Night sweats could be the barrier which stands between you and your getting a good night's sleep. The regular occurrence of this symptom, which is associated with menopause, fever, and numerous other conditions, may prevent you getting the six to eight hours of sleep you need to function at your healthiest during the day, and could eventually lead to fatigue. Luckily, there are several methods you can use to keep sweating episodes away. Keep reading to learn ways of preventing night sweats with a few alterations to habits, lifestyle, and diet.
Tips to Avoid Night Sweats
If you are trying to avoid night sweats, take time to assess your lifestyle and habits that could be triggering your night sweats. If you can eliminate some of these, you may be able to alleviate your symptoms and even prevent night sweats.
To help lessen the frequency and severity of your night sweats, consider some of habits, lifestyle, and diet.
Apply talcum powder to dry, sweat-prone areas of skin before going to sleep to deter sweating and remain fragrant as you sleep.
Keep a window open to ventilate the room, avoid using unnecessary blankets, and resist the urge to use central heating. If you're cold, layer sheets in breathable fabrics (e.g., cotton) can be easily kicked off. Opt for loose, breathable nightwear - or sleep naked – to keep you cooler and allow any sweating that does occur to evaporate, thus preventing clamminess.
Quit caffeine. By reducing your consumption of caffeine, you can help regulate the sympathetic nervous system and prevent it from triggering night sweats.
Yoga. Try to relieve some stress by practicing yoga, meditating, or doing deep breathing exercises. Yoga can also help regulate hormones.
- Exercise is recommended as part of any healthy lifestyle, but if you suffer from night sweats, working out regularly could have a preventative effect. Try to exercise for around half an hour every day, whether this means walking briskly, participating in an organized class, or playing a sport, like tennis, with friends.
- Try to avoid environments that cause an increase in body temperature within two hours of going to bed. Hot showers or baths are all examples of these. Common sense is key; overly warm environments cause you to sweat, so they should be avoided during the evening to keep night sweats away.
- Cold shower or bath. Take a bath in lukewarm water, not hot, to prevent overheating your body. Baths can help you relax and calm down before you go to bed.
- Water. Drink the recommended amount of eight glasses of water each day. Staying hydrated will help regulate your body's temperature. In addition, it provides cool relief after you experience a night sweat.
- Sage has sweat-relieving properties, so it's a good idea to get into the habit of using it during the evening, whether this means drinking sage tea, dabbing a cool sage poultice on sweat-prone areas on the body, or using the herb as a seasoning in your evening meal.
- Certain foods have a warming or stimulating effect in the body, which means that they cause sweating as the body responds to cool down. For that reason, alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods should be avoided during the evening so as to minimize the likelihood of resultant sweating.
- Some studies have found that increasing intake of phytoestrogenic compounds can have a regulating effect on sweating episodes, specifically in women suffering with menopausal night sweats. Phytoestrogens, found in nuts, seeds, and soy have estrogenic action in the body, rebalancing disrupted hormone levels in a woman's body, which can regulate night sweat episodes.
Although night sweats can be unpleasant and disruptive, there are many ways to lessen their frequency and avoid them altogether without resorting to medical treatment.
- Better Health Channel. (2013). Sweat. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Sweat_explained
- Dall, L. & Stanford, J. (1990). Fever, Chills, and Night Sweats. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK324/
- National Health Service UK. (2012). Night sweats. Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/night-sweats/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- Stanford University. (1998). Sleep Hyperhidrosis (night sweats, excessive sweating). Retrieved February 24, 2014, from http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/sweats.html