Some people swear by certain pre-bedtime rituals. One such habit is drinking lemon water before bed. But is it actually good for you? There might be some health benefits behind the practice, particularly if you drink hot lemon water or warm lemon water before you go to sleep.
Is it Good to Drink Water Before Bed?
Healthline says it's not necessarily a bad idea to have water before bed, as long as you don't drink it right before you turn in. The outlet notes that you should drink plenty of water every day to stay hydrated, and getting enough water throughout the day is extremely important.
Some of the benefits of having a glass of water before bedtime include an improved mood from not having a low fluid intake, and the fact that drinking water is a natural way to detox your body of free radicals. This detoxifying effect is a great reason to drink water alone.
"Drinking warm water before bed will keep you hydrated through the night and may help the body to rid itself of unwanted toxins," the site notes.
However, having it right before you go to sleep can interrupt your sleep cycle, which is obviously no good. To prevent waking up at night, Healthline recommends stopping your water intake two hours before you go to sleep.
What About Lemon Water?
The site does say that adding lemon to your water before bed can make it less bland, and that since lemon contains vitamin C, it might help to boost your immune system while it fights infection.
But overall health benefits of drinking lemon water are not as clear. One 2015 study did find that citrus fruits like lemon have "...active natural metabolites that potentially provide benefits for human health." Some of those benefits include being an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, reduction of the risk of cancer, and protection for your heart, brain, and nervous systems.
Jantzen claims that hot water specifically breaks down fat deposits in the body and can therefore result in weight loss, so having a glass of warm lemon water every day before bed could potentially help with that. The health benefits of lemon include digestive system improvement as well as relief from constipation. Lemons can also help balance your pH levels since they become alkaline once they're in the body.
Lemons are also high in folate, potassium, flavonoids, and even a little bit of calcium, so a cup of lemon water could help with your overall health and well-being if you need more of those in your diet.
It does seem like lemon water helps with anyone who's looking for detoxification solutions or for ways to hydrate throughout the day, since adding fresh lemon juice or lemon to plain water at least makes it a little more exciting to drink. If you've got a sore throat, drinking hot lemon water might help soothe it, and daily lemon water consumption can also prevent kidney stones and reduce blood pressure and weight gain. The pectin fiber located in the peel can also be used as a fiber supplement, leading to even better digestive outcomes than lemon water alone.
Should I Drink It Before Bed?
Trying to drink lemon water before bed might not magically make your sleep better or have sudden wellness side effects, but it couldn't hurt to try it any more than having some regular water to get more hydration in before you go to sleep. Unfortunately, there are some issues you should watch out for when drinking cold lemon water or hot lemon water before bed. The citric acid in lemons can break down tooth enamel, leading to expensive dental bills, especially if combined with sugar.
While lemon water generally aids digestion, drinking it on an empty stomach before bed can lead to heartburn after you turn in for the night. Water of any kind is also a diuretic, meaning you might need to use the restroom several times at night if you drink too much. Unfortunately, this can lead to a fitful night of sleep.
That being said, having several ounces of water a day is always a good idea, and as long as you don't drink it immediately before you sleep, having some of that be lemon water before bed is certainly worth a try.