Water: You Gotta Have It
By Eliana Raver
The late American author, salesman and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar famously said: “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the gotta have it’ scale.” We feel the same way about H2O! Next to air (oxygen), water is the most precious resource on Earth.
Did you know that when we are born, our bodies are roughly 75% water—[i]about the same percentage of water on Earth? Just as water is vital in sustaining life on our precious Blue Planet, so it is also necessary to our own health, well being and supports our bodies in achieving healthy sleep. We are constantly losing fluids throughout the day and night so keeping a balanced hydration level is a crucial, and often overlooked, part of staying healthy. Not to mention how healthy we look when we remain hydrated. Staying hydrated actually plumps up your skin cells for younger looking, smoother skin.
We all know theoretically that water is important—but why? Water has many indispensably roles within the body. There is not a cell in your body that doesn’t require water to properly function. From eliminating waste, lubricating your joints, to supporting healthy sleep practices, hydration maintains our body temperature and therefore, is one of those “gotta have it” items for our very survival.
“Dehydration can affect brain structure and function… Prolonged dehydration can lead to problems with thinking and reasoning.”[iii]
It’s not surprising that dehydration also has a detrimental effect on your sleep health, drying out the throat and sensitive mucous membranes in the nose, or even leading to muscle cramps that cause you to lose valuable rest.
As the National Sleep Foundation puts it,
“In addition to the frustration of fragmented sleep, being dehydrated during night can compromise your alertness, energy, and cognitive performance the following day[iv].”
Unfortunately, insufficient sleep may itself cause further dehydration. This was shown by a recent cumulative analysis of two separate studies; the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Chinese Kailuan Study. Altogether, the studies included over 20,000 people. The ensuing results speak for themselves:
“…Specifically, people who reported that they regularly slept for 6 hours or less each night were 16 to 59 percent more likely to be dehydrated than those who slept for 8 hours a night[v].”
Water is our lifeblood—quite literally, making up 90% of the blood that flows in our veins[vi]. As freshwater streams sustain life on earth running through capillary channels to main river arteries, so our more concentrated circulatory systems mimic this natural pattern—and water is at the center of it all.
For the remaining hot days of summer, try to focus on the importance of this simple resource and give your body the hydration it needs for balanced health, true rest and healthy sleep. In virtually every language and culture, there is a toast to one another’s health— to your water consumption, essential hydration, and a healthy night’s sleep we say, “cheers!”
[i] “How Much Water Is There on Earth?” USGS, www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/how-much-water-there-earth?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
[ii] Mann, Denise. “Even Mild Dehydration May Cause Emotional, Physical Problems.” Web MD, www.webmd.com/women/news/20120120/even-mild-dehydration-may-cause-emotional-physical-problems#1
[iii] Mann, Denise. “Even Mild Dehydration May Cause Emotional, Physical Problems.” Web MD, www.webmd.com/women/news/20120120/even-mild-dehydration-may-cause-emotional-physical-problems#1
[iv] “The Connection Between Hydration and Sleep.” National Sleep Foundation, www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/connection-between-hydration-and-sleep
[v] Sandoiu, Ana. “Sleep Deprivation may Cause Dehydration.” Medical News Today, Fact checked by Gianna D’Emilio, Published Wednesday 7 November 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323595.php
[vi] McIntosh, James. “Fifteen benefits of drinking water.” Medical News Today, Reviewed by Karen Cross, FNP, MSN Last updated Mon 16 July 2018, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814.php