Struggling to sleep? Scientists may have found a solution…
With one in the three of us struggling to slip off to the land of nod each night – whether it’s due to stress, anxiety or from not getting enough relaxation after work – a good night’s kip for most of us is never taken for granted.
Thankfully, scientists think they may have found the key to getting some decent shuteye: drinking more water.
The study, carried out by researchers at Penn State University, found that people who slept for six hours a night had a significantly more concentrated urine, and were more dehydrated in comparison to those who slept for eight hours a night.
By analysing 20,000 people’s sleeping habits and urine samples, the researchers found a link between a person’s sleep quality and hydration in relation to a hormone in the body called vasopressin.
“Vasopressin is released both more quickly and later on in the sleep cycle,” explained lead author Asher Rosinger. “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.”
In short: start monitoring how much water you’re actually drinking.
“This study suggests that if you’re not getting enough sleep, and you feel bad or tired the next day, drink extra water.”
Staying hydrated is easier than you think: try to avoid consuming too many caffeine drinks as they dehydrate you and invest in a recyclable water bottle so you can easily carry water around with you.
In recent weeks, a long-forgotten military sleeping tactic that was developed by the US Army to ensure that its pilots were able to get enough rest, even in the toughest of conditions, has been circulated.
It was first shared in a 1981 publication titled Relax and Win: Championship Performance by author Lloyd Bud Winter and promises to have you asleep within 120 seconds. What’s more, it reportedly has a 96% success rate after six weeks of practice.
In need of more advice? You can read Stylist’s Sleep Diaries here on how some people prepare themselves for a better night’s sleep.