It’s winters and who wouldn’t like a few extra hours of sleep tucked inside their warm blanket? Apart from comfort, there is another reason that is compelling enough to keep you in bed for longer – turns out, a few extra hours in bed could help you avoid dehydration. According to a new study published in the journal Sleep, anything under six hours of shut-eye a night could leave our bodies dehydrated.
“Short and long sleep duration are linked to reduced kidney function, but little research has examined how sleep is associated with hydration status”, the study states.
The study analysed records of more than 25,000 adults in China and the US, who were asked about their sleeping habits and had urine samples taken to look for biomarkers linked to hydration”, Science Alert reported.
For the purpose of the study, the relationship between sleep duration and urinary hydration biomarkers among adults in a cross-cultural context were assessed and compared to reach a conclusion.
Researchers found that people who slept six hours a night had significantly more concentrated urine and a 16-59 per cent higher chance of being dehydrated, compared with adults who were getting a regular eight hours of sleep.
Focusing on a hormone called vasopressin, a man-made form of a hormone called “anti-diuretic hormone” and is normally secreted by the pituitary gland which the body releases during the day and the night to manage fluid levels, the researchers concluded that their findings could be linked to the way the body’s hormonal system regulates hydration.
“Vasopressin is released both more quickly and later on in the sleep cycle,” says one of the team members, Asher Rosinger from Pennsylvania State University. “So, if you’re waking up earlier, you might miss that window in which more of the hormone is released, causing a disruption in the body’s hydration”, he told Science Alert pointing out that sleep and hydration could, in fact, influence each other.
“This study suggests that if you’re not getting enough sleep, and you feel bad or tired the next day, drink extra water,” Rosinger stated.
Dehydration can have a negative effect on us – right from mood, cognition and headache, to kidney function, dizziness and physical performance. Looks like, apart from keeping yourself well hydrated with fluids and salts, it is always a good idea to sleep in for a few extra hours, preferably with a glass of water on your bedside.