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Drinking Water Before Bed – Good Or Bad Habit?

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Written By Alex Petrović

Certified Sleep Consultant

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8 April 2024 7 min read

Is drinking water before bed a good habit? We did our best to try and find out, and boy, are you in for a surprise!

A common question that many people around the world ask is if it's good to drink a glass of water before bed.

Drinking water before bed proves to be a mildly controversial topic. Most would say that this habit is more than likely to enhance someone's health, while some sceptics argue against it based on some fairly spurious logic.

As we delve deeper into the subject, we'll try to stay objective, exploring both ends of this debate, but we already feel it's safe to say that one of these viewpoints is poised for a loss.

Furthermore, we'll touch on other related topics, such as how drinking water can lead to nighttime urination, disrupted sleep pattern and healthy sleep duration, how much water you should drink before bedtime, the benefits of this habit, and more.

Should you drink water before bed at all?

It has been proven time and time again that the best nightcap is a refreshing glass of water. So, the short answer to this question would be – yes, you should be drinking water before bed.

An image of a man drinking a glass of water in his bed before the bed time.

But, as we all know, nothing in this world is as simple as that.

Provided that you're a healthy person, water intake before you lie down shouldn't cause you any trouble. In fact, it'll improve the quality of your sleep by lowering your body temperature, which is an essential factor for falling and staying asleep.

We'll touch on more of these benefits in just a moment, but for now, let's stick to the argument that you should have a glass of water before bed.

Will I go to pee during the night if I drink water before bed?

This is the most frequently discussed topic when debating if drinking water before bed is good or not. And, the answer is – it might.

Urine production and output are significantly lowered during the night, allowing us to enjoy uninterrupted sleep for six to eight hours. For an average person, a glass of water before bed shouldn't affect this at all, and you should still be able to enjoy your normal sleep cycle.

On the other hand, if you suffer from conditions like overactive bladder or benign prostatic hypertrophy, additional water intake could lead to nighttime urination and a disrupted sleep-wake cycle.

Nevertheless, if we look at the big picture, additional fluid intake will only lead to staying hydrated during the night rather than sleep deprivation and frequent urination.

How much water should I drink before bedtime?

There is a limit to your body's ability to handle water during the night, which is the main reason why most people would argue that one regular glass of water is just the right amount before going to bed.

An image of a young woman having a glass of water in bed.

Naturally, all of this will differ from person to person, as there are obvious differences between high and low drinkers. People will consume more or less water depending on our lifestyle, body weight, habits etc.

In other words, a 220-pound athlete will require more water than a 120-pound teenage schoolgirl.

Is there any connection between water and lack of sleep?

Hydration and dehydration have both been linked to sleep deprivation, which is why you have some people sleeping with a water bottle nearby while others avoid drinking water before bed. Some folks wake up due to thirstiness, while others get up to go to the bathroom.

As you can see, all of this will vary on an individual basis, but as far as the general influence of water on lack of sleep – there certainly is one.

An image of a young woman drinks a water before going to sleep.

Why should you drink water before bed?

Did you know that drinking water before bed can help you lose weight and detoxify your body? If you didn't, you know now, but just wait until you learn more.

Improved mood

Peer-reviewed studies conducted over the years have unequivocally proven that dehydration has a negative impact on your mood. By that same logic, drinking water before bed should have a positive effect on your mood in the morning, right? Absolutely.

Research data has shown that well-hydrated people wake up feeling energized, without a dry mouth, and are generally more calm and cheery about the upcoming day. In contrast, subjects who experienced medium or mild dehydration in the morning tend to feel grumpy and irritable.

Detoxifies your body

Before you fall asleep, drink a glass of cold or warm water, and allow your body to detoxify during the night.

Now, just to be clear, we're not talking about cleanses, harmful toxins, pent up bad energy, and whatnot, but rather a normal, biological, human body process of detoxifying we go through every single night.

Drinking water before bed helps improve blood circulation, allowing your body to distribute nutrients to your cells faster, which also helps. But, what it also does is allow our liver and kidneys to flush away the toxins, as all of them are transported via water. Also, dehydration is essential to healthy digestion and bowel movement, which also detoxify your body.

Hydrating before bed also promotes sweating. Alongside proper liver and kidney function and healthy bowel movements, sweating is the next most important thing that helps us get rid of toxins and waste from our body.

An image of a woman holding a glass of water.

No headaches

Lack of hydration can lead to aches all over your body. However, the most frequent ache is none other than a headache.

Dehydration can cause the blood vessels in your brain and other tissues to contract (shrink). When that happens, your brain practically pulls away from the skull, putting pressure on nerves, resulting in various degrees of pain.

Therefore, stay hydrated if you want to avoid headaches in the morning. Who knows? Maybe you'll get to enjoy glowing skin, too.

Boosts weight loss

Well, the way pre-bed hydration fights weight gain is by boosting your metabolism. Our metabolism slows down during the night, which is why we can stay without water and food for eight hours without any consequences. Well, a glass of water can get your metabolism to rev up during the night. Not by a lot, but enough to burn some extra calories that might cause you to chubby up now and then.

Why shouldn't you drink water before bed?

Undoubtedly, drinking water before bed can lead to some issues and prevent you from getting enough sleep, so it's only fair that we talk about these, too.

An image of a young and sick asian woman drinking water in bed before sleep.

Nocturia problems

Waking up in the middle of the night to urinate is a condition known as nocturia. While it is perfectly normal to sometimes wake up and go to the bathroom, especially if you've drunk a lot before lying down – frequent sleep interruptions because of it are a cause for concern.

People most affected by this issue are men over the age of 50, which is when benign prostatic hypertrophy tends to start. However, other issues like diabetes, obesity or UTIs could also cause nocturia.

We can't forget to mention heart disease medication as one of the common triggers for nocturia, which is quite unfortunate, seeing how patients with heart issues require enough sleep and can't risk distributing their sleep patterns for many medical reasons.

Finally, we also have to mention people with compromised mental health as possible sufferers of this condition, as there were many studies proving the connection between nocturia and depression and anxiety.

Kidney diseases

Drinking eight glasses of water every day is solid advice, but it doesn't apply to everyone – especially to patients suffering from kidney diseases.

It is general knowledge that you should keep your kidneys active during the night by having a glass of water before you go to bed. Healthy kidneys can handle that. Unhealthy ones might not.

Since we are not here to give medical advice of any kind, but only to inform, we would strongly suggest talking to your physician about your hydration habits if you suffer from any health complications or kidney diseases.

Is it better to drink hot water and lemon before going to sleep?

Some say drinking hot water with lemon before bed is the best way to fall asleep, while others prefer drinking warm water with lemon. We won't get into who's more or less right, but we have to ask a question – is there anything to it?

An image of a woman drinking a glass of water before the bed time.

Well, we can't really tell for sure. While there are some benefits to drinking lemon water before hitting the snooze- there's hardly any evidence to firmly support any of the sleep-related claims. Sure, some vitamin C is good for you, and warm fluids could make you sleepy, but that's just about it.

If it works for you, good – if it doesn't, it's not the end of the world. Something else will.

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About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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