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9 Ways to Stay Hydrated for a Great Night's Sleep

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Dehydration symptoms that wreak havoc on your sleep — here's what you can do to wake up more hydrated. 


You probably know that getting enough water during the day is important for your health, but you may not be aware that dehydration can also negatively affect your nightly snooze.


In fact, a 2019 study published in Sleep found that lack of hydration was associated with shorter sleep duration.


“Studies show that lack of hydration during the night can affect the amount of deep restorative sleep. For people who are not hydrating well over a long period of time, this diminished sleep quality and quantity will affect cognitive, emotional, and cardiovascular health," warns W. Christopher Winter, MD, President, Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, and author of "The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It".


Symptoms of Nightly Dehydration

If you don't want to wake up dehydrated, first watch out for these dehydration symptoms:

  • Dryness of the mouth and nasal passage

  • Snoring

  • Leg cramps

  • Waking up thirsty

  • Urine that is a deep yellow or golden color. It should be the color of pale straw or transparent.


9 Ways to Stay Hydrated for a Solid Night of Sleep

Stop right there if you plan to start guzzling gallons of water right before bedtime. That will just make you get up several times to urinate.


Here's how to retain enough H2O to promote a more blissful sleep:


1. Get Adequate Hydration from Several Sources

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, total water intake should be around 3.7 liters for adult men and 2.7 liters for adult women per day. Keep in mind that this includes water contained in beverages and food.


2. Drink Water Throughout the Day

Don't chug it down all at once; you'll just excrete the excess.


3. Time Your Caffeine Intake

Drink about 12 to 16 ounces of water when you first wake up and before you have any caffeine, a diuretic which dries you out. Get your shot of caffeine between 90 minutes after you wake up and try to stop around noon.


Noon? Why does it matter what time you drink your last caffeinated beverage?


The caffeine molecule competes directly with adenosine, an important neurotransmitter connected to sleep. Furthermore, it takes your body eight hours to metabolize caffeine. So if you drink a latte or a caffeinated soda at 3 p.m., half the caffeine from that beverage is still circulating in your body at bedtime.


Sleep Number® SleepIQ® data confirms sleepers who regularly drink caffeine after noon are less restful and sleep far less than those who never do. Those who regularly drink caffeine in the evening have 19 fewer minutes of restful sleep each night than those who never do.* Do this every day and those 19 minutes of poor sleep per night could add up to almost 115 hours of junk sleep per year! Whoa, right?!


If you're drinking caffeine after noon, you're all but guaranteeing you won't get quality sleep. You may be so tired that you still fall asleep, but caffeine is going to disrupt your sleep and wake you up and/or disrupt your sleep cycles so you wake up more groggy.


And don't forget: chocolate has caffeine (sorry).


4. Limit Alcohol

Stop drinking alcoholic beverages three hours before bedtime and have one glass of water for each alcoholic beverage since alcohol is a huge dehydrator.


5. Regulate the Temperature

Keep your bedroom cool and humid. If it's too warm and dry, you will dehydrate faster. This applies all the way down to beds and bedding options. The new Sleep Number 360® smart bed helps you create your own personal microclimate. It has a more breathable mattress and balances surface temperature to help you stay asleep all night.


INTERESTING FACT: According to Dr. Michael Breus, PhD, American Board of Sleep Medicine and Fellow, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, we lose about one liter of water while we're asleep — just based on the humidity in our breath.


6. See a Certified Sleep Physician About Snoring and Other Breathing Issues

Snoring and other breathing issues cause your mouth to fall open, drying out the membranes. Your doctor may recommend a C-PAP (continuous positive airway pressure therapy), which increases air pressure in your throat, so it doesn't collapse when you inhale.


7. Sleep with a closed mouth

If your mouth keeps falling open, and it really bothers you, talk with your doctor about considering a chin strap.


8. Place some water beside your bed

Bring a glass or bottle of water with you when you go to bed. You can take a sip if you wake up and fall right back asleep.


9. Aim for the Best Quality Sleep You can get 

It's not always possible but try to keep to a reasonable schedule. The Sleep study mentioned above found that "people who reported that they regularly slept for six hours or less each night were 16–59% more likely to be dehydrated than those who slept for eight hours a night."


INTERESTING FACT: Good news! Sleep Number® smart bed owners get almost 100 hours more proven quality sleep per year.**


Read more about room temperature: From Head To Toe: How Sleep Temperature Affects Your Body.


Like diet and exercise, quality sleep has a profound impact on our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Because no two people sleep the same, Sleep Number 360® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably and provide proven quality sleep. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night's sleep, and if you own a Sleep Number® bed, log in to your InnerCircle℠ Rewards account to see your exclusive offers, refer friends and more.


*Based on SleepIQ® data from 1/1/19 to 1/31/19.


**100 hours more proven quality sleep based on internal analysis of sleep sessions assessing sleepers who use multiple features of Sleep Number® products. Claim based on sleepers achieving over 15 more minutes of restful sleep per sleep session.

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