With it being World Sleep Day, you may be wondering how you can improve your sleep quality.
There are a number of factors that can affect sleep, like stress, what we eat and drink and our environment.
But being dehydrated is one reason that not many of us know about.
New research reveals that nearly half of the British population aren’t meeting the daily NHS recommended intake of fluid.
Hydration expert and co-founder of ViDrate, Nick Hird says that dehydration could actually be the reason you’re having a terrible night’s sleep.
So, he has shared his top six tips to ensure you’re hitting your sleep and hydration goals.
Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up
While we are sleeping we lose water and therefore may wake up dehydrated.
Having a glass of water as soon as you wake up helps replace your water loss immediately and kick starts your hydration for the day.
Keep an eye on your urine
A good way to monitor your hydration is through the colour of your urine.
If your urine is dark yellow then you are most likely dehydrated and this should be a signal for you to drink more fluids.
Drink six to eight glasses of water a day
Make sure you’re drinking the recommended amount of water every day to stay hydrated as this helps you sleep better.
Signs of dehydration include sleepiness, fatigue and drowsiness.
If you’re dehydrated you’re much less likely to get a good night’s sleep as your body disrupts your sleep cycle – for example, your nasal passages and mouth become dry which can lead to snoring and be distrustful to your sleep.
Don’t drink anything too close to your bedtime
Nick recommends avoiding drinking water or any other fluids at least an hour before you go to sleep as this prevents your body from waking up to urinate and interrupting your sleep cycle.
It’s important that you stay hydrated consistently throughout the day.
Avoid coffee and alcohol before bed
If you do need a drink before you go to bed make sure it’s not coffee or alcohol as both as these are diuretics so make your kidneys work harder – this can cause dehydration and wake you up in the middle of the night.
Caffeine half-life can range from three to seven hours, so a flat white or late afternoon caffeine hit is a bad idea as it will result in caffeine metabolites still in your circulation when you go to sleep and this doesn’t help with sleep quality and latency.
Alcohol also disrupts sleep quality, so even if you feel like you’ve had a good night’s sleep after a night on the booze, you most likely didn’t.
Make sure you get enough sleep
A lack of sleep can also cause dehydration.
Research by scientists has revealed that sleeping less than six hours is associated with inadequate hydration.
If you’re struggling to sleep, try increasing your water intake throughout the day and make sure your urine is a pale yellow colour rather than a dark yellow.
Nick explained: “Around 60 per cent of our body is made up of water and our blood is 90% per cent water but despite this, drinking water isn’t at the top of many peoples’ list of priorities.”
He goes on to list a number of the benefits of drinking water – and it doesn’t just help you sleep better, as he added: “Not only will you sleep better, you will also be able to think clearer and it regulates your body temperature.
“Your body gives you many warning signs that you are dehydrated, besides the obvious feeling thirsty.
“Dark urine, feeling tired more than usual and finding it difficult to concentrate on everyday tasks are all signs that you aren’t drinking enough water.”
Nick recommends having a bottle of water handy whether that be in your home office, out for a walk, or next to you in bed to help increase your water intake.