When is the best time to drink water?

Hydration is important for health but what are the advantages and drawbacks of drinking water before bedtime?

To conduct normal body functions the human body requires water. So drinking water every day is important for a person. There is some debate about whether people should drink water before going to bed.

In this post, we look at the benefits of drinking water, how much to drink everyday and the benefits and drawbacks of drinking water close to bedtime.

Fast facts on drinking water before bed:

  • Drinking enough water is vital for keeping hydrated and for general health.
  • There is little evidence to suggest any specific benefits of drinking water at bedtime.
  • If a person loses more water than they consume, they risk becoming dehydrated.

Water before bed: Pros and cons

If at night someone feels dehydrated or is at risk of dehydration, then they can drink some water. Beyond this, drinking water provides few specific benefits before bed.

Before going to bed, drinking water may therefore increase the risk of nocturia for a human.

What is nocturia?

Drinking water before going to bed
Drinking water before bed may increase the need to urinate at night.

Nocturia is an increasing need for urinating at night. The human body produces more hormones while asleep which slow down the functioning of the kidney and decrease urine output.

This combination decreases people’s need for urinating during the night and allows them to sleep uninterrupted. Getting up again and again will reduce both the length and quality of sleep.

Risks of nocturia

When nocturia disturbs people’s sleep, it can affect their quality of life significantly.

Sleep deprivation can negatively affect a person’s memory, attention and mood. There may also be increased risk of a variety of diseases, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and depression.

At any age nocturia can happen to anyone but is more common in older people. The following could increase nocturia risk, too:

  • benign prostatic hypertrophy
  • overactive bladder
  • diabetes
  • bladder infections
  • heart disease
  • constipation
  • certain medications

Getting rid of nocturia

People with nocturia should be avoiding late evening drinking water. A individual might try to have his last glass a couple of hours earlier than usual.

It’s still necessary to drink a sufficient amount of water during the day. In general, that overall consumption does not help unless the individual drinks too much.

However, people should shrink or stop before bedtime:

  • alcohol
  • tea
  • coffee
  • cocoa or hot chocolate
  • cola or sodas

Caffeine and alcohol strengthen the need to urinate. Caffeine will also make it easier for someone to fall asleep.

People should see a doctor, if they have recurrent nocturia, to rule out any potential underlying causes.

How much water do people need to drink?

Sweating due to exercise or physical activity will increase the need to drink water.
Sweating due to exercise or physical activity will increase the need to drink water.

A person should drink water anytime they feel dehydrated or when there is a high dehydration risk. Dehydration signs include:

  • thirst
  • dry mouth, lips, nasal passages, and eyes
  • passing only small amounts of urine
  • urinating less than four times a day
  • strong-smelling and dark-colored urine

The following things increase the risk of dehydration:

  • hot environments or being in the sun too long
  • intense physical activity or anything that causes excessive sweating
  • diabetes
  • diarrhea or vomiting
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • fever

It can be fatal if a person loses more than 10 percent of their body water, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

There’s no consensus on how much water people should be drinking every day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) say hunger alone is adequate to instruct most people on how much to drink.

However, the FNB suggests that women should take about 2.7 liters of water daily and that men should take about 3.7 litres.

Such quantities include drinking water, which is estimated to account for 19 to 20 percent of daily intake.

Health benefits of drinking water

Water is a cheap and convenient way to replace lost fluids and quench thirst. Beyond being important for general health, there are many other possible benefits of drinking water:

One small study indicates that headache can be decreased by increasing daily water consumption by 1.5 liters in people with migraines. It has, however, only shown a small impact in completely preventing them.

Preventing hangovers

Alcohol increases urination. This can lead to dehydration which causes some of a hangover’s symptoms.

A drinking alcohol in moderation is the only way to prevent a hangover. The following tips can also help to avoid or reduce a hangover’s symptoms, though:

  • avoiding alcohol on an empty stomach
  • having a glass of water or a non-carbonated soft drink between alcoholic beverages
  • drinking a glass of water or two before sleep

Takeaway

Having enough water is important to health. Thirst is enough in most healthy people to direct them to know how much they can drink.

Water is an alternative to sugary drinks that is inexpensive, no-calories, and can help improve mood and mental health. Often, it can help avoid headaches and hangovers.

Nevertheless, if a person drinks water before bed, the need to urinate during the night can be increased and their sleep significantly impacted.

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