Most people understand the importance of drinking plenty of water each day to stay healthy and hydrated.
There is some debate, though, about whether it is a good idea to drink water just before bedtime or to drink it earlier in the evening.
This article will examine the pros and cons of drinking water before bedtime and will offer advice based on your unique situation.
Pros of Drinking Water Before Bedtime
As we go about our daily routines, our bodies become dehydrated, especially if we get busy and forget to drink enough fluids.
Dehydration can cause episodes of weakness and dizzy spells.(1) If you’re working out in the heat, dehydration can even cause you to faint. People who become dehydrated at night can even have a heart attack or stroke.
The classic cure for curing dehydration, of course, is a glass of water. You should drink at least seven glasses of water throughout the day and at least one glass of water before you fall asleep. Drinking water at bedtime can also replace those fluids that you lose during work and keep you hydrated through the night.
Getting hydrated during sleep can help you wake up feeling well and having plenty of energy.
2. Burning Calories
Metabolism is the chemical processes that work in our bodies to maintain life. Your metabolism works all day and all night to convert calories into energy.
The metabolism works harder when it is cold because it must create heat for the body to survive. According to FitDay, drinking a cold glass of water before bed and sleeping in a cool room can help burn extra calories and trim your waistline.(2)
It should be noted that not all experts agree that drinking ice water before bed will increase your metabolism by any appreciable amount. Unless you have a medical condition that contra-indicates drinking cold water, though, you may as well try the remedy.
It may not help, but it won’t hurt!
3. Restore Inner Balance
When we are awake and busy with the chores of our day, nutrients, vitamins and minerals tend to become unbalanced. According to Health Press, drinking water before bedtime restores balance between hormones, energy levels, muscles and joints.(3)
You start your day feeling relaxed and in shape instead of tired and suffering from aches and pains.
4. Clear Toxins From the System
A toxin is a poisonous substance that is produced in cells and organisms. It is also widely believed that some toxins enter our body through the food we eat.
Drinking water at the end of each day helps to flush out the toxins we’ve been eating and drinking from morning to night.(4,5) Again, you’ll be able to bed and get to the day at hand rather than lie around on the bed.
According to New Health Advisor, water is a natural cleanser.(6) The organs that benefit the most are the skin and joints as well as the digestive system. Drinking water at bedtime is also said to be good for the liver.
5. Prevent Nighttime Leg Cramps
It’s very unnerving to be jarred awake by a sharp pain in one of both legs. Leg cramps can make you miserable, and they can keep you awake for hours.
According to the Mayo Clinic, maintaining proper hydration is an important tactic for both easing and avoiding leg cramps.(7) Drinking a bottle of water before you go to sleep will likely keep those painful cramps at bay. If you continue to suffer from leg cramps, try increasing the amount of water you drink before bed.
If that doesn’t work, a visit to the doctor may be in order.
6. Avoid Heart Attacks and Strokes
According to Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, you can reduce your risk of heart attack 50 percent by drinking plenty of water.(8)
But Bowden does not find universal agreement for his statements. A publication that claims to be from the Mayo Clinic and recommends drinking water for heart health has been declared bogus. Many researchers do not believe water help or hurts.
One thing that is definitely harmful, though, is drinking too much water if you have congestive heart failure. That will be further discussed in the cons section.
7. Promote Natural Sleep Patterns
According to Med Health Daily, drinking a glass of water before bed will help promote natural sleep patterns.(9) It accomplishes this by stabilizing your hormones and allowing your body to function properly.
Drinking water also relaxes the joints and muscles, lessening the risk of cramps and assisting your body with relaxation during sleep. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll feel well-rested and ready to take on the day ahead.
8. Hydrate Skin and Hair
Skin and air tend to dry out during the night, especially if you use harsh chemicals to remove makeup or a strong shampoo to wash your hair and a hair dryer to dry it. A glass or two of water allows your skin and hair to re-hydrate so you’ll wake up glowing and not looking dry and tired.
To further hydrate skin and hair, use a touch of moisturizer and conditioner. Some beauticians suggest washing your face with plain water every other day so it won’t get so dry from the chemicals in the cleansers.
Cons of Drinking Water Before Bedtime
1. Water Before Sleep Can Make Heart Problems Worse
According to WebMD, drinking too much water can be bad.(10) Congestive heart failure is a disease that causes the heart to beat less effectively.
As a result, fluid collects around the heart and other parts of the body such as the legs and feet. This swelling can cause fatigue and pain.
Drinking too much water can increase fluids and make health and discomfort worse. If you suffer from heart disease, it’s best to talk to your doctor about how much water you drink.
2. Water Before Sleep Can Make Kidney Problems Worse
The kidneys are the parts of the body that filter excess water and wastes in the form of urine. Some people, though, developed a condition called chronic kidney disease.
This illness, which damages the kidneys and usually gets worse over time, can hurt the kidneys’ ability to function. During the early days of the disease, it is all right to drink water as usual.
According to Livestrong, however, symptoms such as weight gain from excess fluids and a low urine output, may lead your doctor to suggest limiting the intake of water and other fluids.(11)
3. Disturbed Sleep
Some people have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or both. This is often true of people with depression or bipolar disorder. If these people get out of bed to use the bathroom at night, they may not be able to get back to sleep.
This can make the next day exhausting!
One possible solution is to drink water two to three hours before bedtime. That should give the fluid in your system time to make it through your body and be expelled as urination before you fall asleep.
Older adults sometimes have brittle bones, a condition called osteoporosis. When you attempt to maneuver around the furniture and carpets you may fall and break a bone, most likely a hip. A fall at night could lead to you lying on the floor for hours.
The result is often weeks of hospitalization and rehabilitation. Again, the best answer is to drink water two to three hours before bedtime. That way you will not have to get up and feel your way around at night if you have to go to the bathroom.
You may also want to purchase a personal medical alarm so that you can summon help with the touch of a button if you do fall at night.
5. Incontinence at Night
Most people who wet the bed have a condition called urge incontinence. This refers to uncontrollable urine leakage that follows an irrepressible urge to urinate.
Some people urinate in bed without even waking up. According to Merck “Urinary Incontinence in Adults”, there are several ways to handle incontinence.(12) Drinking water several hours before bedtime helps.
So does bladder training and exercises, like Kegel exercise. There are also medications that can help.
Finally, putting a rubber pad under the mattress or putting an incontinence pad on the bed can also help.
Most people agree that, barring certain serious illnesses like congestive heart failure and advanced kidney disease, drinking water throughout the day is helpful.
There have been some questions, though, about drinking water at bedtime. Scientists have listed drinking water at bedtime to a host of positive outcomes such as resting better, re-hydration of skin and hair and having more energy in the mornings.
There are, however, a few situations when having water before bedtime. If you are at risk for falls when getting up to go to the bathroom, for instance, or if you suffer from nighttime incontinence.
If you’re in doubt about whether drinking water at bedtime is the right choice for you, consult your physician.
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