Why This Urologist Wants You To Reconsider Keeping Water By Your Bed
Ever notice that urine color tends to be darker in the morning than it is later in the day? While that amber hue is generally a sign of suboptimal hydration, overcorrecting by guzzling water close to bedtime or keeping a cup on your nightstand for pre-snooze sipping may not be the best option.
What's so bad about drinking water before bed?
While drinking water later in the evening is not unhealthy in and of itself, waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom can interfere with overall sleep quality and well-being.
Lack of quality sleep can affect your immune function, according to integrative immunologist Heather Moday, M.D. While our body is resting, the immune system cells can also focus all efforts and energy on strengthening their immune response, she previously told mbg.
Poor sleep can also affect gut health, which plays a role in cognitive functioning1, immune functioning, and of course, digestion.
"In my opinion, it's not the total hours you're in bed. It's how much deep sleep and how much REM sleep you're getting," board-certified family medicine doctor Robert Rountree, M.D., once said during an episode of the mindbodygreen podcast. In other words, even if you're getting a full eight hours, waking up in the middle of the night to urinate can disrupt your sleep cycle, leaving you feeling tired the next day.
So, when should you stop drinking water?
Depending on a person's age, health status, and physical or sexual activities, the best time to stop drinking water will vary. In general, though, urologist Vannita Simma-Chiang, M.D., recommends taking your last sip of the day three to four hours before bed. (At least, that's what she does as part of her own pee health routine.)
And if you really want to ensure you're getting deep and uninterrupted rest, might we suggest taking your last sip of water alongside mbg's sleep support+ supplement?* The formula contains a science-backed trio of ingredients: magnesium bisglycinate (a highly absorbable form of magnesium) to support a steady state of relaxation, jujube to promote calm, and PharmaGABA® to enhance your natural sleep quality.* Even better? It's melatonin-free so you won't wake up feeling groggy the next day.*
While the exact time to take magnesium will vary, we recommend taking sleep support+ about one to two hours before bed.* And if you're worried about that being a couple of hours past Simma-Chiang's recommendation for when to stop drinking water, don't worry, we reckon those few extra gulps won't make much of an impact.
While staying hydrated is important, drinking water too close to bedtime might wake you up for much-needed bathroom breaks. In order to stay asleep throughout the night, urologists recommend taking your last gulps of water about three to four hours before bed.
Of course, "Any time you feel thirsty or your throat is dry, it's a good idea to drink water," Simma-Chiang adds. Just try to go to the bathroom right after to avoid waking again later. And if you want to support your snoozing even further, consider taking a high-quality sleep supplement, like mbg's sleep support+.*
Abby Moore is an editorial operations manager at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine. She has covered topics ranging from regenerative agriculture to celebrity entrepreneurship. Moore worked on the copywriting and marketing team at Siete Family Foods before moving to New York.