Do you ever wake up from a full night’s sleep still feeling tired? Turns out, your drowsiness may have less to do with how many hours of shut-eye you’re getting, and more to do with how much you’re hydrating.
A new study out of Penn State University (published in the journal Sleep) surveyed over 20,000 adults in both the U.S and China. The team of researchers exclusively investigated the impact of inadequate sleep on hydration.
They found that those who slept for only six hours had ‘significantly more concentrated urine’ than those who got eight hours of sleep, while their chances of being ‘inadequately hydrated’ ranged from 16 to 59 per cent higher than those in the eight hours camp.
Translation? Those symptoms we’ve traditionally associated with tiredness (i.e. hunger pains, poor concentration, lack of energy) can actually be put down to dehydration.
The results of the study, according to the researchers, come down to hormones: more specifically, a hormone named vasopressin, which controls the hydration levels of the body. Crucially, it’s released both at night, when you’re asleep, and during the day; as a result, the hours of sleep you get have a significant impact on the amount of vasopressin released.
Study author Asher Rosinger, an assistant professor of biobehavioural health at Penn State, explained, “Vasopressin is released both more quickly and later on in the sleep cycle.” He added, “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.”
“If you are only getting six hours of sleep a night, it can affect your hydration status,” Rosinger concluded. “This study suggests that if you’re not getting enough sleep, and you feel bad or tired the next day, drink extra water.”
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