Staying hydrated for better sleep

We know that prioritizing hydration comes with proven benefits: you stay mentally and physically alert, you’re regulating your body temperature, your skin stays supple, and so much more. What we might not readily consider is that adequate hydration plays a large role in our quality of sleep.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, dehydration causes dryness in the mouth and nasal passages, which can lead to “sleep-disruptive snoring and a parched throat and hoarseness in the morning.” It can cause leg cramps as well.

As you sleep, you lose fluids by simply breathing — more so if you’re a mouth breather or a snorer and less so if you breathe through your nose — and even if your bedroom is too dry or warm.

Staying hydrated for a better sleep isn’t easily remedied by chugging a bottle of water before bed. Like most things, progress is marked by consistency, so an even spread of drinking non-caffeinated fluids throughout the day will allow you to achieve balance without forcing midnight bathroom runs.

For example, start your day with drinking a glass of water when you wake up and save your morning cup of joe until two to three hours after waking up. Coffee is a diuretic — meaning it causes people to feel the need to urinate — and while it isn’t directly related to the risk of dehydration, rehydrating yourself after having lost fluid from sleeping is generally best combated with water.

If you’re someone who finds drinking water boring because of its lack of flavour, add a slice of lemon, cucumber, or tossing in a few of your favourite berries provides natural pep to your water while you gain from the added health benefits.

To further heighten your quality of sleep, avoid drinking caffeine six hours before going to bed as well as excessive alcohol consumption. Are you one to prefer an intense workout later into the eve? All the power to you! Just remember to balance the moisture you lose with sufficient hydration so you can rest easy.