How Much Hydration Do You Need Before Bed to Sleep Better?

Splashing water.

It's important to stay hydrated since the human body is made up of 60 percent water. (Image: George Hodan via Public Domain Pictures)

We’ve all wondered how much hydration is adequate to get through the day. But have you ever wondered how much fluid is necessary before bed for better sleep?

Water is an essential nutrient that your body needs to function effectively. The human body is made up of 60 percent water. While proper hydration is often associated with diet and exercise, studies have revealed the possible connection between hydration and sleep. 

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Although the effect of hydration on sleep is still unclear, experts agree that a lot can go wrong while you sleep when you lack fluids. For one, it can make sleeping difficult, and a lack of rest increases the risk of dehydration. Therefore, managing fluid intake before sleeping is vital to your overall health. 

How does fluid intake affect your sleep?

Hydration can affect the overall functioning of most systems in your body. According to Dr. Vincent Pedre, M.D., author of Happy Gut and medical director of Pedre Integrative Health, drinking too much, incredibly close to bedtime, can harm your sleep. 

Studies have also shown that the kidneys filter the blood when a person is lying in a prone position, resulting in a full bladder and a tendency to pee frequently. 

Alarm clock sitting on a bedside table shows the time at five minutes past five while a man is seen sleeping in bed in the blurred background.
The kidneys filter the blood when a person is lying in a prone position, resulting in a full bladder, so don’t drink too much close to bedtime. (Image: Stevanovicigor via Dreamstime)

You may wonder if drinking water before you get to sleep is healthy. Some people do so to keep themselves hydrated the whole night. During the day, you lose much fluid due to your daily activities. Regarding sleep and dehydration, you must balance fluid intake and overall health.

Drinking before bed interrupts the sleep cycle

Drinking fluids before sleeping can alter the sleep cycle. How? It increases the times you need to urinate at night. Urine output decreases at night to allow you to get six to eight hours of sleep, but drinking one or two glasses of water before bedtime can disrupt the normal sleep cycle. 

Fluid intake before sleep is bad for the health 

According to a 2019 study, lack of sleep can increase the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and weight gain. The study further reveals that adults who sleep less than six hours at night are at a greater risk of having a stroke or heart attack. 

Consequently, lack of sleep can have adverse effects on your heart health. 

Also, people who are frequently dehydrated experience extreme tiredness, lethargy, or fatigue. Generally, dehydration is associated with the following symptoms: 

  • Muscle cramps 
  • Dry mouth 
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Early morning thirst 
Muscle cramps can be a symptom of dehydration.
Muscle cramps can be a symptom of dehydration. (Image: Darkworx via Dreamstime)

How to keep yourself hydrated through your sleep

It is usual for the body to lose water during the night. However, there are some things that you can try to prevent a lack of fluids during sleep. 

Stay hydrated during the day 

Getting thirsty at night often results from not maintaining hydration throughout the day. Here are some tips on how to stay hydrated during the day: 

  1. Ensure regular fluid intake. Make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
  2. Bring a bottle when traveling to quickly drink water and track how much water you have consumed. 
  3. Make water your primary beverage, and be mindful of sugary drinks like sodas as well as caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.

Ensure comfortable bedroom temperature 

If your bedroom is too warm and you get hot while you sleep, it may cause you to sweat and lose water. To prevent this from happening, maintain a comfortable room temperature at night. 

Experts recommend maintaining a cooler thermostat. Alternatively, consider wearing light and loose clothing and using breathable bedsheets. 

Get quality sleep 

Ensuring you get high-quality sleep can make a huge difference in preventing a lack of fluids. The body undergoes multiple complex processes while you sleep, allowing you to receive a full recovery for overall health. By sleeping the recommended number of hours, you allow these processes to take place so that your circadian rhythm can improve your body’s fluid level. 

If you lose too many fluids during sleep despite following these tips, it is best to consult your doctor. They may be able to find underlying medical conditions that need attention as well.

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