Night sweats also called sleep hyperhidrosis, is when you sweat excessively to a point where you drench your pajamas and sheets and it has nothing to do with sleeping in a hotbed. Night sweats and hot flashes are mostly associated with hormonal imbalance in women during menopause. Men also experience night sweats when their testosterone levels are low.
Many people experience night sweats but it can be hard to distinguish between hot flashes, which is a warm redness of your face and body, and night sweats. While night sweats occur naturally, they can be very uncomfortable and even disrupt your sleep. There are many reasons why you experience night sweats and for each, there is a different solution. But first, you have to identify the cause to know which remedy to apply.
Causes of night sweats
Menopause is a major cause of night sweats in women thanks to hot flashes. Hot flashes are caused by fluctuation of your hormones, especially a reduction of your estrogen and progesterone levels. This raises your adrenaline and body temperatures causing night sweats. Menopause can also cause mood changes, chills, absence or irregular periods, virginal dryness, thinning hair, slower metabolism, etc. Menopause usually occurs from the ages of the 50s, 40s, or earlier. It’s a normal condition that doesn’t require treatment, but if the symptoms are interfering with your life like night sweats, there are different hormonal therapies that can help.
There are certain medications that can cause night sweats as a side effect. These include antidepressants, cancer drugs, chemotherapy drugs, diabetic drugs, and psychotropic drugs. If you suspect some drugs you’re taking are causing night sweats you should consult your doctor, but don’t stop taking the drugs, it might cause serious effects.
People with anxiety don’t only experience extreme worry and fear, but their emotions also have physical symptoms like excessive sweating, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, muscle tension, trouble breathing, and stomach problems. Having excessive night sweating is a sign that your anxiety isn’t under control, and you need to see a doctor or a therapist.
Obstructive sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that causes your breathing to start and stop when you’re asleep which can result in gasping, choking, snoring, and night sweats. This is a serious condition that requires medical treatment. Some of the treatments options include not sleeping on your back, using a nasal decongestant before bed, sleeping with a CPAP machine to open your airwaves, or using a mouth guard. If you have tissue blocking your airways, surgery is the best option.
When you’re overweight, you’re adding more insulation in your body which makes it hard for your body to regulate your body temperature while you’re asleep. This caused you to experience night sweats. Obesity if left untreated is also a contributing factor to obstructive sleep apnea which is accompanied by night sweats.
When you have hypoglycemia, occurs when you have low blood sugar, you might experience night sweats as a side effect. If you’re taking insulin to treat your diabetes, your blood sugar levels often drop at night which can cause night sweats.
How to reduce or stop night sweats
There are different methods you can use to help minimize the frequency and intensity of your night sweats, but with the above conditions, occasional night sweats might occur. Here are some methods you can use.
Reduce your stress levels
You might think that stress doesn’t have anything to do with how you sleep, but being constantly stressed outputs a strain on your nervous system putting it on overdrive. This causes a rise in your body temperature and boosts your energy levels to help you deal with any physical threat.
Buy a cooling mattress
Some mattresses help you sleep cooler than others. There are a variety of mattress options you can choose at mattress warehouse from latex to innerspring to hybrid mattresses that feature cooling comfort layers made from copper or gel. These beds help to evenly distribute your body heat while still maintaining a cool sleeping surface. You can also get cooling mattress toppers, pads, and pillows.
Lower temperatures in your bedroom
Keep your bedroom temperatures low to about mid -60 degrees. However, if you have a health condition, it can increase your body temperature which means you need to adjust your room temperature a few degrees lower to make you more comfortable and avoid night sweats.
Avoid eating spicy foods
Spices heat up your body because they’re naturally hot. Avoid eating spicy snacks or food with a lot of spices during dinner so that your body doesn’t heat up before you go to bed.
Balanced diet and exercise
Putting on extra pounds in body weight is just like when you put extra layers of clothes, you insulate your body which increases your body temperature. This interferes with your body’s ability to thermoregulate. Eating healthy foods and daily exercise can help you lose weight and stay in shape. Exercising also helps to reduce your stress levels.
Use light night clothes and beddings
Avoid going to bed with flannel pajamas made from heavy fabric. Go for night clothes with breathable material like linen or cotton. Also, sleep with fewer beddings and opt for sheets that are light and don’t retain heat.
This might be a very uncomfortable situation for some people. However, if you’re comfortable sleeping fully in the nude your body will be in a better position to regulate your temperatures so that you don’t get too hot or too cold. But if you’re uncomfortable, you can wear light nighttime clothes made with breathable material.
If you have tried all the above methods and your night sweats persist, it’s time to pay your doctor a visit to diagnose any underlying conditions and find the proper treatment. To get healthy sleep, it’s important to stay cool at night. Your night sweats might be caused by environmental factors that you can easily remedy. But it might take some time to find what works best for you, but try different methods until you find the right one.