Electrolytes and sleep – what’s the connection?
There are countless ways to improve your sleep such as limiting light in your room, making sure you have a cold environment when you sleep, and getting sunlight in your eyes in the morning. But do electrolytes also play a role?
Is there a connection?
At first glance, it can seem like there wouldn’t be a connection between electrolyte intake and sleep. However, proper electrolyte balance and proper hydration status which comes as part of an effective electrolyte routine can actually set you up for a better night’s sleep.
There are two major reasons why having efficient amounts of electrolytes can impact your sleep in a positive way. These are the fact that electrolytes directly impact your hydration status and fluid retention, as well as electrolytes themselves showing some evidence towards effecting sleep directly.
How can electrolytes help you fall asleep?
Electrolytes play a key part in hydration status. With poor electrolyte intake, it is possible to put yourself in a position where you dehydrated due to not having enough of a balance in electrolytes and water, therefore causing excess urination. This imbalance, if it does lead to dehydration, can cause increased levels of stress which can make it harder to fall asleep.
If you are adequately hydrated, your body will not have the underlying increase in cortisol (stress), leading to you having an easier time falling asleep.
How can electrolytes help you stay asleep?
One of the most common interruptions during your sleep is waking up to go to the bathroom. This is usually because of water intake in the lead up, or just before bed. This leads to the issue of finding the balance between making sure we are hydrated in order to have a good night sleep, while also not having too much water which will lead us to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
An easy fix to this problem is having electrolytes with our night-time water intake. The electrolytes will allow for increased water retention which therefore will reduce the likelihood of having to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Another strategy to making sure that you do not have to wake up in the middle of the night is to ensure that you are adequately hydrating during the day, and winding down on your water intake in the 2 hours prior to sleep. By sipping on water throughout the day, it will make sure that you are hydrated enough for sleep without having to have additional water just before bed.