Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, bed sheets soaked, wondering what on earth is going on, and why you’re lying in a puddle of your own sweat? If so, you’ve been a victim of the night sweats! But don’t worry - you’re not alone, and there are ways to reduce them.
What Are Night Sweats?
Simply put, it’s when you wake up and realize you’ve been sweating in your sleep. The reasons are many and varied, and we could write a whole blog on what night sweats are, and what causes them. In fact, we have written a whole blog on what night sweats are and what causes them.
But, wait, there’s more.
What Are The Best Sheets For Night Sweats?
One of the ways you can reduce the frequency and intensity of night sweats is by making sure you’re sleeping in the right conditions and environment. A key part of that is sleeping under the right bed sheets. What material is best for this? How can it help with night sweats? If only we’d written a blog about the best sheets for night sweats…wait, we DO have an article on this exact topic. So if you’d like to know about the best sheets for night sweats, check it out.
But, how do you stop night sweats? We do have a blog about this too, and as luck would have it, you’re reading it right now. So, read on for some ideas, tips and tricks for how you can help stop the dreaded night sweats.
How To Help Stop Night Sweats
Here are some tips for combating night sweats. We’ll preface this by saying that you should consider talking to a medical professional if you have tried all these suggestions and are still suffering from night sweats that are:
- Frequent or persistent
- Interfering with your sleep
- Affecting your daily life
- Occurring alongside other health changes
A good approach to night sweats is to start by trying straightforward changes that can minimize the frequency and severity of night sweats, while at the same time working to improve overall health and promote good quality sleep. Now with that said, here are our top seven tips for how to stop sweating at night.
1. Limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine
Both alcohol and caffeine have been used for hundreds of years to make people feel brilliant, terrible, brilliant then terrible, or just terrible. However they affect you personally, one thing’s for sure: they don’t help anyone get a good night’s sleep. Caffeine is a natural psychoactive substance and stimulant which reduces deep, restful sleep and can increase the chance of night time anxiety and night sweats.
Conversely, alcohol, although it has sedative properties and therefore can make you feel sleepy, is linked to a poorer quality of sleep. It is also a diuretic so it can cause the body to lose more fluid through sweating.
2. Avoid using tobacco and drugs
This is good advice, regardless of your quality of sleep and whether you’re having night sweats. Nicotine is a stimulant and therefore is not good for anyone trying to get a good night’s sleep. Smoking in general can increase the chance of sleep conditions like sleep apnea, which in turn can increase the chance of night sweats. Drugs (both medicinal and recreational) can impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep and compound the risk of night sweats.
3. Sleep in a cooler environment
If you’ve read our guide to the best sheets for night sweats (link above), you’ll know that our Eucalyptus sheets are recommended for the cooling qualities that help facilitate a good night’s sleep and wick sweat away from the body.
In addition to a sheet upgrade, consider investing in a cooling mattress. Our Eucalyptus Mattress is made with breathable latex and airflow-promoting steel coils for cool, sweat-free sleep. To complete the set of eucalyptus sheets and a cooling mattress, you could also use a ‘chill pillow’ filled with water or other cooling material to keep you cool at night.
During the day it’s important to keep cool as well. Make sure your core temperature remains low by using fans during the day. There’s no reason you can’t have the fan on during sleeping hours, as well, to help keep the air cool and wick moisture away.
Sleep in lightweight, loosely-fitting, absorbent PJs. Dressing in layers makes it easier to make adjustments to maintain a comfortable temperature. Alternatively, we’ve also built a very good case for discarding the jammies altogether, thanks to the benefits of sleeping naked.
As an extra measure, it’s good practice to keep a glass of ice water beside your bed, and have a swig if you start to feel yourself sweating during the night.
4. Avoid eating spicy food, as it can make symptoms worse
Spicy food like curries and hot sauces contain capsaicin, a chemical compound isolated from chili peppers. This elevates your body temperature and causes havoc with your thermoregulation, disrupting your sleep and making it far more likely that you’ll wake up in a pool of your own sweat. Our advice: minimize the spicy food before bed unless you’re certain it isn’t a factor in your night sweats.
5. Breathing exercises can help promote better sleep
Try deep, slow abdominal breathing (between 6 and 8 breaths per minute). Practice deep breathing for 15 minutes in the morning, and again for 15 minutes in the evening. This can help you achieve a sense of calm and make it easier to fall asleep. It may not be the resolution to the underlying cause of night sweats but it can be a contributing factor, especially if your night sweats are stress-related.
6. Prescription medication for other conditions
A note on this point: if you suspect any of your medication is causing or exacerbating your night sweats, it’s important not to change the dosage or prescription without consulting your doctor first.
If existing medications are causing night sweats, then amending the prescription, the dosage, or the time of day the drug is taken may help reduce sweating at night. If, on the other hand, the night sweats are being caused by an underlying infection or other issue, medication may help address them. Night sweats and hot flashes are common, for example, for women going through menopause and medical professionals may be able to help improve this.
7. Try to maintain a moderate weight
It’s important to maintain a healthy weight: some research has identified a correlation between higher body weight and night sweats. As well as increasing body temperature and therefore the chance of night sweats, being overweight or obese can contribute to other health problems, including those that affect sleep, such as sleep apnea. This is when your breathing starts and stops during sleep which impacts the quality of your sleep and makes you tired during the day.
Hopefully if you’re able to implement some or all of our tips, you’ll be in a position to identify the underlying cause of your night sweats, enabling you to reduce their frequency or intensity...or eliminate them altogether.