If you look at articles on home remedies for snoring, one that comes up commonly is drinking more water. It’s unlikely that dehydration is really making much of a contribution to your snoring.  However, there are only benefits to drinking plenty of water anyway, so it never hurts to increase your water intake.

The Relationship Between Hydration and Sleep

glass cup being filled with waterStaying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your body. Your body requires hydration to survive. Dehydration can affect the body in numerous ways so it only makes sense to ask, “Does dehydration cause sleep problems?” When someone feels immense dehydration, it can cause fatigue, dry mouth, muscle cramps, and congestion. Although one of the side effects is fatigue, the other side effects can make sleeping uncomfortable.

On the flip side, excess hydration can also affect the quality of sleep because it can cause frequent urination throughout the night.

If you’re waking up repeatedly throughout the night or not sleeping well, dehydration and sleep might not be to blame. It could be something else.

Dehydration and Sleep: The Snoring Claim

People who support this theory say that dehydration contributes to snoring because it makes the mucus in your nose, mouth, and throat more viscous. This, they say, causes a blockage in your throat, which leads to the narrowed airway that causes vibration.

Certainly, this is possible. You know how your breathing is impacted when you are phlegmy from a cold, and sometimes it can cause you to make snoring sounds. Based on how infrequently it occurs, it seems unlikely that it’s a major cause of snoring.

Consider, too, how your breathing is affected when you’re dehydrated and awake. Again, there’s an effect, but it’s very slight.

If dehydration does contribute to your snoring, it’s most likely just one factor out of many, and staying properly hydrated won’t lead to much of an improvement.

So why do so many people insist on the connection?

Overlapping Conditions

Most likely, the notion that dehydration leads to snoring comes from a number of overlapping conditions. Many people who snore will breathe through their mouths. This dries out their mucus membranes so that they wake up with a dry mouth and throat. If they know they snore, they might attribute the snoring to their dry mouth and throat.

Smoking is a major contributor to snoring. It not only dries out the mucus membranes, but also causes inflammation in the mouth and throat. This narrows the airway, and the combination of the two can lead to snoring.

Alcohol consumption also contributes to snoring risk.  In addition to dehydration, alcohol causes muscles in the head and neck to relax–including those that support the airway. This makes the airway narrow and increases the risk of snoring. 

Little Harm in Staying Hydrated

Of course, there’s little harm in staying hydrated, if you do it properly. First, ignore any advice that tells you to specifically drink a certain amount of water. Instead, follow your body’s signals for the best guide. If your urine is dark in color, drink more water. If you feel thirsty, drink more water. If you exert yourself more than usual or spend time in a hot or dry area, drink a little more.

Some of the top benefits of staying hydrated include:

  • Improved mood
  • Headache prevention
  • Leg cramp prevention
  • Promotes cardiovascular health
  • Cleanses the body
  • Skin stays more supple
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Prevents dry mouth
  • Lubricates the joints
  • Boosts skin health and beauty
  • Prevents kidney damage
  • Boost athletic performance

There are no downsides to staying hydrated! Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day but try not to drink too much water before bedtime or it can disrupt your sleep.

Do You Need Snoring Treatment

If staying hydrated doesn’t solve your snoring, maybe it’s time to get professional snoring treatment. You might suffer from sleep apnea which means your airway is obstructed while you sleep. Sleep apnea has a few overlapping symptoms with dehydration like headaches and fatigue.

If you snore loudly at night or wake up feeling tired, we recommend visiting our sleep dentist in Detroit for an evaluation. If we suspect you have sleep apnea, we will refer you to take a home sleep test to get an official diagnosis. Once we have your diagnosis, we can recommend the best sleep apnea and snoring treatment for you. After using your oral appliance regularly, you will start to wake up feeling refreshed.

If you think you might suffer from sleep apnea, please call (248) 480-0085 for an appointment with a Detroit sleep dentist at the Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness. A better night of sleep is just a few appointments away.