It is quite normal when you throw and turn overnight or stay too late to feel miserable. But new research suggests that guilt can be more than just sleep deprivation: You can also dehydrate, say scientists and drink more water can help you feel better.
A study published this week in the journal Sleep, found that people who reported regular sleeping only six hours a night were 16 to 59 percent more likely to be "poorly hydrated" (based on their urine samples) than those who said they were normally sleeping eight. Both US and Chinese adults – about 25,000 people – participated in the research, and the results were consistent across both populations.
This does not mean that people who sleep less also drink less; in fact, the authors of the study actually controlled the overall fluid consumption of some participants. They found that although people reported drinking the same amount, those who slept less were more likely to have more concentrated urine and other signs of dehydration.
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So what's going on? The authors of the study say it is probably related to a hormone called vasopressin, which helps regulate the body's hydration status.
Vasopressin is released both day and night, but production actually increases later in the sleep cycle, said lead author Asher Rosinger, an assistant professor of biological health and anthropology at Penn State University in a press release. "If you wake up earlier, you can skip a window that releases more of the hormone, which will cause a disruption of body hydration," he added.
The authors point out that poor sleep has been associated with previous chronic kidney disease studies and say that dehydration can be a major driver of this association. Long-term dehydration may also increase the risk of kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
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Since the study was based on her own sleep data and at one point only looked at urine results, it was only possible to find a link between the two – not the causal relationship. Future studies should relate to this relationship during the week, the authors wrote in their article to understand how human hydration and sleep patterns change every day.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests that adults should get seven to nine hours sleep at night and that it is best for your sleeping time and waking time to be as consistent as possible. (In this study, it seems that sleeping more than nine o'clock in the night has no effect in both directions on the state of hydration.)
Of course you do not really need it other The reason why sleep skimping is bad for you: It is also associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, overeating, weight gain (although not associated with overdose) and diabetes, to name but a few. It can also cause short-term problems such as irritability, difficulty in concentrating, memory problems, and sleepy driving.
However, dehydration itself also causes headache and fatigue and affects mood, cognition and physical performance – which can be complemented by the already negative effects of sleepless nights, the authors say. "This study suggests that if you do not get enough sleep and feel sick or tired the next day, drink more water," Rosinger said.
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