Warm, hot, or cold water: What you should drink (or not) before going to sleep

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Warm, hot, or cold water: What you should drink (or not) before going to sleep
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Your nighttime routine — staying away from digital devices, avoiding caffeine, journaling, and meditation — plays a crucial role in determining the quality of your sleep. As such, many are left wondering if they should drink a glass of water before hitting the bed and if yes, should it be warm, hot, or cold? While some find that drinking water before bed helps them sleep better, it causes sleeping issues in others. So, what do experts suggest?

According to Dr Abhinav Gupta, Consultant, Medical Gastroenterology, Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Jaipur, “Drinking water before bed will help keep your body temperature under control. According to research, dehydration makes people feel hot or cold when they are sleeping. You gain from drinking water before bed as it keeps your body at its ideal temperature and ensures you stay hydrated while you sleep.”

This, according to the expert, makes it easier to maintain a peaceful and comfortable sleep environment. According to a 2014 study, published in the National Library of Medicine, water deprivation can negatively impact mood, which could affect your overall sleep-wake cycle.

However, this doesn’t mean you consume an excessive amount of water, and that too immediately before you sleep.

“While it’s vital to get your recommended daily intake of water, drinking water right before bed might be disturbing. To avoid waking up at night, refrain from consuming any liquids before going to bed. Also, by drinking water before bed, you could retain your urination more than you should while you sleep, which is bad for your health,” dietitian Neha Pathania, Dietitian, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram said.

One may suffer from sleep disruptions if he/she drinks water before bed (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

She explained that the number of times you need to use the restroom at night may increase if you drink water before bed. “You may sleep uninterruptedly for six to eight hours at night since your pee production lowers. But, drinking water before bed can break this cycle and, in turn, affect heart health, too.”

Agreeing, Dr Gupta said that drinking water immediately before bed can disrupt your sleep cycle and harm heart health. “To prevent dehydration and nighttime overhydration, you must consume enough water during the day. Dark urine is one indication of dehydration. Your urine should be light yellow to clear if you’re getting enough water,” he said.

So, what should be the ideal gap between drinking water and going to sleep? Two hours, experts say. “To avoid waking up at night, refrain from consuming any liquids at least two hours before bed,” they said.

In addition to recommending the specific time of drinking water, experts also answered if you should opt for warm water or cold water. “Warm water before bed will keep you hydrated throughout the night and may facilitate the body’s natural detoxification process. It might also aid in easing stomach aches or cramps. Warm water improves blood flow, makes it easier for your body to eliminate waste, and makes you sweat more,” Dr Gupta said, adding that sweating will result in some fluid loss throughout the night, it also helps to cleanse the skin cells and flush out any extra salts or toxins.

Agreeing, Pathania said, “If you must drink water before bed, warm water is best since it will keep you hydrated throughout the night and may aid in the body’s ability to eliminate harmful pollutants.”

However, in renal and cardiac diseases, the patient should drink water as recommended by the physician, they added.

Benefits of drinking water before bed:

*Better temperature regulation
*Beautiful skin
*Improved immunological function
*Heart pressure is reduced
*Losing weight

Cons of drinking water before bed:

*Sleep disruption
*Water pressure

(Next in the series: Is snoring a risk factor for diabetes?)

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