It’s 5 am. You should be asleep until your alarm buzzes at 7:30. And yet here you are, awake, drenched in sweat and staring at the ceiling.
Night sweats are more common than you might think. Some people associate the disorder with menopause, but spoiler: Anyone can suffer from nighttime perspiration. Learning how to stop night sweats will benefit you at various stages of life, regardless of your gender.
If you’re suffering from night sweats, there are several at-home solutions that will bring relief. From switching to bamboo sheets to drinking an apple cider vinegar concoction, you may be able to stop your symptoms quickly.
Let’s talk about how many people have night sweats, what might be causing them, and how you can start sleeping dry and cozy!
How Common are Night Sweats?
More people have night sweats than you might think. It’s not just women going through hormonal changes! In fact, at least one study found that 41% of adults say they suffer from night sweats not caused by factors like insulated pajamas or outdoor temperature.
Now, there is a difference between being a sweaty sleeper and having diagnosable “night sweats.” It’s more than just a bit of dew on your brow when you wake in the morning.
According to Healthline, when someone has night sweats, their sheets and pillow often become so saturated with sweat that they’re unusable. Some people wake up feeling like they just got out of a shower (except, not in a cool and refreshing way).
If you wake up not just a little sweaty, but rather looking like someone just did the ice bucket challenge on you as you slept – we’re talking to you.
Medical Causes of Nighttime Hot Flashes
Our bodies sweat when they’re trying to cool us down. It’s why you start dripping from the armpits (and everywhere else) when you go for a run or sit under the sun for a long period of time.
That’s usually a good thing. Except for when your body does it to indicate an underlying medical issue.
Before you figure out how to stop night sweats, you should determine their root cause. The reason you’re breaking out in a cold sweat will help inform the best course of action to relieve it.
Here are some of the most common medical reasons people suffer from night sweats:
- Menopause. Ah, the Big Change. One of the most annoying symptoms for women going through menopause is hot flashes. Unfortunately, they don’t stop just because you fall asleep. Fluctuations in hormones are behind the annoying (at a minimum) sweat-drenching symptoms.
- Medication. Night sweats can also be caused by certain medications. Anti-depressants, for instance, can cause night sweats in up to 22% of patients. The Mayo Clinic reports that hormone-blockers and diabetes drugs are also commonly known to cause night sweats.
- Infections. Certain infections manifest in excessive night perspiration, too. Endocarditis (inflammation of the heart), abscesses, and HIV are all known to cause sweaty symptoms.
- Substance Abuse. Sometimes the use of drugs and alcohol can cause your body to sweat profusely. This is particularly true during the withdrawal stage of use.
- Hyperthyroidism. An overactive thyroid sends too much T4 and/or T3 hormones into your body. These hormones regulate a few things, most importantly your metabolism. Because your body is burning too many calories and overworking, you can experience a lot of sweating at night – when your system would normally be at rest.
- Low Blood Sugar. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can also cause a lot of night sweating. Even if you’re regulating your diabetes with insulin or oral medications, you may still perspire like crazy while you sleep.
- Cancer. Some cancers can lead to night sweats. They include bone cancer, liver cancer, and leukemia.
We should note here: Please step away from your Google spiral. Having night sweats doesn’t necessarily mean you have one of the conditions above. They are only some of the reasons that night sweats happen. You may also be sweating because of environmental or situational factors.
Sometimes a bad habit or environmental issue is the reason you wake up looking like you just sat in the front car of a splash themed roller coaster. It’s a lot easier to work out how to stop night sweats from impeding your slumber when one of these causes is to blame.
Here are some common causes of waking up drenched in sweat in the middle of the night that have nothing to do with a medical condition:
Spicy Foods. According to the American Osteopathic Association, eating spicy foods right before bed can cause your body to over-sweat at night. The same goes for hot drinks and acidic foods.
Nighttime Exercise. If you do a lot of exercises right before bed, your body may continue to cool itself while you sleep. This can lead to significant sweating while you’re trying to rest.
Caffeine. If you drink a lot of caffeine later in the day, you may have trouble falling asleep in the first place. Once you do, you could find yourself waking up sweaty.
Hot Bedding. You like to feel snug as a bug in a rug – but is that ruining your sleep? Solving the mystery of how to stop night sweats could be as simple as buying a set of more breathable sheets and moisture-wicking.
Excessive Stress. If you’ve been under tremendous stress lately, your body could react by sweating up a storm. Stress can also create a hormone imbalance – which will contribute to your sweating.
How to Stop Night Sweats from Wrecking Your REM Cycle
Now that you might have an idea about what is causing your night sweats, let’s talk about things you can do to relieve the symptoms. If you suspect a medical condition, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
If an environmental factor is causing your sweating, or your doctor can’t offer total relief, here are some ways to try and prevent night sweats:
- Drink Apple Cider Vinegar. Your body typically sweats to cool itself, but you could also perspire because your system is trying to get rid of toxins. Drinking a combination of apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and water during the day could help clear toxins – so you don’t have to sweat them out at night.
- Take B Vitamins. Take your vitamins, kids. Some B vitamins, including B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12 help regulate your hormones (particularly estrogen). In combination with advice and medication from your doctor, B vitamins could help stop night sweats when a hormonal imbalance is the cause.
- Wear Loose Clothing to Bed. If you sweat in your sleep due to an underlying medical condition, changing your clothing may not be enough to offer full relief. Still, you can keep symptoms within reason by wearing light and loose clothes to bed. Wearing heavy clothing to bed only traps body heat and makes symptoms worse.
- Keep a Cool Pack Under Your Pillow. Buy yourself a cooling pack. Put it under your pillow. Boom – a “cool side” is always within reach. Keeping your head and neck cool can do wonders for regulating your overall body temperature.
- Use Bedding with Good Air Flow. Another easy change with the potential for a big impact is being smart about your bedding. A cooling mattress and sheets made of a forgiving fabric (such as bamboo) will do wonders for letting your body heat escape more easily. When your body heat gets trapped, you’re bound to sweat more.
- Allow Air Circulation. Open your windows at night if you’re able and point a fan at your face. Good air circulation on your skin helps dry sweat immediately so it doesn’t have a chance to build up and put you in the drench zone.
Layla Sleep for Cooler Slumber
If you’re more than a hot sleeper, it’s time to act. Night sweats can have you waking up dehydrated, exhausted, and with body odor, you hate to even think about.
Could a part of your solution for a better night’s rest be an upgraded bed?
At Layla Sleep, all of our products are designed to keep you sleeping all through the night. Our copper mattress pulls body heat away from you, leaving you cooler. Did you know copper is a natural heat conductor? It also mitigates germs and body odor.
Our Layla copper pillow also works to keep you cool. Even better, you can adjust the fill until the height of the pillow is perfect for your needs.
Finally, our bamboo sheets keep you about 3 degrees cooler than cotton on average. How’s that for sleeping comfortably?
You can try out any of our Layla products for 120 days. If you don’t fall in love (it’s unlikely, but it happens), you can return it to us without hassle. Start sleeping cooler today! When you sleep better, you live better.