys require H2O to function. They remove waste from the body. However, they do also remove extra water, so if you’re drinking too much you could be putting them on overtime duty, which could translate into extra bathroom breaks.
If you’re wondering when to drink water, there’s no universal answer that’s right for everyone. As long as you’re getting at least the recommended 64 ounces daily, the time that you consume it may not be all that important.
What you should be on the lookout for is whether your H2O intake is interrupting your sleep. If it is, then try to restrict your water consumption to earlier in the day and make sure you’re eating plenty of fluid-containing foods like fruits and vegetables.