Could drinking more water be the key to more sleep?

Is your lack of sleep down to dehydration? [Photo: Getty]

There’s nothing more frustrating than tossing and turning the night before a big work meeting, as you stare at the ceiling already dreaming of your morning coffee.

But according to new research, a lack of sleep could simply be down to dehydration.

A study conducted by academics at Penn State University has discovered that people who sleep for six hours a night have significantly more concentrated urine than those who regularly get eight hours kip – which is the recommended amount.

The research team also noted that those who slept less were more dehydrated in comparison to those who got plenty of shut-eye.

The study, which was published in the journal Sleep, involved 20,000 adults in the US and China. Each participant’s sleeping habits were analysed by the team alongside urine samples.

Drinking more water throughout the day could help you to wake up feeling refreshed [Photo: Getty]

Results indicated that there is a strong correlation between sleep quality and hydration due to a hormone called vasopressin – which is released to help regulate the body’s hydration status. It is distributed throughout the day but also over the course of the night while you sleep.

“Vasopressin is released both more quickly and later on in the sleep cycle,” lead author Asher Rosinger revealed. “So, if you’re waking up earlier, you might miss that window in which more of the hormone is released, causing a disruption in the body’s hydration.”

He continued, “If you are only getting six hours of sleep a night, it can affect your hydration status. This study suggests that if you’re not getting enough sleep, and you feel bad or tired the next day, drink extra water.”

How much water should I drink on a daily basis?

According to the NHS’s Eatwell Guide, you should aim to drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. Cutting down on caffeinated beverages and fizzy drinks will also help prevent dehydration.

But a recent study indicated that 89% of the UK population is not drinking enough water to maintain healthy hydration levels.

Research also showed that women are more hydrated than men with 20% of males not drinking any water at all throughout the day in comparison to 13% of women.

What are the symptoms of dehydration?

The most common symptoms of dehydration are listed below:

  • Feeling parched

  • Noticing dark yellow and strong-smelling urine

  • Feeling dizzy

  • Tiredness

  • A dry mouth, lips and/or eyes

  • Urinating fewer than four times a day

Babies, children and the elderly are at greater risk of dehydration.

For further information, make sure to visit the NHS website.

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