Are You Dehydrated When You Sleep?

Dehydration affects you, even when you sleep or during the late-night hours when you should be sleeping. Being dehydrated during the night can detract from alertness, energy, and cognitive performance the following day. Sleep apnea can be a major contributor of nighttime dehydration. If you are seeking sleep apnea treatment in New York, Sleep MD is here for you! Find out how dehydration affects you during sleep and how to avoid becoming dehydrated at night, so you can wake up refreshed and ready for the day.

How Dehydration Affects Your Sleep

If you go to bed without proper hydration, your sleep can become disrupted. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation warns that going to bed even mildly dehydrated can disrupt your sleep. The reason is that when you are dehydrated, you do not have proper moisture in your mouth and nasal passages. This can cause snoring as well as parched throat and hoarseness in the morning. These are all uncomfortable feelings which can also wake you from your sleep. If you are dehydrated enough, you may even experience leg cramps which can keep you awake at night.

Sleep Apnea

Did you know that just breathing while you sleep causes fluid loss? This is especially true if you breathe through your mouth—nose breathers save much more water! If you have sleep apnea (a sleep disorder in which breathing is regularly/frequently interrupted during sleep,) especially if you are male, you may experience frequent night sweats. One study on the Annals of Family Medicine found that night sweats can be a symptom of sleep disorders – sleep apnea in particular. In addition, research published on BMJ reveals that a third of sleep apnea patients suffer from night sweats.

There are other reasons sleep apnea patients become dehydrated at night. Frequent urination is one. Another is that because the body is starved of oxygen, it consumes more water.

For sleep apnea treatment in New York, Contact Sleep MD.

A Bedroom that is Too Dry or Warm

That’s right – turn the heater down! The warmth causes perspiration and the dry air causes that perspiration to evaporate more quickly – leading to more perspiration. The result is you lose a lot of water overnight. This effect may be worse in winter months when you sleep under warm covers with the heater on, or in summer months when the air is naturally warm and dry.

Purchasing a humidifier for your bedroom can go a long way in restoring moisture to the air.

Late-Day Exercise

When you exercise, you sweat. When you sweat, you lose water. It stands to reason that during and after exercise, especially intense exercise, you need to drink more water to restore the balance of hydration in your body.

Unfortunately, many people tend to exercise late in the day (after work) and fail to properly hydrate afterwards. This can lead to dehydration problems during sleep.

Excessive Alcohol Use

Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can exacerbate all these problems, and lead to feeling tired or lethargic the following day. In fact, dehydration is the major contributor to hangover.

The scientific reason is a little complicated – but it’s fascinating:

In 1950, researchers tried to find exactly how much more. In their study[i], participants were served 5 shots of bourbon, and the researchers found the alcohol caused participants to produce an additional 120 milliliters of urine per alcohol drink. Thus, every drink you consume causes you to become more dehydrated.

At the time, the researchers didn’t know why. But more recently, studies have found that alcohol suppresses the secretion of an anti-diuretic hormone[ii]. The hormone, called vasopressin, is responsible for telling the kidneys to conserve and recycle body water. Since the hormone is suppressed, our bodies don’t get the signal, and this vital water is lost.

So, as it turns out, dehydration and hangover have a lot in common (try headache, nausea, and fatigue.) Dehydration isn’t the only cause of a hangover, but it is an important one.

Try the “Pinch Test!”

To check if you may be dehydrated, pinch the skin on the back of your hand and pull it up about one cm before letting go.

If you are not dehydrated the skin will spring back into its regular position almost immediately.

If it takes a few seconds to settle back down, you may be dehydrated.

How to Hydrate Properly

  • Keep a water bottle with you wherever you go
  • Mix water with a splash of fruit slices, fruit juice, or unsweetened flavorings
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Be prepared for hot days
  • ALWAYS make sure to hydrate when you exercise
  • Drink a lot of water when you feel ill

Sleep Apnea Treatment in New York

Dr. Mayank Shukla is New York’s renowned sleep specialist and pulmonologist. If you are seeking sleep apnea treatment in New York there is no better choice of doctor. Through his years of specialized work Dr. Shukla has mastered treatments which pinpoint each patient’s precise needs. Our team of specialists has been personally assembled and perfected by Dr. Shukla himself to provide treatment in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Call 917-924-6383 or Contact Sleep MD to schedule your appointment Today!

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