Ways Your Hydration Affects Sleep

Medically reviewed by
 Brittany Ford, RHN

Brittany Ford, RHN

Brittany Ford is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist with multiple years of expertise. Since becoming registered in 2019, Brittany has committed herself to helping individuals achieve optimal well-being through a holistic…

Last Updated On February 1st, 2024
Ways Your Hydration Affects Sleep

Key Takeaways

  • Proper Hydration Enhances Sleep Quality: Adequate fluid intake, particularly water, is essential for optimal sleep quality. Being well-hydrated allows your body to function optimally during sleep, restoring chemical balances and promoting restful, deep sleep throughout.
  • Poor Hydration Leads to Poor Sleep: Insufficient water intake can negatively impact sleep quality, leading to feelings of fatigue and daytime sleepiness. It can disrupt your natural sleep cycle, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • The Connection Between Dehydration and Sleep Disruptions: Dehydration during sleep can lead to discomfort, muscle spasms, and an increased risk of waking up during the night. Maintaining proper hydration levels and avoiding excessive fluid intake before bedtime are crucial for uninterrupted, restful sleep.

Are you struggling to get a good night’s sleep? Did you know that your hydration levels could be playing a role? Dehydration can have a negative impact on your sleep quality, Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source causing symptoms like dry mouth and headaches.

On the flip side, poor sleep can also lead to dehydration as hormone regulation is disrupted. Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source But don’t worry, there are ways to avoid this vicious cycle. In this article, we will explore how proper hydration is essential for better sleep and provide tips on staying hydrated throughout the day and night.

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The Relationship Between Hydration and Sleep

Proper hydration is essential for maintaining good, high quality sleep, and drinking water before bed can improve your sleep by eliminating the disruptive effects of dehydration. When you are well-hydrated, your body can function optimally during sleep, allowing it to restore chemical balances and promote a restful night’s sleep. Adequate fluid intake, particularly drinking water, plays a crucial role in ensuring that you have a good sleep experience.

When you don’t drink enough water, it can negatively impact your sleep quality. Poor hydration can lead to poor sleep, which may result in feelings of fatigue and daytime sleepiness. Sleep deprivation caused by inadequate fluid intake can disrupt your natural sleep cycle and make it difficult for you to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night.

Additionally, dehydration can worsen conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea. It can contribute to dry mouth and nasal passageways, causing discomfort and potential snoring during sleep. By prioritizing hydration and ensuring that you drink enough water throughout the day, you can support a healthy sleep cycle and improve your overall sleep quality.

Remember to stay hydrated by regularly drinking water not only during the day but also before bed. This will help prevent nighttime thirst that could disrupt your sleep. By making hydration a priority, you can create an environment conducive to better sleep and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.

How Poor Sleep Can Lead To Dehydration

Poor sleep can actually lead to dehydration too, causing a vicious cycle. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can impact your body’s hormone regulation and impair fluid balance. This can result in inadequate hydration, leading to symptoms such as a frequent urge to urinate Verified Source Medline Plus Online resource offered by the National Library of Medicine and part of the National Institutes of Health. View source if you end up with kidney or bladder issues, muscle cramps, and even headaches.

Sleep deprivation can also disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm and interfere with water retention. In fact, studies have shown Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source that those who sleep 6 hours or less have higher rates of dehydration. So it’s important to prioritize both hydration and sleep for optimal overall health.

To avoid this problem, make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day by regularly drinking water. Start your day with a glass of water to kickstart hydration. Keep a refillable or reusable water bottle somewhere nearby to monitor your fluid consumption.

In addition to staying hydrated, practice good sleep hygiene by establishing how much sleep you need and bedtime routine. Create a comfortable sleep environment with a supportive mattress and maintain a cool temperature in your bedroom.

Signs You May Not Be Drinking Enough Water

If you’re feeling thirsty throughout the day, it could be a sign that you’re not drinking enough water. Staying hydrated is crucial for a restful night’s sleep. Dehydration can lead to various issues such as dry mouth, which can disrupt your sleep and even contribute to why people snore. To improve your hydration status and promote better sleep, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Carrying a water bottle with you can serve as a reminder to drink water regularly. Avoiding a caffeine kick and sugary drinks and opting for water instead is key in maintaining proper hydration levels. Additionally, reducing nighttime urination by limiting fluid intake before bed can help ensure a more restful sleep.

Drinking enough water before bed is essential for staying hydrated, especially if you have conditions like sleep apnea or experience dry mouth during the night. It can also help with preventing leg cramps at night, muscle cramps and headaches that may disrupt your sleep.

“Inadequate water intake, often referred to as dehydration, can manifest through various signs, including dark urine, dry mouth, dry skin, thirst, fatigue, headaches, decreased urine output, and dizziness,” says Brittany Ford, RHN.

Research published in the European Journal of Nutrition highlights the relationship between urine color and hydration status, while studies in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and the American Journal of Physiology explore the effects of dehydration on skin health and the role of thirst in fluid balance regulation, respectively.”

“Additionally, research in the Journal of Nutrition underscores the impact of dehydration on cognitive and physical performance, and studies in the journals Headache and in the Clinical Autonomic Research highlight how even mild dehydration can trigger headaches and affect blood pressure regulation. Recognizing these signs is crucial for maintaining proper hydration and overall well-being.”

How To Drink Enough Water (Without Waking up to Pee)

Drinking water throughout the day and avoiding excessive intake before bed can help maintain hydration levels without causing frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom. Staying hydrated is important for proper hydration, especially when it comes to sleep. Short sleep duration and frequent nighttime trips can be disruptive to your sleep quality. To reduce fluid consumption before bed, try sipping fluids regularly throughout the day instead. This will help you stay hydrated without having to drink large amounts right before bedtime.

Proper hydration affects sleep in various ways. When you are dehydrated, your body may experience water retention, Verified Source Medline Plus Online resource offered by the National Library of Medicine and part of the National Institutes of Health. View source leading to discomfort and potential disruptions during sleep. On the other hand, dehydration can affect sleep and also cause dry mouth and nasal passageways, which can lead to snoring and further interrupt your restful slumber.

“To maintain proper hydration without experiencing frequent nighttime awakenings to urinate, it’s advisable to distribute your fluid intake evenly throughout the day and limit evening fluids, as suggested by research,” says Ford. “Prioritize hydration earlier in the day to meet your fluid needs.”

“Sipping water gradually instead of consuming large quantities Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source at once and listening to your body’s cues of thirst can also help in maintaining hydration without disruptions to your sleep patterns.”

Why Do We Become Dehydrated While Sleeping?

When you sleep, your body loses water through breathing and perspiration or night sweats, which can contribute to dehydration. It is especially important to stay hydrated during the middle of the night when you are more likely to experience sleep disruptions due to dehydration. If you tend to sleep hot or sweat a lot during the night, your body naturally loses fluids and is at an increased risk of dehydration.

Maintaining the four stages of sleep and regulating your body temperature is crucial for preventing dehydration while you sleep. Adequate hydration promotes water retention in the human body, helping you avoid becoming dehydrated during the night. When you are sleep deprived, it can further exacerbate dehydration as inadequate sleep can lead to increased water loss.

To prevent dehydration and promote better sleep hygiene, make sure to prioritize getting enough restful and uninterrupted sleep each night. This will help regulate your body’s fluid balance. Additionally, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and have a glass of water by your bedside in case you wake up thirsty in the middle of the night.

Develop Strategies for Falling Back Asleep

To develop strategies for how to fall asleep fast, it’s important to create a relaxing bedtime routine and ensure your sleep environment is comfortable. When dehydration affects your sleep, it can lead to discomfort and muscle spasms that make falling asleep challenging. To combat this, prioritize daily hydration by drinking enough water throughout the day. This will help prevent dehydration during sleep and promote better rest.

When you wake up at night, it is essential to limit your activity to keep you from fully waking up when you wake up at night. Do not go watch television (you should not have a TV in your room) or make a snack. These activities will increase wakefullness making it more difficult to fall back to sleep after waking up.

If you are thirsty, keep a glass of water by your bed so you can drink it without having to turn on lights or go to the kitchen, which can increase wakefulness. If you have to use the bathroom, do not turn on the light, and go straight back to bed for an easier time falling back asleep. If your restroom is too dark, consider a red spectrum nightlight to help you see.

Remember, insufficient sleep due to dehydration can have negative effects on both physical and mental well-being, so implementing these strategies is crucial for getting the quality rest you need.

Does Waking up Dehydrated Make You Tired?

Waking up dehydrated can leave you feeling tired and fatigued throughout the day. Proper hydration is essential for maintaining your energy levels and overall well-being. When you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, it can affect your body’s hydration levels, leading to dehydration during sleep.

Dehydration occurs when your body doesn’t have enough water to function properly. It can be caused by factors such as not drinking enough fluids or consuming too many caffeinated drinks, which can actually affect hydration. Exercising late or doing sauna before bed can also affect your hydration levels due to sweating.

When you’re dehydrated, it can disrupt your sleep and cause you to have frequent interrupted sleep during the night.

To avoid sleep dehydration, it’s important to drink fluids throughout the day and try to not eat too soon before bed, as digestion can lead to more dehydration. Additionally, limit caffeine and high blood sugar before bed as it can worsen dehydration during sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can low electrolytes affect sleep?

People who experience electrolyte abnormalities frequently experience sleep issues Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source such insomnia, restless sleep, daytime drowsiness, sleep apnea syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder, and restless legs syndrome. Insomnia can be reduced by addressing electrolyte imbalances and addressing vitamin deficiencies.

Do you sleep better if you’re hydrated?

You tend to sleep better when properly hydrated. However, it is important to note that drinking a large amount of water right before bed can lead to frequent urination (or nocturnia), which also disrupts sleep. Staying hydrated throughout the day is the key.

Can lack of hydration cause sleep problems?

Hydration plays an important role in overall health, this includes sleep quality. Dehydration can disrupt sleep leading to symptoms such as muscle spasms, fatigue, headaches, and dry mouth. However, it is also true that insufficient sleep can contribute to dehydration.

Why is it harder to fall asleep when dehydrated?

Lack of water causes your body’s surfaces to cease receiving enough lubrication, making you more prone to minor infections and making you feel painful or itchy. All of these can make it difficult to fall asleep. You could also get headaches if the membranes around your brain get too dry.


It is important for you to understand the impact of hydration on your sleep. Dehydration can lead to uncomfortable symptoms and poor sleep quality, while poor sleep can also contribute to dehydration.

By implementing strategies such as learning how to cool down a room and staying hydrated throughout the day, you can improve both your hydration levels and sleep quality. Remember to listen to your body’s signals and make sure you are adequately hydrating yourself for a restful night’s sleep.

About the author

Eric Ridenour is a health and wellness writer with a strong focus on sleep and nutrition. With a background in health science and psychology, Eric has a deep understanding of the connection between sleep and overall well-being. His expertise has been sought by various businesses and individuals, and his work has been featured in reputable publications such as Thrive Global, Drug Report, and Authority Magazine. Eric's commitment to promoting better sleep and comprehensive wellness is evident in his writing and consultations. He is a published author working on his second book.

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