Night sweats are a common grievance for people suffering with influenza, more commonly known as the flu. The fever that may come with it triggers excessive sweating, leaving women drenched in sweat in the middle of the night and desperate for relief.1 Luckily, there are simple ways to battle night sweats during flu!
Read on for the best tips on how to cope with flu night sweats and get a good night's sleep your body needs to recuperate quickly and effectively.
Understanding the Flu
The flu is a viral infection of the respiratory tract that brings with it nasal congestion, fatigue, aching muscles, headaches, and, often, fever. It is this fever that may cause night sweats and chills.
To fight infections, the body produces more white blood cells and prompts the hypothalamus to increase its set point, leading to a higher body temperature to kill off harmful pathogens. When it reaches over 99.5°F (37.5°C), this is known as a fever.2
The body attempts to cool down by expanding blood vessels close to the skin and producing excessive amounts of sweat.
Fortunately, when suffering with flu night sweats, there are steps you can take to reduce their occurrence and finally feel better. They are as follows:
Cool Down Slowly
It might be tempting to plunge into a cold bath to cool down. While this will, in fact, quickly decrease your skin temperature, it will then prompt the body to heat up again by shivering, thus prolonging the symptom.
A such, try to resist cooling down quickly, and look for ways to achieve a consistently cool temperature, rather than confusing your hypothalamus with extreme environmental changes.Try sipping cold water or applying cool compresses.
Keep a Cool Bedroom
Keeping your bedroom cool is the most effective way of coping with flu night sweats. It will also help you breathe and sleep better, which is always tricky with nasal congestion.
Avoid overheating your bedroom by adjusting the thermostat to what feels comfortable. You may also sleep with a window slightly open to ventilate the room with cool, fresh air or put a fan on in your bedroom to help the air circulate more easily.
Wear Breathable Nightwear
Choosing the right nightwear can make all the difference when it comes to managing flu night sweats and getting sufficient rest at night.
Avoid synthetic pajamas as they can be restrictive and are likely to stick to sweaty skin, creating an unhygienic and unpleasant clammy sensation. Instead, choose good nightwear for night sweats, made from breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics that help keep the body cold and fresh.
Choose the Right Bed Sheets
Similarly to what you sleep in at night, what you sleep on is very important in coping with night sweats when having the flu.
The best bed sheets for night sweats are those that help regulate temperature and wick away sweat from the body, leaving women feeling comfortable throughout the night. They include bamboo, wool, or microfiber fabrics, among others.
While fever may be a common symptom of influenza, it is crucial to keep in touch with a doctor to prevent flu complications or diagnose other potential causes of night sweats.
Menopausal women whose nocturnal sweats are mainly due to hormonal fluctuations and are worsened by the flu are encouraged to explore various night sweats treatments, which range from simple, yet effective lifestyle changes and herbal supplements to more risky conventional treatments for a symptom-free life.
- Dugdale, D.C. (2012). Flu: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 12, 2020 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000080.htm
- National Health Service UK. (2012). Night sweats. Retrieved February 12, 2020 from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/night-sweats/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Symptoms of the Flu. Retrieved February 12, 2020 from http://www.flu.gov/symptoms-treatment/symptoms/
- Mayo Clinic. (2019). Influenza (flu). Retrieved February 12, 2020 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/symptoms-causes/syc-20351719
- Medline Plus. (2020). Fever. Retrieved February 12, 2020 from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003090.htm