If you're looking to get a good night's sleep, it's important to have a bedtime routine that sets the stage for rest. Creating a healthy bedtime routine may take a little effort, but it's worth it when you get the sweet rewards of rest and relaxation. Below we offer some tips to help you create your perfect bedtime routine, but first - what is the actual link between hydration and a restful night’s sleep?
Your hydration levels have a surprisingly large impact on your sleep. If you become dehydrated during your sleep, your mouth and nasal passages can dry, causing snoring, amongst other things, which can disturb your sleep. Some studies have also found that dehydration can cause nighttime muscle cramps, keeping you up all night. Additionally, dehydration could be a contributing factor if you find yourself waking up groggy and getting sleepy during the afternoon - restless sleep, drowsiness, and brain fog are all symptoms of dehydration.
'Hydrating' with energy drinks, carbonated beverages, and sugary drinks will also not help you sleep. These provide a burst of sugary energy that quickly wears off, leaving you feeling tired. However, the post-sugar rush crash is phantom tiredness that doesn't actually lead to a restful slumber.
Now that we know the link between dehydration and better sleep, how can we optimize our bedtime routine to sleep better?
If you attempt to enhance your sleep by drinking lots of water before bed, you'll set yourself up for a night of frequent visits to the bathroom. Drink plenty of fluids during the day, but limit fluid consumption before night. Instead of accounting for a whole day's worth of hydration all at once by flooding your kidneys with water right before bed, remaining hydrated throughout the day should help you prevent overnight excursions. Aim for 64 ounces daily (8 standard glasses) and stop drinking around an hour before bedtime. It's also vital to consider what you're consuming.
Alcohol and caffeine dehydrate, partly because they cause you to urinate a lot: as diuretics, they make your kidneys work hard to remove a lot of water from your body. If you consume these drinks before bed, you will likely become dehydrated and require a nighttime bathroom break. If you have frequent midnight urination, consult your doctor since there might be an underlying issue. Don't try to cure the problem by drinking less, as this will dehydrate you and mask any underlying issues.
Besides keeping your hydration levels up during the day, you can also add some great things to your bedtime routine to ensure you get those sleep dividends.
1. Set a bedtime reminder
Today’s smartphones have unique features. Most smart devices have a "Sleep" feature that enables you to add a bedtime reminder, where it will change the phone’s settings so you can unwind and fall asleep without a notification going off.
2. Turn off electronic devices before bed
TV, smartphone, and laptop screens generate blue light, which stimulates the body's internal clock (circadian rhythm), keeping you up long after it's time to sleep.
According to sleep research, exposure to high levels of blue light before bed can suppress melatonin levels, resulting in restlessness and delayed REM sleep. Screens should be turned off 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed. Scrolling aimlessly on Instagram for an hour can wait until morning!
3. Top off the night by drinking something warm
Warming up with a cup of tea or your favorite beverage will help you relax and prepare for the night. Chamomile tea has been used to treat sleep problems and insomnia for generations. Warm milk can aid in the promotion of sleep-in children. Chamomile is the go-to nighttime tea for grownups. Turmeric is a superfood that promotes sleep, fights depression and inflammation, and relieves pain. The herb can be found at your local grocery shop or farmer's market. Turmeric may be harsh, so consider making a night drink like golden turmeric milk to soften the flavor.
Staying hydrated is important if you want to ensure you’re getting the most out of your sleep. Make sure to limit your caffeine and alcohol intake and try to drink at least 3.5 pints of water each day. You can also add some Keppi to your water or juice if you want an extra boost of electrolytes. Stay hydrated and get a good night’s sleep – your body will thank you for it!