The Relationship Between Hydration & Sleep

by Francesca Macias / Aug 26, 2022
The Relationship Between Hydration & Sleep

Do you dream of better sleep? What if we told you hydration can help? While hydrating won’t put you to sleep, it can help you get more uninterrupted and rejuvenating shut-eye. And as you’ll see in a second, the relationship can go both ways: It’s possible dehydration can be responsible for your lack of sleep.

Keep reading to discover the surprising link between hydration and sleep, so you can sleep better starting tonight.

How Dehydration Steals Sleep

When you don't have enough water in your body, dehydration can strike—even while you're sleeping. Think about that. Normally, you’d know when you’re dehydrated as the symptoms are clear: headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, thirst, and more. But you’re obviously not aware of those things when you’re fast asleep.

Let's take a look at the surprising and often-overlooked, science-backed ways dehydration can disrupt sleep:

  • Muscle spasms. Dehydration can lead to muscle spasms that jerk you awake in the middle of the night. If you’re a light sleeper, spasms are probably enough to wake you up and perhaps keep you up.
  • Muscle cramps. Influenced by muscle spasms, muscle cramps can strike out of nowhere causing a painful tightening as your body decreases the amount of water in muscle to share that water with more vital organs in need of hydration. Can you imagine sleeping through leg cramps? That’s no easy feat.
  • Migraines. Did you know dehydration can trigger migraines? More powerful than the average headache, the only thing worse than waking up at 3am is waking up at 3am with a migraine. Unfortunately, even mild dehydration can influence migraines.
  • Snoring. Do you ever wake up to the sound of snoring? Whether it’s your own or your partner’s, mild dehydration could be the catalyst. That’s because dry nasal passages caused by insufficient water intake can emphasize snoring. 
  • Dry mouth. When you’re dehydrated, your mouth may stop producing saliva and gather phlegm. Just like that, dry mouth hits and you can wake up feeling like you’re catching a cold. 
  • Hormonal effects: Not drinking enough water can also have an effect on hormones like vasopressin (an antidiuretic hormone that helps you retain water) and melatonin, an important sleep-regulating hormone. Without enough melatonin, EDS (or excessive daytime sleepiness) may occur, causing the body to feel fatigued, exhausted, and sleepy during the day.

Sleep Is Naturally Dehydrating

As you’ve probably gathered by now, your body doesn’t simply shut off when you sleep. Compounding any existing dehydration or dehydration-related issues is the fact that sleep itself is naturally dehydrating. Remember, while you’re asleep, you’re not actively replenishing ongoing fluid or water loss that occurs through breathing, sweating, and more.

Plus, how much sleep you get matters, too. In a study of more than 20,000 American and Chinese adults, researchers found that those who got less than 6 hours of sleep per night had an increased risk of dehydration and a higher likelihood of being dehydrated. In other words, dehydration can steal sleep. And that lack of sleep can make matters worse. 

How Lack Of Sleep Affects Your Health

Getting insufficient sleep, disrupting your circadian rhythm (or your sleep cycle), or a short sleep duration can all have further negative health effects on your body; including sleep deprivation, higher blood pressure, and sleep apnea. All of these effects can act like a vicious cycle, snowballing into more bad sleep habits that could lead to even more health issues. That’s why drinking water and combatting inadequate hydration are keys to better sleep and better health. 

Drinking Water Can Make For A Good Night's Sleep

Your hydration status has a marked effect on your quality of sleep. Drinking a glass of water before bed is a common nighttime ritual that is probably doing more good than you realize.

That’s because it hydrates you to combat fluid loss during the day, as well as increased fluid loss through urination (from consuming diuretics like alcohol or caffeine), physical activity / exercise, and more. Plus, it equips you with extra water to combat natural water loss while you sleep. 

Going to bed hydrated means going to bed comfortable. As mentioned previously, your body naturally loses water while resting, mainly through breathing (and sometimes sweat). This process is known as insensible water loss. Normally you'd make up for this constant loss of water by hydrating frequently. That’s not the case when you're asleep, which is why it's important to go to bed well-hydrated.

How To Stay Hydrated & Sleep Better

  • Drink clean water to maintain adequate fluid intake regularly throughout the day.
  • Do not drink caffeine late in the afternoon.
  • Stop drinking alcohol at least three hours before you plan to go to bed.
  • For every alcoholic beverage you consume, try to drink at least a glass of water.
  • Do your best to get the bulk of your water in several hours before bed—irregularly large quantities before sleep can cause disruptive urination.

Great shut-eye is helped by great hydration. And a good night's sleep yields many wellness benefits the next day and beyond, including improved memory, productivity, mood, and even immune and cardiovascular performance. 

Hydration Is A Critical Sleep Partner

The bottom line is your body's hydration can have a major impact on your quality of sleep. Dehydration before bed can cause discomfort and poor sleep at best, or at worst, migraine attacks or sleep disorders. 

Ultimately, the key to unlock healthy, regular, sleep-supporting hydration is clean water.

Drinking contaminated tap water can cause illness and disease far worse than disrupted sleep. That’s why Clearly Filtered filters hundreds of contaminants typical carbon water filters can't. Upgrade to Clearly Filtered today to get easy access to clean water that protects your health, your family, and your future. With our advanced water filters, you can finally trust every drop.