We have all heard the extensive health benefits of drinking water and staying hydrated, but is there a best time to consume water? While many of us devote our concentration to staying hydrated throughout the day, getting enough water in the evening tends to get overlooked. However, it is equally essential to keep our bodies hydrated overnight, as they continue to lose fluids while we sleep.
Drinking water is a viable solution for the issue of nightly dehydration. In this article, we will review why drinking water before bed may be a healthy habit to practice, five specific benefits of drinking water before bed, and how to appropriately space out your water intake, so your sleep cycle remains interrupted. Keep reading to find out how you can use drinking water before bed to your advantage and reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
Is It Healthy to Drink Water Before Bed?
Because 60 to 70% of our body weight consists of water, every part of our body needs water to stay healthy and function correctly. In particular, water helps the kidneys remove waste from the blood by disposing of it through urine. Blood vessels also benefit from water, as it keeps them open and helps blood travel freely to the kidneys, where it can deliver vital nutrients.
With adequate water, these systems run smoothly, but if we become dehydrated, the delivery system from our blood to our kidneys struggles to work correctly. While mild dehydration typically results in tiredness and may slightly impair normal bodily functions, severe dehydration can result in kidney damage. To protect the kidneys and other systems within the body, including the digestive and nervous systems, it is imperative to drink enough water each day, especially under hot and humid conditions or after rigorous exercise.
However, the appropriate amount of daily water intake is not a one-size-fits-all number. You might have heard everyone needs to drink eight glasses of water every day, but that isn't necessarily the case. Because everyone's body is different, the right amount of daily water will vary by person, and you need to figure out what's best for you.
These are some of the primary factors affecting your ideal water intake.
- Age: In general, older people can drink slightly less water without seeing evidence of dehydration. But because older people tend to experience thirst less, it's still vital to remember to drink enough water in later years.
- Exercise intensity: Naturally, those who exercise more will sweat more, and need to drink more water to replace the fluids lost through perspiration.
- Climate: Those who live in a warm and humid climate will also tend to sweat more and need to replenish their bodies' water supply more frequently.
- Health: Anyone battling a cold or the flu needs to drink more water than when they are healthy to help their bodies function better and aid congestion by loosening mucus.
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding: Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should try to drink more water than the average person because their bodies are working to provide extra nutrients for two humans.
Although it rarely occurs, keep in mind that it is possible to drink too much water. Drinking copious amounts of water can dilute the sodium level in your blood, which leads to a dangerous condition known as hyponatremia. During hyponatremia, the extra water goes into the cells and causes them to swell, which can be dangerous because the brain cannot expand beyond the skull.
To avoid the need to take in an overwhelming amount of water at once and reduce the risk of hyponatremia, make a concerted effort to remain consistently hydrated. Consume a steady flow of water throughout the day, including before bed. There can be some additional benefits to drinking water before bedtime. In the following sections, we will address the details of drinking water at night and how it may be a healthy choice for you.
5 Benefits of Drinking Water Before Bed
Now that we've gone over the importance of staying hydrated throughout the day, let's take a closer look at the advantages of drinking water before going to bed. Check out these top five benefits of having a glass of water before turning in for the night.
1. Helps Support Digestion
Water is vital for keeping the body's digestive system running smoothly. Although drinking water is not necessary for the body to digest food, it can be advantageous. Contrary to the misconception that drinking water with meals can interfere with digestion by diluting the stomach's digestive juices, drinking water during or after a meal can aid the digestion process. Drinking water and other liquids can help break down food, allowing the body to absorb the nutrients better.
Water continues to help throughout the entire digestive process by moving food through the intestines. By keeping the intestines flexible and smooth, drinking water aids with flushing out unneeded nutrients and waste disposal. Water softens stool, which helps prevent or relieve constipation. Drinking water before bed can help the body digest its dinner and help you wake up feeling more refreshed.
2. Improves Your Mood
Drinking too little water deprives your body of essential nourishment, which can negatively impact your mood. One 2014 study of fluid volume intake found that increasing the daily water intake of subjects who typically drank less during the day improved their calmness, positive emotions, and satisfaction. On the other hand, those who reduced their usually high water intake saw detrimental effects on their overall mood.
In addition to boosting your mood, staying hydrated can make your mind sharper. Because water deprivation affects sleep quality by disrupting the overall sleep-wake cycle, getting the right amount of water is crucial to proper mood regulation and mental functioning. Drinking enough water throughout the day and before going to bed keeps your body's fluids replenished, enabling you to get better sleep that will elevate both your mood and mental fortitude.
3. Detoxes the Body
Drinking water is a natural way to help detox the body, especially drinking hot or warm water. Because both hot and warm water increase blood circulation, drinking water at a warmer temperature before bed can aid your body's ability to break down waste while increasing its sweat output. By removing excess toxins or salts and cleaning the skin cells, sweating allows your body to release more waste throughout the night.
Consuming warm or hot water activates your endocrine system by temporarily raising your body's internal temperature and causing you to sweat. These processes are a valuable component of flushing out irritants you encounter in your environment and detoxing your body as a whole. By fighting inflammation and keeping the joints well-lubricated, drinking warm water can also help prevent joint issues, such as arthritis and gout.
If you don't enjoy the taste of plain water or want an extra detox boost, try putting a slice of lemon in your hot water before bed. The lemon will flavor the beverage while adding some vitamin C to further detox by supporting the immune system and fighting infection.
4. Supports Weight Loss
While water does not have any specific weight-loss properties, it does fill up space in the stomach. Curbing the appetite can help decrease your overall calorie intake, which ultimately leads to losing pounds. Because we often confuse the sensations of hunger and thirst, drinking water can control appetite and shed excess weight when consumed at the right times.
Research has shown that drinking two eight-ounce glasses of water before each meal helped study subjects lose more weight in a set period than participants who did not drink two full glasses of water before meals. Although drinking water throughout the day can help suppress cravings for high-calorie, unhealthy foods, drinking water before bed is especially crucial for curbing the late-night munchies.
If you tend to have a routine midnight snack, try having a glass or two of water before bed to cut down on cravings. Drinking water before bed can also help you fall asleep more easily by decreasing hunger pangs.
5. Helps Prevent Kidney Stones
Staying hydrated assists proper kidney function by flushing out toxins and preventing kidney stones. When there is sufficient water available, kidney stones have a harder time developing because the water stops stone-forming crystals from sticking together. In this way, drinking enough water each day will help you avoid kidney damage.
Drinking enough water will also contribute to an increased production of urine, which enables your body to flush out more infection-causing bacteria. By dissolving the antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) and making them more effective, water can also help mitigate UTI symptoms. While drinking enough water throughout the entire day will ensure there is a sufficient water supply available for your kidneys to operate at their highest function, consuming some water before bed will help your systems continue working through the night.
Will Drinking Water Before Bed Disrupt My Sleep?
While there are numerous benefits to drinking water before bed, it is crucial not to consume so much water before bedtime that it interrupts your sleep cycle. Because drinking water leads to more urination, drinking water before bed can increase the number of times you need to get up in the middle of the night. Although your urine output naturally slows at night, enabling you to get a full six to eight hours of sleep without interruption, drinking a few glasses of water before bed can throw off your usual sleep cycle.
For those 45 years of age or older, sleeping fewer than six hours per night can increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Because you are more likely to develop an overactive bladder as you age, drinking water before bed and heart attack rates in older individuals do have a slight correlation. By disrupting your sleep cycle with more bathroom breaks throughout the night, drinking water before bed may not be as advantageous for older adults as it is for younger people.
However, drinking water a couple of hours before bed can still benefit those more advanced in age. Even while sleeping, your body loses some of its water reserves through breathing and sweating. That's why it's essential to ensure you remain hydrated through the night. Steps you can take include staying hydrated from morning to evening by drinking water with every meal, eating more fruits and vegetables that contain a high percentage of water, drinking water both before and after exercise, and drinking a moderate amount of water before bed.
A good way to check whether you are getting enough water throughout the day is to monitor your urine's color. Dark urine is a primary sign of dehydration. In contrast, light yellow or clear urine indicates you are drinking the right amount of water to keep your body's systems performing at their highest capabilities. To figure out whether you're getting enough water each day, check your urine to make sure it is light yellow or colorless.
When your urine looks closer to dark yellow, you are starting to become dehydrated. In this case, increase your water intake. If your urine tends to be darker in the morning, consider drinking some water before bed each night.
By continuing to flush out your body's systems overnight, drinking water before bed can help you remain adequately hydrated for peak health. As long as you are not consuming an excessive quantity of water right before tucking in for the night, drinking water before bed should not adversely affect your sleep cycle or well-being. Indeed, the many benefits of drinking water before bed may make you want to start adopting the habit.
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If you want to reap the benefits of drinking water before bed, make sure you're drinking clean water from a Multipure drinking water system. Filtering your water through a Multipure drinking water system will remove harmful contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and cysts, giving you peace of mind as you drift off to sleep.
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