This blog is going to help you find out how interoception affects hydration. Interoception is sometimes referred to as our 8th sense. It is a lesser-known sense that helps us to understand what is going on inside our bodies. People who struggle with interception can have trouble knowing when they feel hungry or full, if they are hot or cold or if they are thirsty or ill.
If you don’t have sensory processing difficulties and you don’t struggle with interception you will feel and react to sensations inside your body appropriately. If you feel thirsty you will take a drink if you feel hungry you eat and once you are full you will stop. For those who struggle with this the messages get muddled up and we are aren’t able to respond appropriately.
For example, we may forget to eat, we may forget to drink, we may struggle to regulate our body temperature, we may not feel the sensation of needing to go to the toilet. There are many things we may not be aware of going on inside of our body, but don’t worry because there are lots of ways to help this!
One of the problems with interception is that some people forget to drink and don’t know when they are thirsty. They just don’t get the feeling of thirst. This can be quite dangerous as it can cause dehydration.
When your body doesn’t have as much water as it needs you can become dehydrated. This can cause a dry mouth, headaches and not being able to go for a wee. If you become severely dehydrated the symptoms can become much worse and you may need medical intervention.
If you forget to drink or don’t feel thirst there are many ways to remind yourself to drink. If you just really suck at remembering to drink because you are so busy, these will help you too.
Reminders App – You can download an app and set up reminders on your phone. This way you can send yourself reminders to drink. If you use the iOS Reminders App you can add family members so as a parent you can remind your children. This app also works well to remind you to do other things like eat lunch.
Plant Nanny – This is an app where you become a virtual plant. It then sends you notifications throughout the day to remind you to drink. This is a fun way to remember to drink and you also get a cute little plant to keep you company on your phone.
Tracker Bottles – These are great visual prompts to have in front of you throughout the day. It is basically a water bottle with times of the day on it. Encouraging you to drink at regular intervals throughout the day. The full bottle starts at 8am where you drink down until the 10am mark, then at 10am you drink down to the next mark. The bottle will be finished at lunchtime and needs to be refilled for the afternoon.
If like me you are one of those people who forget to drink or don’t feel thirsty, you are more likely to become dehydrated than those who drink regularly. The main way to avoid dehydration is to drink plenty of water. Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas on how you do this. It is also important to avoid caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks or at the very least limit the amount you drink.
I am one of those people who doesn’t feel thirst until I have started to dehydrate. I also forget to drink because I’m busy doing other things. I have tried the reminder app and the plant nanny app but I am one of those people who hates to get notifications so they didn’t work well for me. I tried keeping a litre bottle of water on my desk to remind me to drink. But I still didn’t drink and would drink the full litre at once and make myself feel sick and bloated. I love the tracker bottle because I like to challenge myself and this really does feel like a daily challenge and the prize is hydration!
I fill my bottle the previous night and put it in the fridge. I then take it out the next morning and place it wherever I am at the time. I have it in the kitchen, next to my bed, at my desk, in the car, on the bus … you can take it anywhere. If you stick to the tracker you don’t have to drink a huge amount at once, it is evenly spread throughout the day. I love my tracker bottle and another bonus is I am helping the environment by cutting down on bottled water.
We hope you enjoyed our blog on how interoception affects hydration. Staying hydrated is really important but it can be difficult for those who struggle with interoception. You can’t survive without water. Water makes up two-thirds of our bodies and is essential for us to function correctly. It is recommended that we drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water each day. Bottled water is nutritionally no different from tap water and tap water is safe to drink in the UK.
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