Some people may keep a water bottle near their bedside for a nighttime sip, but experts say drinking water at this time could lead to disrupted sleep if one is not careful.
It appears it’s not all doom and gloom, though, if parting ways with water before bed is something that doesn’t mesh well with already-established nighttime routines.
Here’s what six health and sleep experts have to say about drinking water before retiring for the night.
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Know the pros and cons of drinking water before bed
A carafe is a glass flask that’s often used to hold water, wine or a mixed drink. Some people may keep these bottles near their bed so they can easily access a nighttime drink.
Tara Clancy, a New York City-based sleep strategist and host of “The Counterfeit Sleep” podcast, said there are pros and cons of drinking water before bed because it can affect sleep performance in different ways.
“Drinking a very small amount if you feel thirsty is better than going to bed [feeling] dehydrated,” Clancy told Fox News Digital. “That’s because dehydration invites congestion and inflammation, which lower sleep performance.”
Clancy recommends limiting water intake before bed to an ounce or two.
“Any more than that, and you risk waking up in the middle of the night for a trip to the bathroom — and that means lower sleep performance,” she said.
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People should start hydrating as soon as they wake up and discontinue drinking water three hours before they go to bed, Clancy said.
“If you’re still waking up in the middle of the night for a trip to the bathroom, that’s a sign that you need sleep performance support,” she said. “Improving sleep performance is the key to improving health and wellness.”
Drinking water before bed can disrupt melatonin production and digestion
Drinking water before bed can lead to a middle-of-the-night bathroom visit.
Amber Dixon, a Chicago-based dietitian, geriatric nurse and CEO of Elderly Assist Inc., an online senior health guide, said she doesn’t think drinking water before bed is ideal because it can make falling asleep more difficult than it needs to be.
“When you are resting, your body experiences melatonin production in the pineal gland,” Dixon told Fox News Digital. “Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles and circadian rhythms.”
“Drinking water before bed interferes with this process because it inhibits the production of melatonin,” she also said. “Your body needs time to process fluids and then initiate sleep-wake cycles again after drinking water before bed.”
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Drinking water before bed can interrupt digestion, which can have adverse effects, including bloating and gas pains, said Dixon.
“If you drink too much fluid before going to sleep, your digestive system will be busy processing this extra liquid instead of focusing on breaking down food particles that may be in the stomach or intestines at the time,” Dixon explained.
Drinking water before bed can replenish the body
Drinking a small amount of water before bed can help the body carry out recovery processes throughout the night.
Blanca Garcia, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Health Canal, a medical research news service provider in Grove City, Ohio, said drinking water before bed can offer a list of health benefits.
“Our bodies are made up of about 70% of water,” Garcia told Fox News Digital. “As we sleep, we sweat and lose some of that water.”
“Drinking water before bedtime is good for your health,” she continued. “It helps replenish water lost throughout the day, helps you get through the night while you sleep, and allows your body to recover.”
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Garcia said the human body “grows and repairs a variety of cells and tissues” during sleep and these cells need fluids in order to transport nutrients.
Needing to drink water before bed could indicate a sleep problem
Feeling a strong urge to drink water before bed and mid-sleep could be a sign of dry mouth.
Dr. Camilo Andrés Ruiz, a Fort Lauderdale-based concierge medicine physician and sleep medicine expert at Sleep and Internal Medicine Specialists, said drinking water before bed isn’t necessary for the most part.
“Needing to drink water in the middle of the night due to dry mouth can be an indication of other things such as mouth breathing, snoring, or sleep apnea,” Ruiz told Fox News Digital. “That should be evaluated further with a sleep professional.”
If drinking water before bed is a lifestyle routine that can’t be kicked, Ruiz said he recommends people limit “their fluid intake two to three hours before bedtime” to avoid middle-of-the-night awakenings and bathroom breaks.
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Needing to drink water before bed could indicate a lack of hydration
Feeling strong thirst at night might mean a lack of hydration. Experts say people should drink water throughout the day.
Dr. Shelby Harris, a New York City-based licensed clinical psychologist and director of sleep health at Sleepopolis, a mattress review website, said the urge to drink water before bed could mean a person is dehydrated.
“If you’re super thirsty right before bed, you may not be drinking enough water during the day, so it’s really important to hydrate throughout the day,” Harris told Fox News Digital. “And if you’ve had a rough night of sleep, try starting your day off with a big glass of water.”
“If you have issues with excessive thirst during the day and night, it would be a good idea to talk with your doctor as there can be medical issues going on,” she continued. “[Certain] medications can worsen this, too.”
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Harris said if thirst is felt before bedtime, she recommends limiting water intake to “eight ounces at most.”
Bottom line: Drinking water is good for you
Drinking water is good for your health overall.
Dr. Nadir Qazi, founder and cosmetic surgeon at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic, a dermatology and plastic surgery clinic in Irvine, California, said drinking water right before bed isn’t the best strategy, but it’s still good to drink water throughout the day.
“Drinking water is almost always healthy, but it is a good idea to limit the amount of water late in the evening,” Qazi told Fox News Digital. “It is alright to continue sipping on a glass of water in the final two hours before bed. Maintaining adequate hydration levels throughout the day helps keep the body healthy and fully functional.”
The health benefits of drinking water include lowering blood pressure, regulating stress hormones, lubricating joints, plumping skin cells, aiding brain function and digestion, healing, removing toxins and regulating body temperature.
“Sleeping is also when the body synthesizes collagen and elastin to keep the skin healthy and youthful,” Qazi said.
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Drinking water before bed can lead to nocturia – which causes you to wake up to urinate – which interrupts sleep and diminishes the overnight healing benefits sleep brings, according to Qazi.
“Just from the outward appearance, the skin will be slack and drawn, and facial tissues can inflame,” Qazi said. “Internally, it can slow down cognitive abilities, cause lethargy, and increase stress.”