Hydration could be the key to a good night's sleep with new research finding most people aren't drinking enough water.
It seems as though the Brits are particularly bad with the research finding over six million people in the UK aren't drinking any kind of sugar-free liquid during the day.
For this reason, hydration expert and co-founder of ViDrate, Nick Hird, has shared his top tips to ensure you hit both your sleep and hydration goals.
1. Drink 6-8 glasses of water a day
If you're drinking the recommended amount of water every day, you'll find you're able to sleep better. Signs of dehydration include sleepiness, fatigue and drowsiness.
Dehydration disrupts your sleep cycle in a number of ways, but one of the most common is that it dries out your nasal passages and mouth, this can then lead to snoring, which disrupts sleep.
"You should always drink to thirst, if your mouth is dry then make sure you have a glass of water straight away," Nick said.
2. Don't drink anything too close to bedtime
Nick recommends avoiding drinking water or any kind of liquids at least an hour before bed, as this will make it less likely that you'll have to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. That said, it's important to stay hydrated throughout the day.
If your mum ever told you to have a glass of milk with honey before bed to help you sleep, she was right. "A glass of milk at least 60 minutes prior to sleep is a good idea as it helps promote muscle recovery and repair - this is especially important for children, as they need the added calcium in their diet," Nick explained.
3. Avoid coffee and alcohol before bed
This one seems self-explanatory, but let's be honest, we've all been guilty of having a cheeky drink a little too late at night, right?
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, which can cause dehydration and therefore wake you up in the middle of the night.
"Caffeine half life can range from 3-7 hours, therefore 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," Nick said.
"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."
4. Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up
While we're sleeping our bodies use water, so by the time we wake up in the morning we're 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.
"A good way to monitor your hydration is through the colour of your urine," Nick said. "If your urine is dark yellow then you are most likely dehydrated and this should be a signal for you to drink more fluids."
5. Make sure you're getting enough sleep
It's true, a lack of sleep can cause dehydration and research has also found if you're sleeping less than six hours, you're likely to be inadequately hydrated.
"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 reiterated.
Nick revealed the benefits of drinking water and being hydrated don't stop at sleeping better.
"Around 60% of our body is made up from water and our blood is 90% water but despite this, drinking water isn’t at the top of many peoples list of priorities. There are so many benefits of drinking water and being hydrated. 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.
"A simple and quick tip is to have a bottle of water filled up and with you all day, whether that be in your home office, out for a walk, or next to you in bed. Drinking to thirst throughout the day is ideal."
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