We’ve all learned how important it is to keep ourselves hydrated. Half a gallon of water a day is the recommended amount but how many of us actually follow the rule? Between 2005 and 2010, American adults drank a meager 39 ounces of water a day while youth drank just 15 ounces. Meanwhile, in a study of 1,000 people by Quench, 43 percent said they don’t drink enough water because they just don’t feel thirsty. Aside from the obvious health benefits that staying hydrated has, did you know that a lack of sleep may also contribute to dehydration? New research has found a link that should give us more reason to stay hydrated.
Few studies have assessed the relationship between sleep deprivation and dehydration. However, a recent observational study by Pennsylvania State University examined the effect that lack of sleep has on hydration levels in the body. The study included American and Chinese adults and was published in the journal, Sleep.
Data on more 20,000 young adults were studied as part of the research. Their urine samples were examined for osmolality and specific gravity, both of which are markers for dehydration. They found that those who slept for 6 hours a night or less were 16 to 59 percent more likely to suffer from dehydration compared to those who slept for 8 hours a night. Interestingly, there was no association between hydration and sleeping for 9 hours
Since the study didn’t look at causality, it’s not clear if sleep deprivation actually causes dehydration. However, the scientists theorize that the antidiuretic hormone, vasopressin, may be what connects sleep deprivation and dehydration.
Vasopressin binds to receptors in the kidneys and helps water get reabsorbed into circulation. It’s released during the later stages of sleep in greater amounts. If you don’t get enough sleep, vasopressin may be suppressed, and water may not be reabsorbed as well, leading to dehydration.
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Having trouble sleeping doesn’t mean you’re destined to be sleep-deprived forever. There are many things you can do to encourage sleep. Similarly, if you aren’t meeting your water consumption requirements you can slowly get on track by cultivating a few simple habits.
Alcohol is a big dehydrator as it’s a diuretic and causes frequent urination. Aside from dehydration, it interferes with sleep. It shortens rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is the restorative stage of sleep. Alcohol doesn’t need to be eliminated altogether, but it should be limited to just two drinks a day for men and one a day for women. Try to have it three hours before bed so that you don’t have to get up to go to the bathroom at night. Be sure to match each alcoholic drink with a glass of water to balance hydration levels.
Your phone is likely with you all the time, so what better way to remind you to drink water than with a water tracker app? It’ll help you develop healthy water drinking habits. All you need to do is enter a few details like your weight, and the app will calculate how much water you need to drink each day and sound an alert when it’s time to have a glass.
A sleep routine is nothing more than performing activities that relax you enough so that you fall asleep easily. Once your day is done, get into the habit of doing things that calm you whether it’s journaling, reading a book or having a warm bath with soothing bath salts. Note: Don’t wind down with your gadgets as the blue light they emit can keep you alert.
Think of your bedroom as a sanctuary that promotes sleep. It should be quiet, dark and cool. It should also be free of distractions, which means no TV, laptop and similar gadgets. Your bed should also be comfortable and supportive. The Nuvanna mattress is the perfect balance of the two. Its three-layer design cools, comforts and supports for the best sleep possible. The top layer consists of phase-changing gel particles that absorb body heat and disperse it. The middle layer isolates motion and allows you and yours to move freely without disturbing each other’s sleep. The bottom layer supports the entire body including the spine to prevent backaches.
Sleep deprivation has many dangers including a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, and stroke. Considering its far-reaching effects, it shouldn’t be too shocking that it has a role to play in hydration too. It’s time to make sleep a priority so that we can reap its full benefits, including keeping hydration at optimum levels.