Short sleep cycles can lead to inadequate hydration
How much water you drink can affect how you feel and function throughout the day as well as how you sleep. Going to bed even slightly dehydrated can disrupt your sleep. However, there is little research about how sleep is associated with hydration levels. That’s why researchers from Penn State University decided to assess the relationship between sleep duration and hydration biomarkers.
Adults who reported six hours of sleep had significantly more concentrated urine and a 16-59 per cent higher chance of being dehydrated.
The researchers looked at how sleep affected hydration status among US and Chinese adults. They examined three study samples of 20-year-olds: a 2007–2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 4680 adults; a 2009–2012 NHANES of 9559 adults; and a 2012 cross-sectional wave of the Chinese Kailuan Study consisting of 11,903 adults. Across the three samples, participants were surveyed about their sleeping habits and they also provided urine samples that were analysed by researchers for biomarkers for hydration.
The researchers found that adults who reported six hours of sleep had significantly more concentrated urine and a 16-59 per cent higher chance of being dehydrated compared to adults who regularly slept for eight hours. This was found in both the US and Chinese adults.
Your body’s hormonal system regulates hydration by releasing a hormone called vasopressin. This hormone is released throughout the day as well as at night when you’re sleeping. Vasopressin is released both quickly and later on in the sleep cycle. If you wake up early, you miss that time when vasopressin is released, which disrupts your body’s hydration. According to the researchers, dehydration can have a negative impact on many of your bodily functions including cognition, mood and performance, while long-term dehydration can lead to chronic conditions like urinary tract infections and kidney stones. The researchers suggest that if you get less than six hours of sleep and feel tired or not well the next day, then you should drink extra water to hydrate yourself.
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