At some point in our lives, we all experience a bout of night sweats and even hot flashes: the problem is not merely the preserve of the peri-menopausal! The sweats will come on if you’re simply too warm while sleeping. Sometimes you can do nothing about the weather but grin and bear it.
But if it’s starting to be a problem for you, think about making a record of your experiences. Make a note each morning of your sleep experience and try to get inside the problems. There may be a simple solution. Each night before you head for bed, log what you’ve eaten and how long before you turned in. Think about what you’ve been drinking and wearing just before you settled down and whether you had a bath or shower. When you wake up, before you get too far in to your day, jot down how you slept and whether you found yourself disturbed: how many times, what time of night.
You’re starting to look for a pattern in all of this. Anything you can track and trace. And of course, anything you can change.
There are some well-known triggers for night sweats. These are the kind of things you should look out for in your sleep journal.
Have you been ill with a fever? Or picked up some kind of infection? Are you taking medication to combat an illness or as part of an on-going treatment? Has your medication been changed? Have people around you been suffering with illness?
Is your bedding suitable for the current environment? Is there some unseasonable weather around? Or is the surrounding temperature just what you’d expect? Maybe it’s time for a change in your covers or the type of sheets you use on your bed? Perhaps you can use this as an opportunity to explore alternatives to your current range of bed covers. How about a complex multi-layered cooling pillow? It could make an instant difference to the quality of your sleep.
Have you been overdoing it with food or alcohol more than you normally do? Maybe there’s a good reason, but be aware of your intake if it starts to have consequences. Perhaps you’ve recently changed the time when you take your main meal?
If you are a woman “of a certain age”, night sweats are common side effects of an approaching menopause. You can’t avoid this, but you can help make your experience more manageable. Think about using some of the high-tech sleep solutions that are now available: cooling pillows, temperature regulating sheets or just fresh bed linen.
How to Get Rid of Night Sweats?
Should you find yourself sweating up regularly during the night there are a few simple life-style changes that may help you through the transition period. And don’t worry, it is only a phase!
Make sure that during the day, you stay hydrated. This may be counter-intuitive. But when you sweat, you lose fluid (of course). You need to ensure you don’t trigger other problems.
If you can, wear lighter clothing in bed. Perhaps you can use this as an excuse for a new set of light weight, natural fabric nightclothes.
Use lighter weight fabrics in your bedding than you are used to or a thinner duvet. Think about some of the modern fabrics for your linen.
Keep your bedroom cool and adequately ventilated at night. If it’s safe, think about leaving windows and doors open if you can. Add locks and latches to ensure security if you need to do that or drop the level on your aircon if you are temperature controlled.
Sometimes, the solution is in your own hands. Avoid any of the known triggers for sweating such as such as extra spicy food, high levels of caffeine, smoking or alcohol.
Your sweat glands are less active at night, so applying antiperspirant to clean, dry skin before bed will allow it to work while you sleep and on into the next day. Do this after a cooling shower and make sure you dry yourself gently and thoroughly.
If you experiencing excessive sweating − to the point where you regularly soak your bed sheets or constantly have sweat patches on your clothes – you might want to speak to your local healthcare. They will be able to give you tailored, personal advice.
Have you experienced night sweats and hot flashes?
How did you deal with it?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.