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Waking Up Dehydrated: Symptoms & Tips To Stay Hydrated

waking up dehydrated featured glass of water - SleepSharp

If you often wake up in the morning feeling groggy and tired, one of the likely reasons could be because you’re dehydrated. Waking up dehydrated is common for a lot of people due to how your body has been fasted from drinking while you’re sleeping.

So, how can you combat waking up dehydrated? This post covers what causes you to wake up dehydrated, the potential health impacts it can have, as well as practical tips to help you wake up more hydrated and energized.

Why Do I Wake Up Dehydrated? 

Many reasons can lead to you waking up dehydrated every morning, with the most common of them coming down to your habits. Some of the most common causes of waking up dehydrated include the following:

  • Consuming too much sodium can lead to dehydration. This is especially the case if you eat heavily salted foods close to the time that you go to sleep. To prevent yourself from waking up dehydrated, try to avoid eating foods that are high in salt. 
  • Having high blood glucose levels is a common contributor to dehydration upon waking. When blood glucose levels are high, it can lead to your body feeling thirsty but you’re not able to drink since you’re asleep. 
  • Sugar can cause the body to lose more water which means you need to consume more water to avoid becoming hydrated. However, eating sugary foods before going to bed means that your body gradually becomes more dehydrated during your sleep as you’re not able to drink water. 
  • Alcohol is a major reason as to why people wake up with hangovers after a night of drinking with a dry mouth and incredible thirst. Drinking alcohol without enough water can lead to nausea and headaches. 
  • Being ill causes the body to become dehydrated overnight. If you’ve suffered from diarrhea or vomiting, your body loses a lot of fluids which need to be replaced by drinking water. If not, you’ll likely wake up dehydrated and make the illness feel even worse. 
  • If you work out late at night, it’s important to consume plenty of water to make up for the sweating and dehydration that can occur. If you forget to drink enough water after late workouts, you can wake up more dehydrated as your body has lost fluids that need to be replaced. 
  • It’s common for people to avoid drinking when it gets close to their bedtime as they don’t want to have the hassle of waking up in the middle of the night to pass urine. However, this is a big factor that causes the body to be dehydrated for too many hours which makes you feel more fatigued when waking up. 
  • Sleeping in hot environments can cause sweating and dehydration when you’re sleeping. So, it’s important to try and sleep in an environment that’s comfortable without being too warm to the point where it can make your body sweat and lose fluids overnight. 
  • Women who are experiencing a menstrual cycle may find that they wake up more dehydrated than usual. The changes in hormone levels that are released during a menstrual cycle can lead to the body requiring more water than usual to stay hydrated. 

How Dehydration Can Cause Sleep Problems 

Dehydration can cause the quality of your sleep to decrease with one of the more concerning side effects being insomnia. It’s a condition that has many causes that can vary wildly depending on the person, however, many people find there’s a link between dehydration and insomnia.

This is because your body struggles to handle it’s regular functions when it’s dehydrated. As a result, the body is having to work harder for longer, which is why your sleep may be disrupted and symptoms of insomnia can start to set in overtime.

If you often experience cramps in your legs while you sleep, you can feel confident in knowing that dehydration is one of the most likely causes. Having leg cramps while sleeping can keep you awake until the cramp has passed and you may struggle to fall back to sleep for some time afterward.

When you’re dehydrated before sleeping, your mouth is dryer which can lead to more snoring. Snoring too much can lead to breathing issues and disrupt the quality of your sleep which can be a factor that makes you wake up feeling tired.

Sleep itself is a major contributor to why you wake up feeling dehydrated. Although, getting less sleep is counterproductive if you had the goal of trying to wake up more hydrated. This is because being deprived of sleep interferes with vasopressin.

Vasopressin is a hormone that the body releases while you’re sleeping and it’s linked with keeping you hydrated. Being deprived of sleep can also affect how well your kidneys can function. Kidneys are vital organs that aid your body in being hydrated.

How Dehydration Can Negatively Impact You During The Day

The human body has a more difficult time getting rid of toxins when you’re dehydrated. Therefore, you can progressively feel worse throughout the day if you don’t properly hydrate yourself upon waking.

One of the biggest signs that your dehydrated is if your urine is a dark color. It’s best to aim for your urine to be a clear or lighter color as that provides you with a clear indicator that you’re properly hydrated and that any tiredness you may be feeling isn’t because of a lack of water.

Going through your day without hydrating frequently enough can lead to mental fog and even exhaustion if the dehydration becomes severe. Severe dehydration can cause the kidneys to be damaged. It can also lead to the electrolytes in your body becoming damaged and even cardiac arrest.

How To Stay Hydrated: 5 Easy Tips 

Drink Water First Thing In The Morning

The easiest and most effective way to combat dehydration in the morning is to drink water as soon as you wake up. Drinking a glass of cold water right away is an effective way to help your body replenish itself so that you can prevent the feelings of fatigue.

Cold water is recommended because the stomach can process is quicker which means that it can be absorbed within a shorter span on time within your liver and kidneys. The faster you can hydrate yourself, the better you’ll feel in the mornings.

However, it’s just as important to continue consuming enough water throughout the day and not just when you wake up, otherwise, you’ll just end up being dehydrated again. So, be sure to drink water continuously as you go about your day. Aim for your urine to be light in color every time you need to go to make sure you’re staying properly hydrated.

Drink Tea Or Coffee After Water

A common mistake that people make when first waking up is making a cup of tea or coffee. People believe that drinking tea or coffee will give them the caffeine boost they need to feel more energized in the mornings.

While you can use tea and coffee as ways to boost your mental alertness, you may be stunting their capabilities by consuming them when you’re dehydrated. We recommend that you drink a couple of glasses of water in the morning before you reach for a cup of tea or coffee. That way, your body can flush out toxins and put the tea or coffee to better use.

Drink Water Before, During, And After Working Out

When you workout, your body sweats and dehydrates at a faster pace than usual. Therefore, staying hydrated before, during, and after is critical to ensure that you don’t stay dehydrated after working out. This is especially helpful if you’re working out late at night as you’ll want to replenish the lost fluids properly before sleeping to counteract being dehydrated when you wake up the next day.

Increase Your Water Intake Through Food

An easy way that you can keep your body hydrated is to eat foods that naturally contain water. For example, fruit and leafy green vegetables contain plenty of water that can help towards keeping you hydrated during the day.

Consume Water When Drinking Alcohol

If you’re planning to drink alcohol, an easy way to combat the dehydration side effects is to drink a cup of water for every alcoholic drink that you finish. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid drinking excessive quantities of alcohol to avoid waking up dehydrated. But in situations where you are drinking more alcohol than usual, you can accompany it with glasses of water in between to alleviate the dehydration and fatigue when waking up.


Waking up dehydrated with a dry mouth and fatigue isn’t the greatest way that you can start your day. So, be sure to implement the tips mentioned throughout our post to ensure that you can keep your body properly hydrated.

You can’t completely avoid being dehydrated when you wake up due to being asleep. But you can most definitely reduce the severity of dehydration to wake up feeling better. The better you feel in the mornings, the more likely it is that you’ll have a positive outlook and feel more energized for the day ahead.

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