One more reason to prioritize that shut-eye!
We all know we need to drink a certain amount of water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated. But did you know that if you don’t log enough Z’s at night, your sleep deprivation could be countering all of that H2O you’re guzzling during the day?
A new study conducted at Penn State University and published in the journal Sleep found that people who consistently sleep for six hours are less hydrated than people who usually snooze for eight hours each night. The researchers examined urine samples from more than 20,000 adult participants in the United States and China to determine their various levels of hydration. Participants also answered questions about their sleep patterns.
In analyzing the results, the researchers found that those who slept just six hours each night had significantly more concentrated urine compared to the participants who regularly slept for eight hours. They also found that the six-hour sleepers had up to a 59 percent higher chance of being dehydrated compared to the people who slept for eight hours.
“If you are only getting six hours of sleep a night, it can affect your hydration status,” study coauthor Asher Rosinger said in a statement. “This study suggests that if you’re not getting enough sleep, and you feel bad or tired the next day, drink extra water.”
When figuring out why this trend occurred in the study, experts looked to the hormone called vasopressin. It’s the hormone responsible for managing the body’s fluid levels. It can actually pull water back into the body from already-produced urine to prevent problematic levels of dehydration while we sleep. It’s released by the body at night during sleep — but only later on in the sleep cycle. So the researchers hypothesize that those who don’t sleep long enough don’t reach the later part of the sleep cycle where they release enough vasopressin, which means their bodies struggle more to maintain proper fluid balance.
All this is to say that if you wake up from a poor night’s sleep feeling really thirsty and blegh, it’s very likely that you’re more dehydrated than you think you are. So down a couple of extra glasses of water in the morning to bounce back and focus on hydrating well throughout the day to help you sleep even better the following evening.