Hydration is extremely important throughout the day, and there’s no better drink than water, which we consume daily to hydrate our body, and to restore and cushion our tissues and joints. It isn’t a surprise that water makes up more than 75% of our body mass. However, is drinking water before bed a good idea? In this article, we’re going to break down the benefits of drinking water at night, as well as the drawbacks. Read on!
Water is the most essential drink we could consume. With that in mind, it doesn’t surprise us that you think you should drink it before bed. On most occasions, people who’ve missed taking enough fluids throughout the day think that it’s a good idea to make up for the liquid loss in the night. Still, that can be an extremely bad idea depending on how close to bed you drink and whether you have certain health conditions.
What Is The Amount Of Water You Need Per Day?
Our body uses water to channel toxic waste through urination and bowel movement. That means that while we take water that is beneficial to us, we also lose it by breathing, sweating, urination, and bowel movements. That’s why it’s important to take water consistently and constantly replenish the water supply, especially if you require more water per day or live in drier and hotter regions.
One way of doing that aside from drinking water itself is to drink water-rich beverages, while also consuming food rich in water. Now, let’s calculate how much water a healthy adult that lives in a mild climate needs.
According to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the perfect value for water intake includes:
- 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for adult males.
- 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids for adult females.
We refer to fluids because water intake doesn’t only reach our body through daily water intake, but also other beverages and foods that contain water. The academic facility also stated that the daily fluid intake should come from 80% drinks and 20% food.
What About the 8 x 8 Rule?
If you’ve heard about the 8 x 8 rule, you’re not alone. If you haven’t, however, there’s the advice that states that drinking eight 8-ounce water classes a day would have various health benefits for our body. Moreover, it’s easy to remember so you won’t have trouble catching up to meet your “daily goal.”
While this is a great way to motivate people to drink water and keep track of their intake, the water taking preferences differ and vary for many people. Those who aren’t too physically active and don’t live in hotter regions, even fewer glasses could suffice.
On the other hand, some people would require more due to their health conditions or weight. Finally, for some people, it may be enough. There’s no better indicator of water than our own body and thirst. That said, you should drink water whenever you feel thirsty.
Things That Influence Water Intake
If you find yourself doing things listed below and feel thirsty, you may need to change your relationship with water and drink more or less water, based on your needs.
If you engage in physical activities that contribute to fluid loss such as sweating, you will need to drink additional glasses of water to replenish your water supply. Expert advises taking water before, during, and after a workout. However, the water intake during workouts should be in the form of short sips so you wouldn’t catch a cold when your body heats up. Those who practice intense workout sessions may need extra water or a sports drink that is rich in minerals and electrolytes that can feed you nutritional values.
Depending on whether the environment you live in is more hot and dry or humid and rainy, you will experience different necessities for water and fluids in particular. Those who sweat a lot as a result of temperature fluctuations may need more water to sustain themselves. On the other side, some people who live in the mountains and higher altitudes may be more prone to dehydration.
Sometimes, the overall health state may reveal more about your hydration needs. If you get ill, your fever, nausea, throwing up, and diarrhea will lead to fluid loss, demanding more thirst from us. Based on what doctors recommended, plan your fluid intake accordingly. There are also a lot of oral rehydration solutions that your doctor will prescribe you to replenish the lost fluids. Additionally, people who suffer from bacterial bladder infections and urinary tract infections will also require more water to get rid of the problems.
Drinking Water Before Bed And Maternity
When women are expecting, their metabolism goes under a set of metabolic and hormonal changes to help the baby grow and prepare it for the arrival. With that in mind, we prepared a little section on how maternity affects water intake.
Women who are expecting are eating, drinking, and walking for two. With that in mind, they spend more energy compared to the average person. It’s of extreme importance for them to drink water frequently as well as eat. It is recommended for pregnant women to drink at least 10 cups of water.
Also, women who are breastfeeding should also stay hydrated for the sake of the quality of the milk. Excess activity leads to dehydration and so women should drink around 13 cups a day to keep themselves hydrated and fresh, according to detailed research as well as the statement from the World Health Organization (WHO.)
Babies And Water
Under no conditions should you give water to your infant if he or she is younger than six months. Even older babies and toddlers younger than two should not drink too much water. The reason for that is because baby stomachs are extremely small and can’t take more than one to two teaspoons of fluids. As a result of that baby can’t take a lot of fluid and receives all the needed nutrition through breastmilk or formula intake.
The water intake for a baby younger than six months is not only dangerous because of their small and undeveloped stomachs, it can also lead to a serious occurrence known as the water intoxication. It’s no secret that water can be dangerous to anyone if taken in abnormal amounts. Still, water even in moderate amounts can lead to serious health complications for the baby.
Water intoxication happens when kidneys receive too much water to handle, and given the baby’s kidneys are small, even the teaspoon amount of water can be dangerous for them and cause intoxication in the bloodstream. It compromises the electrolytes in our blood and much more.
The kidneys are also underdeveloped compared to the adult kidneys which is why it’s impossible and likely for a baby to suffer water intoxication even from the smallest amounts of water.
Water intoxication can’t only happen from consuming water as a drink. A lot of parents practice introducing their babies to swimming schools. Some schools make groups of babies as young as four months and in such situations, as a lack of caution, it can happen that the baby swallows too much water.
When Can Babies Start Drinking Water?
Babies from 6 months to one year old are allowed to drink water but in moderate amounts. The idea of introducing them to water is mostly to get them to get used to the taste so they won’t refuse it when it’s time to separate them from breast milk and formula. Babies and toddlers, however, shouldn’t drink a lot of water before being one and a half to two years old.
Toddlers and Children
As your baby grows into a toddler, it’s much safer for them to drink water for the sake of hydration. But what’s the recommended amount?
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies states based on thorough research that children 4 to 8 years old should drink seven cups of water, while children aged 9 to 13 years old should drink 9 to 10 cups of water.
With toddlers, MayoClinic recommends water intake of two cups of water for two years old toddlers, while the three years old toddlers should drink from two to three cups of water a day. Be vary not to restrict your toddlers on water if they feel thirsty, as now they don’t drink formula or breast milk (most likely) they’ll need more sources of hydration.
Drinking Water Before Bed: The Good
Here is a list of good sides of drinking water before bed. Needless to say, drinking water before bed will prevent dehydration, but here are some benefits worth mentioning.
It Lifts Your Moods
A lot of people believe that water has healing abilities, and the studies supporting frequent hydration just keep coming. Now, there’s a popular belief that drinking water frequently, as well as before bedtime has a positive impact on your mood. Research has shown that liquid loss can lead to fatigue, mood swings, headaches, anxiety, depression, and difficulties with concentrating. These are all conditions closely associated with lack of sleep.
Researchers believe that 1.5% of fluids loss can lead to the aforementioned conditions, while our brain may not even signal the sensation of thirst before we’ve lost over 2% of fluids. That said, to feel at peace with your mind and soul, it’s important to frequently drink water, and if you didn’t catch to fill the daily quota, you can do it before bed.
It Stops Hunger
Some people have difficulties sleeping when they’re hungry and they don’t practice late-night snacks due to medication, a lifestyle change, or some other reason. One of the ways to silence the feeling of hunger is to drink water, particularly warm water.
Another reason people will feel hungry is that they practiced eating early in the evening but went to bed at late time in the night. A lot of studies suggest that it’s not healthy to eat just before the bed, but if the hunger is too strong, then a glass of warm water should silence your stomach until morning. Still, this article exists because there are both good and bad sides of drinking water before bed, so it’d be best to drink it in moderation. You should drink water, however, if the stomach pain caused by hunger is too loud and intense to ignore, to the point it’s preventing you from sleeping.
The water will trick your stomach into thinking you’ve eaten and that it’s time to digest. That way, you have enough time to fall asleep without triggering the hunger in your stomach again. Sleeping long and properly will have extreme effects on how you start days.
It Helps Treat Hangovers
People who drink a lot of alcohol, especially on empty stomachs are prone to waking up with hangovers the next day. If you have active nightlife and drink frequently, then drinking a glass or two of water will help you treat problems with waking up hungover. When you drink alcohol, your body will likely lose a lot of fluids, so water before bed helps wake up rested and restored.
While drinking water won’t prevent hangovers in entirety unless you drink in moderation, the consequences will be minimized and you’ll be able to go through the day without medications or staying in bed for the rest of the day.
It Helps With Morning Headaches
Morning headaches are a frequent occurrence for people who don’t get enough sleep or have ongoing health issues. However, in many situations, morning headaches can be a result of inadequate hydration caused by lack of water or fluid loss. One of the best benefits of drinking a glass or two of water is that it will minimize the effects of morning headaches.
Of course, if you feel morning headaches way too frequently every month, you should consider changing the pillow or mattress, or go to the doctor.
Drinking-Water Before Bed: The Bad
For many people, the main downside of drinking water before bed would be waking up in the middle of the night or early in the morning having to use the toilet. However, the bad sides of hydration just before bedtime are many and it’s important to get informed about them.
It’s crucial to get a healthy amount of sleep per night, usually seven to eight hours. However, if the sleep cycle is often disrupted through the night, according to Terry Cralle, a registered nurse and certified sleep educator, you’re likely to feel tired and drowsy throughout the day. The interruption of the sleep cycle is often a result of needing to use the bathroom as mentioned above. A lot of people with sugar or kidney disease need to urinate frequently throughout the night if they don’t take the proper medication. Drinking water just before bed can lead to sleep being interrupted in the long run.
A lot of experts blame the lack of improper sleep for weight gain. Additionally, drinking too much water before sleep especially may cause weight gain because the water binds with salts in our body which causes it to preserve and create fat deposits inside our bodies. Even though water is great for weight loss throughout the day, it shouldn’t drink just before bed.
Some people who have problems with kidneys can have implications due to sleeping right after drinking water. Kidneys help filter the water before we eject it out through urine. When our body sleeps so does our metabolism and every digestive and processing mechanism is working slower. With that in mind, the toxic material in our kidneys may stay there for too long causing long-term problems.
Nocturia is defined as a condition which is followed by frequent urinating through the night, disrupting the sleep cycle and hygiene as a result. Scientists recorded it on several occasions and studies. There has also been a relation between Nocturia and fatigue in the morning. That said nocturia can often be associated with sleep deprivation.
Risk Groups for Nocturia
Obesity – Scientists recorded that obese people are more prone to experiencing nocturia. In their research, medical experts found that obese people are more likely to urinate at least once per night.
Cardio-vascular diseases – There is research that suggests that is a relation between sleep deprivation and heart diseases due to frequent relieving through the night. These patients are also prone to experiencing nocturia as a result of the medication they’re taking.
Diabetes – High or low levels of glucose in the blood can stimulate urine activity through the night, resulting in nocturia and sleep deprivation.
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy – BPH is a condition where enlarged prostate results in more pressure on the bladder, leading to irregular urination at night. BPH mostly affects men who are older than 50.
Should You Drink Water Before Bed?
When you compare the good and bad sides of drinking water before bed, the answer is no. Drinking a lot of water before bed may also lead to bladder infections like Urinary Tract Infection because the kidneys can’t catch up all the toxic material filtering through the night. Is there a compromise? Absolutely. While water is a great hydration method through the day and associated with many benefits, you should drink it up to two to three hours before bed, so the aforementioned drawbacks wouldn’t manifest.