It matters more than you think.
Struggling to log quality Z’s but can’t figure out why? It might be time to consider how much water you’re drinking throughout the day.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, hydration plays a major role in helping your body fall asleep, stay asleep throughout the night and feel well-rested the following morning. If you’re already dehydrated at the beginning of bedtime, you run the risk of unwanted snoring and morning hoarseness, thanks to a dry mouth and nasal passages. Plus, it ups the chances that painful muscle cramps will wake you up in the middle of the night, disrupting your sleep cycle in big ways. And if that’s not enough, your body naturally dehydrates while you sleep as you breathe (and sweat) over the course of the night, so it only gets worse as the hours go by.
Instead of starting the night with a deficit, make a few little tweaks to your water-drinking routine throughout the day. Rather than chugging a bunch of water first thing in the morning or downing a bottle of water right before you go to bed, space it out consistently. For example, if you’re typically awake for 16 hours a day, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., make a point to drink approximately 12 ounces of water every two hours to keep your hydration levels where they need to be. Set a “Drink water!” reminder on your phone and mark your water bottle with hydration goals to keep track when you’re at the office and easily forget to drink water as you work.
It can also help to drink a full glass of water every time you sit down for a meal. And watching that caffeine intake can’t hurt, either. Since it’s a powerful diuretic, caffeine-boosted drinks like coffee and certain teas can make your dehydration woes even worse.
Chances are that if you focus on hydrating properly over the course of a week, you’ll find that your sleeping troubles will fall by the wayside. Who knew that water could be one of the best forms of medicine for insomnia? It’s free, healthy, effective and has zero negative side effects. So drink up!