Many women between the ages of 44 - 55 experience night sweats.This is a common menopause symptom where a woman habitually awakens during the night to find herself drenched in sweat - a nocturnal version of the hot flashes she may experience during the day.
Night sweats occur because of hormonal imbalances causing the body to falsely detect an increase in body temperature, and subsequently producing sweat to cool down. Luckily, there are natural ways of relieving night sweats to help you sleep more comfortably.
Consider Your Nightwear
Sleeping naked will keep your body cool and allow your skin to breathe, preventing a buildup of sweat during the night. If you wear nightwear, it is best to avoid synthetic fabrics (e.g., nylon and polyester) or clingy styles; opt for loose pajamas made from gentle fabrics, such as cotton, that allow the skin to remain cool and aired to reduce clamminess from sweating.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool
Make sure you do not have an excess of blankets on your bed, which will not only increase your body temperature and the chance of sweating, but will also restrict the air that can reach the skin, resulting in an unpleasant, clammy sensation when you awaken after sweating. Avoid using central heating in your bedroom, and consider opening a window to ventilate the room and keep it cool.
Keeping a cold glass of water next to your bed is useful both for maintaining a cool body temperature to decrease likelihood of sweating during the night. It also rehydrates your body to replace the fluids that are lost through night sweats.
Drink Sage Tea
Sage has been shown to be an effective herb in reducing sweat. Drinking sage tea approximately one hour before going to bed may reduce the occurrence of night sweats, and the tension-relieving properties of sage could also help you to experience a better night's sleep.
Add Soy to Your Diet
Soy products, such as soymilk and tofu, contain phytoestrogens, which can provide estrogen to help regulate estrogen imbalance during menopause, and reduce night sweats.
Be Aware of Personal Hygiene
Though you cannot always control night sweats, you can prevent them from impacting your personal hygiene. Be sure to change your nightwear and bedding regularly to avoid a buildup of sweat and prevent odor. Shaving your armpits habitually will also stop sweat from getting caught in armpit hair, where odor-producing bacteria can grow and spread. If you do experience night sweats, pay particular attention to the areas that produce the most sweat - such as armpits, genitals, and feet - when you wash to rid yourself of bacteria and prevent body odor.
Being aware of external factors that can intensify night sweats and making sure you are taking measures to maintain a cool body temperature means you are more likely to be able to enjoy a comfortable night's sleep, free from sweating. Click here to learn more about night sweats.
- Bommer, S. , Klein, P. & Suter, A. (2011). First time proof of sage's tolerability and efficacy in menopausal women with hot flushes. Advances in therapy, 28(6), 490-500. doi: 10.1007/s12325-011-0027-z
- National Health Service UK. (2014). Menopause - symptoms. Retrieved November 12, 2014, from http://www.nhs.u/Conditions/Menopause/Pages/Symptoms.aspx
- NYU Langone Medical Center. (2014). Isoflavones. Retrieved November 12, 2014, from http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21778