Hydration and Sleep: The Essential Summer Guide

Jun 28, 2024 | Blog, Health, Monitoring, Sleep Apnea, Sleep Disorders, Sleep Tips, Summer Sleep Tips, Telehealth

As the summer heat intensifies, ensuring proper hydration becomes more crucial than ever. While most of us are aware of the importance of staying hydrated to beat the summer heat, we often overlook the intricate connection between hydration and sleep. Understanding how these two essential aspects of health interplay can significantly improve our overall well-being. Let’s delve into the fascinating relationship between hydration and sleep and how we can harness this knowledge for a healthier, more restful summer.

The Science Behind Hydration and Sleep

Hydration plays a pivotal role in maintaining the body’s homeostasis, affecting various physiological processes, including sleep. Studies have shown that dehydration can lead to a decrease in sleep duration and quality. One such study found that insufficient hydration can result in shorter sleep duration and more fragmented sleep (Aristotelous et al., 2019). Conversely, proper hydration supports the body’s natural sleep-wake cycles, promoting restorative sleep.

Water is essential for maintaining cellular homeostasis and the function of various bodily systems, including the nervous system. Dehydration can lead to increased levels of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone, which can disrupt sleep patterns. Additionally, dehydration can cause the nasal passages and mouth to become dry, leading to snoring and discomfort, which can further disrupt sleep (Mathew et al., 2024).

The seven or more hours that you sleep every night are likely the longest stretch of time you go without drinking or eating on any given day. However, most people aren’t dehydrated when they wake up in the morning. This is because, during sleep, your brain releases a hormone called vasopressin, which helps your body retain water. This is one of many processes involved in the sleep-wake cycle.

How Sleep Influences Hydration

Just as hydration affects sleep, sleep also influences hydration levels. The body loses water through respiration and sweating during sleep. This loss can contribute to dehydration if not adequately compensated. A study indicates that poor sleep quality and shorter sleep durations are associated with lower hydration levels upon waking (Rosinger et al., 2019).

Moreover, the body’s ability to regulate hydration is closely linked to the circadian rhythm. The hormone vasopressin, which helps the kidneys manage water balance, is released in higher amounts late in the sleep cycle. Disruptions in sleep can therefore interfere with this process, leading to increased water loss and subsequent dehydration (Nakamura et al., 2020).

When you go to bed without enough fluid in your body, you increase your risk of experiencing physical symptoms that make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep, such as dry mouth and feelings of thirst, headaches, and muscle cramps.

Experts hypothesize that sleep disruptions interfere with the release of vasopressin, causing your body to expel water it would otherwise retain. Moreover, chronic sleep deprivation may also impair kidney function, making it harder for the body to effectively regulate water levels.

Going to bed dehydrated could possibly result in a feedback loop in which low water levels compromise sleep and poor sleep intensifies dehydration. On the other hand, getting plenty of water throughout the day appears to support healthy sleep.

Tips for Staying Hydrated and Improving Sleep

  1. Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule: Consistency in your sleep schedule helps regulate your body’s internal clock, improving both sleep quality and hydration levels.
  2. Hydrate Throughout the Day: Drink water consistently throughout the day rather than consuming large amounts in the evening to avoid nighttime awakenings for bathroom trips.
  3. Monitor Your Environment: Keep your sleeping environment cool and humid to prevent dehydration caused by excessive sweating and dry air.
  4. Limit Diuretics Before Bed: Avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine in the evening, as they can increase urine production and lead to dehydration.
  5. Eat Hydrating Foods: Incorporate fruits and vegetables with high water content into your diet, such as cucumbers, watermelon, and oranges.
  6. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to signs of dehydration such as dry mouth, dark urine, and headaches. Adjust your water intake accordingly.

Learn More

As we navigate through the hot summer months, staying mindful of our hydration status and sleep habits can lead to improved overall health and well-being. By understanding and optimizing this vital relationship, we can ensure restful nights and energized days, ready to enjoy all the summer activities.

For more tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and improving your sleep, visit our website. Let’s make this summer not just about fun in the sun, but also about nurturing our health through better sleep and hydration.


  1. Aristotelous, P., Aphamis, G., Sakkas, G. K., Andreou, E., Pantzaris, M., Kyprianou, T., Hadjigeorgiou, G. M., Manconi, M., & Giannaki, C. D. (2019). Effects of controlled dehydration on sleep quality and quantity: A polysomnographic study in healthy young adults. Journal of sleep research28(3), e12662. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsr.12662
  2. Nakamura, Y., Watanabe, H., Tanaka, A., Yasui, M., Nishihira, J., & Murayama, N. (2020). Effect of Increased Daily Water Intake and Hydration on Health in Japanese Adults. Nutrients12(4), 1191. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041191
  3. Rosinger, A. Y., Chang, A. M., Buxton, O. M., Li, J., Wu, S., & Gao, X. (2019). Short sleep duration is associated with inadequate hydration: cross-cultural evidence from US and Chinese adults. Sleep42(2), 10.1093/sleep/zsy210. https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsy210
  4. Mathew, G. M., Nahmod, N. G., Master, L., Reichenberger, D. A., Rosinger, A. Y., & Chang, A. M. (2024). Effects of a 1-hour per night week-long sleep extension in college students on cardiometabolic parameters, hydration status, and physical activity: A pilot study. Sleep health10(1S), S130–S139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleh.2023.10.006