If you do not feel well after a night of bad sleep, you might want to consider dehydration as a cause – not simply a lack of sleep – and drink more water, according to a new study published in the journal SLEEP.
The study found that people who slept only six hours a night, rather than the recommended eight, were more likely to dehydrate.
Dehydration can affect many body systems and functions, including cognition, mood, physical performance, and more. Long-term or chronic dehydration may result in more serious problems, such as increased risk of urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
For study, researchers from Pennsylvania State University have been studying how sleep affects the state of hydration and the risk of dehydration of adult Americans and Chinese. Participants who reported six hours of sleep had significantly more concentrated urine and 16 to 59 percent higher probability of lack of hydration compared to those who slept eight hours at night.
The cause was linked to how the body's hormonal system regulates hydration.
The vasopressin hormone is released to help regulate the body's hydration status. It is released throughout the day, as well as during the night hours of sleep, which has focused the research on this study.
"Vasopressin is released faster and later in the sleep cycle," said lead author Dr. Asher Rosinger, Professor of Biobehavioral Health at Penn State. "So if you wake up earlier, you can skip a window that releases more of the hormone, which will disrupt body hydration."
Two samples of adults were analyzed through a national health and nutrition survey, and one sample was analyzed by the Chinese study Kailuan. More than 20,000 subjects were enrolled in all three samples.
Participants reported their sleeping habits and also provided urine samples that were analyzed by biomarkers for hydration.
All data are observational and cross-section studies or cross-sectional waves of the cohort study; therefore the results of the association should not be considered as causal.
Future research should use the same methodology across sites, and this relationship should be explored lengthily over the course of the week to understand the basic state of sleep and hydration, Rosinger said.
In conclusion, researchers suggest that hydration should be at the forefront of your mind the first thing in the morning after poor sleep.
"If you get only six hours of sleep at night, it can affect the state of hydration," Rosinger said. "This study suggests that if you do not get enough sleep and you feel sick or tired the next day, drink more water."
Source: Penn State