Drinking water before bed has its benefits, no doubt, but it isn’t as straightforward as simply pouring water into a glass and gulping it down.
You have to drink the water at a reasonable time, plus it has to be fully safe to ensure you don’t negate the health benefits of drinking water at night.
The greatest disadvantage of drinking water right before you go to bed is perhaps interrupted sleep or sleep deprivation caused by nocturia – the tendency to wake up multiple times to urinate.
Your body secretes hormones that help reduce urine production by slowing down kidney function when you sleep.
If you drink a lot of water right before sleep, you’ll experience an increased need to urinate, causing you to wake up more often. You risk suffering from sleep deprivation due to frequent sleep interruptions.
In the US, only about 1.5 million of the 50 million people with nocturia receive specific therapy for the condition. It’s a condition you don’t want to live with, especially given its adverse effects such as:
- Higher mortality rate among nocturia patients than in the general population
- Loss of sleep/sleep deprivation
- Increased risk of night injuries and falls, especially in older people
- Fatigue, mood changes, exhaustion, and impaired productivity caused by sleep deprivation
- Heart disease
Another major disadvantage of drinking water before bed is bedwetting. While this may not be a problem for many healthy people or young people, it may be a nuisance for older people and children.
Children who haven’t yet matured enough to stop bedwetting are at a higher risk of wetting their beds if they consume a lot of water shortly before sleep.
For older people, especially those with conditions like diabetes, stroke, or dementia, bedwetting after drinking too much water before bed can be a common occurrence.
With stroke and dementia, the brain may not communicate well with the urinary system, leading to the uncontrolled passage of urine during sleep.
Despite the above two major shortcomings, drinking water before bed has benefits you can tap into if you do it correctly.
Naturally, water is great for burning calories. Drinking cold water before sleeping is highly effective since the body must work harder to warm the water as you rest.
Since you aren’t consuming calories during sleep, the body burns the accumulated excess calories to warm the water, which can help you lose weight in the long run.
When you drink warm or hot water, your blood circulation increases, helping your body break down more waste that is removed as sweat.
Although sweating leads to fluid loss, it remains an excellent way to rid your body of excess salts.
You’ll probably want to avoid drinking plain water at night because it tastes bland, but you can always make it more palatable by adding lemon to improve the flavour. Lemon water also boosts your immune system since it has vitamin C.
Drinking a glass of hot water before bed can help relieve flu or cold symptoms.
If you have nasal congestion, drinking water will help you replenish the fluids lost through breathing through the mouth. You lose more water breathing this way than breathing normally through the nose.
Inducing sleep is usually a pain for most people. Most of the time, you’ll try inducing sleep through physical means, such as sleeping on your stomach or wearing a sleep mask.
Besides such physical measures, you can induce sleep by using water to achieve a drop in the core body temperature.
Drinking water also helps stem the dehydration from excessive sweating in warmer climates.
Better sleep from drinking water before bed is possible because the stabilized hormone, nutrient, and vitamin levels naturally help the body restore itself.
Cool water relaxes the body rather than striving to replenish the necessary nutrients.
A glass of cold water before bed helps your body regulate its temperature, especially in warmer environments. The cold water naturally cools the body down, which induces sleep and can lead to enhanced sleep quality.
A study done in 2014 on the effects of water intake changes on the moods of high and low drinkers revealed that low drinkers experienced an increase in satisfaction, calmness, and positive emotion when they drank more water.
Drinking water before sleeping may help you relieve the symptoms of some types of headaches like migraines, even though no evidence directly links dehydration to headaches.
You can also reduce the severity, duration, and frequency of migraines by drinking water, according to a scientific study from 2020.
Doctors and nutritionists recommend drinking a small amount of water before bed. One glass of water will be enough to maintain hydration throughout the night unless you are in a hot environment and sweat excessively at night.
To reduce how much water you drink at night, it’s best to drink as much water as possible during the day.
The recommended daily intake of eight glasses of water is possibly what you already have in mind, but you must know that this amount includes both drinking water and water found in fruits, vegetables, and other beverages like tea, coffee, and juices.
What Time Should You Stop Drinking Water Before Bed?
Experts recommend stopping water intake at least two hours before you hit the pillow. Consuming water less than two hours before bedtime increases the chances of nocturia, especially if you obey your thirst and take in more than one glass of water.
One crucial thing most people forget when it comes to drinking water is that it must be safe to drink.
While the water flowing through your taps is largely considered clean, it may not always be safe enough for human consumption.
Bottled drinking water, on the other hand, is quite expensive and less sustainable because it leads to pollution caused by single-use water bottles.
To ensure you only drink safe water, reduce your footprint on the environment, and lower the cost of water, shop Berkey water filters for your home. Try the Big Berkey water filter or Royal Berkey water filter that serves one to four and four to ten people, respectively.