Can Dehydration Affect Your Sleep?

What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up?  Is it how you don’t want to get out of bed, because you’re tired and would just rather put your head back under the pillow?  Maybe it’s that you’re feeling a little thirsty, and are ready to head downstairs and flick on the kettle for a large bucket of coffee?  For most of us, it’s connected with either of the above, and both can be linked with a lack of hydration overnight.

If your first thought of the day is about drinking copious amounts of coffee or tea or other caffeinated beverages, then you could be doing your sleep habits no good at all.  You don’t need to forfeit the early morning pick-me-up completely, but maybe think about starting off with some water first just so that you’re not overloading on diuretics.

It could seem like a vicious circle that you can’t get out of, but the less sleep you have, the more likely you are to be dehydrated.  The more tired you feel, the more coffee you might want to consume in order to combat that tiredness, which as a knock on effect will dehydrate you more quickly.

There is also a scientific explanation for dehydration during sleep (or lack of it) – our brains produce a hormone called vasopressin which basically signals the kidneys to conserve enough water to prevent dehydration.  The less we sleep, the lower the level of vasopressin that’s produced. The lower the level, the less we sleep.  There’s that vicious circle.

The easiest way to stay on top is to make sure you compensate for your body’s water deficit.  Drink less caffeine and more water.  Simple.  Electrolytes also help with hydration and fluid regulation so if you’re looking for a little less of a plain liquid to drink, then you could switch to coconut water which is packed with them.  Vegetable and fruit juices are also electrolyte rich so long as they’re freshly made, and not of the pasteurised and added sugar variety.

 

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