Not enough sleep? Your hydration status may be suboptimal
People who sleep relatively few hours per day often drink insufficiently. This may mean that ensuring proper hydration increases sleep quantity. Or maybe it means that people who don't sleep much dehydrate more easily...
Researchers from Pennsylvania State University in the US analyzed data obtained in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Chinese Kailuan Study. They limited themselves to study participants who were at least 20 years old and healthy. Study participants with kidney disease therefore did not participate. The researchers also excluded pregnant women from their samples.
The researchers had urine samples from the study participants. They were taken early in the morning. The researchers determined the urinary specific gravity. The higher the value, the more concentrated the urine and the lower the fluid level. A normal urinary specific gravity is somewhere just above 1.01. Values above 1.02 indicate dehydration.
The study participants had told the researchers during the sample collection how many hours they had slept at night.
There was an association between dehydration and sleep. It wasn't that the study participants who slept longer also experienced mild dehydration more often, as you might have expected. However, the study participants with mild dehydration relatively often reported a short sleep duration of less than 6 hours.
Maybe people sleep less than they should if they don't take enough fluids. Or perhaps the relationship is the other way around, with sleep deprivation causing mild dehydration, for example because sleep deprivation curbs thirst stimuli.
The researchers advocate experimental research, which should provide more clarity.
Sleep. 2019 Feb 1;42(2).
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