The Good and Bad of Drinking Water Before Bed
Does your bedtime routine include drinking water?
Are you one of those who gulp down a glass of water before hitting the bed and even keep a pitcher or a bottle full beside your bed?
If yes, and even if no, you must go through this article to know the pros and cons of drinking water before bed.
Should Drinking Water Be In Your Nighttime Routine Or Not?
The short answer is NOT REALLY.
Needless to say hydration throughout the day is important. In fact, the timing of your water intake matters too. But, the scenario for the night is entirely different.
Although water accounts for up to 60% of body weight, during the day, our body needs fresh water to perform various bodily functions effectively and to keep our body healthy by flushing out the toxins out of our system. In addition to that, the benefits of drinking water is way more than you can count on fingers such as glowing skin, preventing constipation, cushioning joints, weight loss, better heart health, and so on. But, when the sun does down, your body shifts to an entirely another duty which does not require the amount of water as much as you need during the day. Confused? Let’s understand it better.
What Happens In Your Body While You Sleep?
Its not that our body completely shuts down when we sleep, only the speed of activity decreases. While sleeping, our muscles relax, brain waves slows down, our body works to repair muscle, organs, and other cells, brain clear out information we don’t need, body makes more of some hormones while we’re asleep and lowers others. In short, all the biological mechanism that happens in our body while sleeping are very mild comparatively to what happens while awake. Therefore, there is not much need to gulp down a pint of water right before bedtime.
We understand your throat might be already dry after reading this and hence need more reasons why you will have to give up your habit of drinking water while you prepare to sleep. So, here they are.
The Cons of Drinking Water Before Bedtime
1. You May Develop The Condition Called Nocturia
Don’t freak out, Nocturia is not some deadly condition but is risky because it is the medical term for excessive urination at night. Making a habit of getting up frequently to pee not only disturbs your sleep but also creates a higher risk of falls while rushing to get to the bathroom, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, etc.
As per studies, about 1 in 3 adults over the age of 30 can develop Nocturia, which may increase with age. In fact, 69% of men and 76% of women over age 40 get up at least once per night to pee. Whereas, according to a National Sleep Foundation poll, 65 percent of adults between the ages of 55 and 84 reported to visit bathroom several times at night.
2. Disrupted Sleep
It goes without saying that excess intake of water will disturb your sleep cycle because you will be awakened by your full bladder in the middle of the night. And after returning to the bed from the trip to the bathroom, it often takes time to re-enter your dreamland which leads to a not-so good morning the next day. You will wake up tired due to unfulfilled sleep hours and your sleep-debt keeps on growing which further invites other health issues like chronic heart disease, diabetes, obesity and depression, etc.
3. Weight Gain
Shocking isn’t it? While drinking water during day helps in shedding kilos, it does the opposite during the night. While sleeping our body burns calories and lack of sleep will make you seek energy from calorie-dense, high-sugar foods which will lead to an increased risk of obesity.
Another disadvantage of drinking too much water is bedwetting which can happen to people of all ages and due to embarrassment nobody talks about it. Well, one way to control is to limit your water intake before bedtime but if condition persists, it is advisable to consult a urologist as soon as possible.
Hold on, before you get scared and think that drinking water at night will put your health at risk, allow us to list out the benefits of drinking water as well.
The Pros of Drinking Water Before Bedtime
Water is the answer to a lot of health problems that you will be surprised to know. Drinking water helps in:
- Cleansing your body by breaking down waste and releasing toxins through sweat.
- Improving mood by increasing positive emotion, satisfaction, and calmness.
- Increasing blood circulation, which improves all sorts of bodily functions, including digestion, kidney function, and heart health.
- Regulating body temperature that’s vital for a good night’s sleep.
- Preventing dehydration because while sleeping we lose water from breathing, sweating, and passing stool from the digestive system.
Now, the last point might appear confusing that if we lose water while sleeping, shouldn’t we drink water before bed to avoid thirst, dry mouth, lips, and eyes? So, let’s see how much water should you take before sleeping and when.
When to Drink and How Much to Drink?
You won’t get dehydrated if you sleep without drinking water because our body is naturally capable of protecting itself against dehydration, even though we lose water while sleeping. If you have met your daily fluid intake during the day, you don’t actually need to hydrate before bed. And if you really need to drink water then avoid gulping large amounts of it right before hitting your bed. Instead, sip a glass of water an hour or two before sleep to enjoy an uninterrupted sleep, stay hydrated throughout the night, as well as avoid rushing to the bathroom during midnight.
Practically, there is no rule regarding the quantity and time of drinking water before bed that you need to follow strictly because it all depends on an individual’s water intake throughout the day. Hence, it is better to follow your body cues and make changes in your night routine accordingly.
Whatever the case may, chugging down too much water just before you sleep is probably not the wisest move.
So, sip before and sleep an hour later and well!