Short sleep duration is associated with inadequate hydration: cross-cultural evidence from US and Chinese adults

Sleep. 2019 Feb 1;42(2). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsy210.


Study objectives: Short and long sleep durations are linked to reduced kidney function, but little research has examined how sleep is associated with hydration status. Our aim was to assess the relationship between sleep duration and urinary hydration biomarkers among adults in a cross-cultural context.

Methods: Three samples of adults aged ≥20 years were analyzed: 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES; n = 4680), 2009-2012 NHANES (n = 9559), and 2012 cross-sectional wave of the Chinese Kailuan Study (n = 11903), excluding pregnant women and adults with failing kidneys. We estimated multiple linear regression models between self-reported usual night-time sleep duration (<6, 6, 7, 8 (reference), and ≥9 hr/day) and urine specific gravity (Usg) and urine osmolality (Uosm) as continuous variables and logistic regression models dichotomized as inadequate hydration (>1.020 g/mL; >831 mOsm/kg). In primary analyses, we estimated models excluding diabetes and diuretic medications for healthier subpopulations (NHANES, n = 11353; Kailuan, n = 8766).

Results: In the healthier NHANES subset, 6 hr was associated with significantly higher Usg and odds of inadequate hydration (adjusted OR: 1.59, 95% CI: 1.25, 2.03) compared with 8 hr. Regression results were mixed using Uosm, but in the same direction as Usg. Among Chinese adults, short sleep duration (<6 and 6 hr) was associated with Usg and higher likelihood of inadequate hydration (6 hr adjusted OR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.26, 1.60). No consistent association was found with sleeping ≥9 hr.

Conclusions: Short sleep duration was associated with higher odds of inadequate hydration in US and Chinese adults relative to sleeping 8 hr.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • China
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dehydration / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Organism Hydration Status / physiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Self Report
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / pathology*
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • Urine / chemistry


  • Biomarkers