Night sweats can be a real obstruction to getting a good night's sleep. Awakening during the night coated with sweat is a common and unpleasant menopause symptom that can leave a woman feeling unhygienic and exhausted. Sweats occur primarily due to hormonal changes that take place in the body during menopause, which trigger an increase in internal temperature to which the body responds by producing sweat to cool down. There are; however, ways of coping with this symptom - both practically and emotionally - to prevent it from impeding upon your well-being.
Consider Your Evening Routine
To reduce night sweating, it's important to avoid habits that raise internal body temperature before you go to bed. Intake of alcohol, caffeine, or spicy foods all trigger an increase in body temperature and, when consumed in the evening, make night sweating episodes more likely. Similarly, exercising raises internal temperature with sweating for a prolonged periods of time; while regular exercise is an advisable part of a healthy lifestyle, for those who suffer with night sweats it is best to avoid exercising in the evening.
Adjust Your Sleeping Environment
Aim to create a consistently cool bedroom to help you cope physically with night sweating episodes. Avoid using central heating or an excess of heavy blankets on the bed, try to keep a window open to ventilate the room, and keep a glass of water by your bed to keep you cool and to rehydrate after sweating. Consider your nightwear; either sleeping naked or wearing loose cotton pajamas is the most practical option for sweat-prone sleepers, as these allow air to access to the skin and sweat to evaporate quickly.
Combat Sweating with Sage
You may wish to consider using herbal remedies to tackle the symptom head-on. Sage has been found to have sweat-relieving properties that could significantly reduce the occurrence of night sweating episodes. You could try drinking sage tea an hour before going to bed or using sage in an aromatherapy bath earlier in the evening to allow the herb to take effect in minimizing sweats.
Communicate with Your Partner
This is particularly important if you share a bed with a partner, as the alterations you make to your sleeping environment will affect them, too. What's more, regular sweating may be preventing you from feeling attractive, or affecting your attitude toward sex. These factors could have a significant impact on a relationship. You may wish to consider showing your partner this article; explain how your night sweats are affecting you and why it is important for you to address them, then ask for their support, patience, and understanding as you cope with the symptom.
Be Aware of Personal Hygiene
If night sweats begin to affect your personal hygiene, your personal and professional life could suffer as a result. Being aware of your hygiene habits is key in dealing with this. In order to remain fresh and confident in the face of this symptom, be aware of washing regularly, and pay particular attention to sweat-prone areas when you do so. Use antiperspirant and consider shaving your armpits, as armpit hair provides ideal conditions for bacteria to multiply and makes body odor more likely.
Coping with night sweating episodes is primarily about being aware of what triggers the symptom and then making adjustments to your lifestyle and environment to minimize the appearance of these. Communicate openly with your partner about sweating episodes to gain their support, and address the symptom head-on; remember, you have the authority to limit the effects that night sweats have upon your personal hygiene and your sleeping patterns.
- National Health Service UK. (2012). Symptoms of the Menopause. Retrieved on February 18, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Menopause/Pages/Symptoms.aspx
- Stanford University. (1998). Sleep Hyperhidrosis (Night sweats, excessive sweating). Retrieved on February 18, 2014, from http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/sweats.html
- Harvad Medical School. (2007). Why Do We Sleep, Anyway? Retrieved on February 18, 2014, from http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/benefits-of-sleep/why-do-we-sleep