Night sweats are a symptom commonly associated with menopause. Many think that once a woman has experienced menopause, usually in her fifties, she will no longer experience symptoms like night sweats. Unfortunately, this may not necessarily be the case. It may take a while for hormones to re-balance after menopause, which can result in the temporary continuation of hormone-driven symptoms like sweating episodes. There are also other conditions that may trigger night sweats. Whatever the cause, there are some habits you can practice to help prevent and reduce night sweat episodes.
Keep a Cool Sleeping Environment
Make a habit of keeping a consistently cool bedroom to avoid overheating and sweating during the night. Avoid using central heating and keep a small window open for the room to stay ventilated as you sleep. Cotton is a breathable fabric that enables air access, so rather than heaping heavy blankets on your bed, layer cotton sheets to keep warm, instead. This way, you can remove and replace layers as needed during the night.
Wear Breathable Nightwear
Try to get into the habit of sleeping naked or wearing loose, cotton nightwear while you sleep. Enabling air to access the skin will prevent overheating and resulting sweat, and it will allow any sweating that does occur to evaporate, avoiding unpleasant clamminess.
Alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods are all dietary triggers that can induce sweating for up to two hours after their consumption. Avoiding them during the evening will help prevent sweating. You'll most likely awaken feeling more rested, too, because stimulants hinder the depth of your sleep.
Drink Sage Tea
Sage has significant sweat-relieving properties, so consider replacing a caffeinated drink, such as coffee or soda, in the evening with a sage iced tea to reduce the likelihood of sweating during the night. Alternatively, you could try incorporating sage into your evening meal.
Exercise helps maintain the body's functions and promotes restful sleep. Aim to exercise during the daytime for 30 minutes, five times a week to relieve sweating episodes at night.
Apply Talcum Powder
Talcum powder has astringent and absorptive properties to inhibit sweating, and it is also fragrant to prevent body odor. Apply talc to sweat-prone areas, such as the armpits and feet, before going to bed every evening to limit sweating episodes and their effect on your personal hygiene.
While it may be exasperating to continue experiencing night sweats after menopause, try not to focus on your frustration and concentrate instead on relieving the symptom. Usually, environmental, dietary, and lifestyle adjustments are necessary to effectively treat night sweats. If you continue to experience sweating episodes for a long time after menopause, or if you notice any other concerning symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor to rule out any serious medical issues.
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- National Health Service UK. (2011). Night sweats. Retrieved April 4, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/night-sweats/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- Shenefelt, P.D. (2011). Herbal Treatment for Dermatologic Disorders. In: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd ed. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92761/