What causes night sweats?
Everyone occasionally sweats at night. It's normal and no reason to lie awake at night stressing out about it, which, ironically, would give you more night sweats (see #4).
Unless, of course, you experience night sweats every night. In that case–assuming you're not going through menopause, taking prescription medication, or suffering from a medical condition like hyperhidrosis–your night sweats may be caused by one or more of the following (note: this is not an exhaustive list, just some of the top causes).
The good news is, if it is one of these things, you can take steps to reduce or eliminate your sweaty, uncomfortable nights.
1. Spicy food
For dinner last night you ate a bowl of five alarm chili, pork vindaloo, and a sriracha-jalapeño smoothie. Don't worry how we know that (we saw your Instagram post). Spicy foods and foods high in fat and sugar can exacerbate night sweats and you definitely shouldn't exacerbate before bed.
Instead, eat a Mediterranean diet that emphasizes veggies, fruits, grains, and healthy fats. In the end, you'll feel better not wetter...admittedly, that slogan needs work.
Enjoying a few drinks after work to take the edge off? We get it, we work at S&G.
The problem is alcohol relaxes your airways which can make breathing harder. That's not all. Alcohol also acts like a stimulant, increasing your heart rate, which can increase your body temperature. Both of these effects can make night sweats worse.
So if you suffer from night sweats, don't drink before bed, instead, drink in the morning. Just kidding, don't do that. Unless it's Sunday Brunch and we're talking about Bloody Marys, then by all means, drink in the morning
Exercise is unquestionably a good thing. Exercise before bed is not. Exercising increases your heart rate and your body temperature which adds up to, you guessed it, sweaty, sweaty night sweats.
So instead of hopping on the Peloton at 9 pm for a 30 minute Tabata ride, get your workout on at least several hours before bed. Ideally in the morning with a couple Bloody Marys.
Lying awake at night thinking about work, finances, or the fact that in 5 billion years the sun will turn into a red giant and swallow the earth? Turns out, stress can cause night sweats, too.
It's important to remain cool and calm upon departure to dreamland. So, make sure you properly wind down first. Drink some chamomile tea, read a book, meditate, take a warm shower, turn off your devices, and stop thinking about that time you walked out of a Walmart bathroom with toilet paper on your shoe. It was 30 years ago for crying out loud! (based on a true story)
Look, we can all agree that coffee is the best. If you're reading this and thinking, "Tea is better," um, have you tried coffee? It's amazing.
The only problem with coffee, and there's only one, is that it stays in your system for a long time. In six hours, half the caffeine in a cup of coffee is still in your system. So, if you imbibed 200 milligrams of coffee at 3 pm, by 9 pm, there's still 100 milligrams careening through your veins. That caffeine is not only going to make it difficult to get some deep sleep, it's also very likely going to give you the night sweats.
So, don't stop drinking coffee (ever). Just stop drinking coffee at, like, noon-ish.
6. Actual lava lamps
Lava lamps were cool at one point, so we can't blame you if you still keep one on your nightstand. However, if you own a lamp bubbling with scorching hot magma, aka an actual lava lamp, it may be contributing to your night sweats. So turn it off, pour it out in the Pacific Ocean, and create your very own island. The cool breeze from the trade winds will quickly cure your night sweats.
7. Sleeping on Mercury
This one's obvious, but if you live on planet Mercury, the sun is quite literally outside your window. Consider moving to a cooler planet like Neptune.
8. Polyester sheets
Check your sheets. Are they 100% or any percent polyester? There's your problem right there we said doing our best impression of a shady car mechanic.
Polyester is hydrophobic. That means it repels water, aka sweat, which makes the sweat accumulate, which makes you hot and miserable. You don't want that, we don't want that, nobody wants that.
What you want are sheets that absorb moisture. Sounds counter-intuitive, huh? It's not. Ignore your intuitions this one time. Sheets that absorb moisture, like our 100% eucalyptus sheets spread the sweat out across the fabric providing more air surface for evaporation. This keeps you cool and comfy all night long.
Give them a try. If you don't like them, send them back for a full refund and go sleep on that private island you made from your lava lamp. We may join you if it's big enough.