What is the impact of dehydration on sleep? | Soak&Sleep

Studies show that 69% of men and 76% of women over 40 get up at least once a night to visit the bathroom. It’s a common problem. But being hydrated at bedtime is important because it helps your body repair and detoxify effectively. How do you get the balance right so you can rest effectively and wake up feeling refreshed? Soak&Sleep spoke to HALO Hydration nutritionist, Jennifer Hanway, who advises the Royal family, Olympians and A list Hollywood stars to find out more. 

How can dehydration affect you overnight? What is the impact of dehydration on sleep? 

Dehydration can definitely have an impact on your sleep. At best you may wake up in the night feeling thirsty, but if you are really dehydrated and lacking in certain minerals and electrolytes, perhaps after doing sport during the day, you may experience muscle cramp, which can be painful and keep you awake. You may also feel tired and sluggish when you wake up the next day. 

How important is it to go to bed hydrated? 

Sleep is actually one of the most important times for your health as the majority of your repair and detoxification processes throughout the body occur whilst you are asleep. These metabolic processes need both an abundance of minerals and water for every single enzymatic reaction, and if we are dehydrated before we go to sleep these essential processes may not happen as efficiently as possible. 

How can you hydrate effectively throughout the day, so you don’t need to get up repeatedly through the night? 

Drinking water at regular intervals throughout the day can help, and if you are consuming caffeine and alcohol make sure you add in an extra glass of water for each of these beverages too. Avoid caffeine and alcohol at night - you should ideally have your last cup of tea or coffee eight hours before you go to bed. And it’s not just drinking water that can help you stay hydrated, it’s important to get the water into the cells, and for this we need specific electrolytes including sodium, magnesium, and potassium which can be found in hydration powders like HALO Hydration. 

Should you hydrate through the night? And if so, is water the best thing to have on your bedside table? 

If you are hydrating enough during the day you shouldn’t need more than a sip or two of water throughout the night, just to moisten your mouth and airways. If you do feel like you need a drink during the night, water is the best thing to have. 

Can your sleeping position affect your overnight hydration? 

No, although it is better for you to sleep on your back rather than on your side. 

Is a herbal tea or Horlicks the best thing to have before bed or is there something better? 

Herbal teas, especially chamomile or valerian are wonderful before bed as they have relaxing properties. Drinking an electrolyte before bed instead of a glass of water can also be helpful as the electrolytes will help the water get into the cells rather than just circulating in the bloodstream (creating the need for us to use the bathroom). 


I would not recommend malted drinks or drinks containing dairy before bed as they can disrupt digestion which can negatively disrupt sleep.

Which foods dehydrate you before bedtime? Which foods are more likely to make you get up in the night? 

Alcohol is one of the biggest culprits of dehydration before bed, and it’s ideal to give your body time to process the alcohol (and drink lots of water) before you go to sleep. And as our process of digestion actually slows down whilst we are sleeping it's ideal to finish eating at least two hours before you go to bed to ensure your sleep is not disturbed. 

What is the best way to rehydrate in the morning?

A glass of water when you wake up will help you rehydrate and if you add an electrolyte powder, you can add vital vitamins, minerals and electrolytes which aid hydration and also help boost our adrenal function, stress response and energy production. 

Should you change your nighttime rehydration routine according to the season?  

No you shouldn’t plan to drink more at nighttime, but it’s worth knowing that we can actually get more dehydrated in the winter due to indoor heating and the fact that we tend to drink less water at this time of year due to the cold temperatures. 

With the Christmas party season coming, how should your hydration routine change if you are going out drinking?

Hydration is the key to surviving the party season and think about this in relation to what you do before, during and after the Christmas parties. Drinking an electrolyte drink before you go out will also help you stay hydrated and help with detoxification. Always have a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume, make sure you have a glass of water before bed and by the side of your bed to sip during the night if the alcohol makes you thirsty. Drinking an electrolyte drink when you wake up will also help you rehydrate, recover and feel energized the next day. 

How should you change your hydration routine if you are sick during the Winter?  

Any time you get sick the body has to work harder to help you recover, so you will need both extra fluids and extra vitamins, minerals and electrolytes such as the ones in HALO. Staying hydrated will also help your immune system function optimally, and lower any inflammation that may have occurred as a result of your immune system fighting the pathogen, virus or bacteria.