We've all heard of 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, the specific benefits of drinking water before bed, and how to space out your water intake to avoid interrupting your sleep cycle. Here's how you can use drinking water before bed to your advantage and reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.
What Happens to Your Body When You Sleep?
It is healthy to drink water before bed, and often encouraged for various reasons. As we sleep, our body goes through different stages and biological processes:
- Stage 1, where your heart rate, brain waves, and eye movements start to slow down.
- Stage 2, where your body temperature decreases and your heart rate and muscle movements slow down more.
- Stage 3 is when deep sleep begins — it is restorative, allowing your body to replenish its energy and repair cells, tissues, and muscles.
- Stage 4, or REM sleep, occurs when your brain waves, eye movements, heart rate, and breathing increase.
Without these processes, our bodies cannot function correctly. Because up to 60% of our body weight consists of water, every part of our body needs water to stay healthy and function correctly. Drinking water is especially helpful before bed when our bodies need it to assist in the above functions, including replenishing energy and repairing cells and tissue.
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, which filters the blood of waste products.
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'll want 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 severe condition known as hyponatremia. During hyponatremia, the extra water goes into the cells and causes them to swell, which can be dangerous.
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. Research finds that it is generally healthy to drink water before bed, as it can provide benefits like assisting the body as it rids toxins as you sweat and regulating body temperature.
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. Staying hydrated supports systems in the body that impact your sleep, helping you rest easier and wake up more refreshed.
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.
But why drink water before bed? Digestion tends to slow down as we sleep. However, water can help with this process by keeping you hydrated through the night and helping the body rid itself of unwanted toxins. It might also help relieve cramping and stomach pain, making it conducive to a better night's rest.
2. Improves Your Mood
Drinking water before bed can nourish your body, which can positively impact your mood. It's also crucial to get proper sleep to prevent negative moods like anger, irritability, and frustration and manage symptoms of conditions like depression and anxiety.
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, it is good to drink water before bed to ensure 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
Staying hydrated is a natural way to help detox the body, especially drinking hot or warm water. Because both hot and warm water increases 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 help with supporting the immune system and fighting infection.
4. Supports Weight Loss
Getting proper sleep is crucial to your well-being, and without it, it can make maintaining your goal weight more challenging. 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 late-night hunger.
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
Sleep patterns affect chronic kidney disease, and those who sleep less might experience faster kidney function decline.
Staying hydrated assists in 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 or older, sleeping at least six hours every night is crucial to decrease the risk of certain health complications. Because you are more likely to develop an overactive bladder as you age, drinking water before bed and heart complications have a slight correlation in older adults. 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 ensuring you remain hydrated through the night is essential. 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, like melons, strawberries, celery, or broccoli
- Drinking water both before and after exercise
- 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.
We lose water through sweating and breathing at night. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, causing us to feel tired or weaker than usual. Further, it can lead to urinary or kidney complications and electrolyte imbalances. Consuming plenty of water and water-filled foods before bed can prevent dehydration and help you maintain your energy for the next day. It can also prevent disruptions to your circadian rhythm, your body's internal clock.
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.
Get the Most From Your Water With a Multipure Drinking Water System
Keeping hydrated throughout the day and night is crucial for a more restful sleep and a healthier mind and body. Reap the benefits of drinking water before bed with a clean water system. Filtering your water through a Multipure drinking water system can treat harmful contaminants like bacteria and forever chemicals and give you peace of mind as you drift off to sleep.
Along with confidence in the quality of your drinking water, Multipure gives you a 90-day money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty, so you can always have healthy water in your home. With over 50 years of experience in the water filtration industry, Multipure knows healthier water and can offer you a blend of expertise, performance, and NSF certification you won't find anywhere else on the market.
To find out which water filtration system is best for you, check out our drinking water systems today.