Tuck In and Doze Off: How to Manage Night Sweats

Pestering menopausal night sweats, humid summer temperatures and your A/C bill beginning to reach record highs? Turn the fan down and begin incorporating some healthy habits to better manage your night sweats during menopause. So when it’s lights out, your night sweats stay off.

What are Night Sweats?

In addition to hot flashes, night sweats are a common symptom of menopause. Night sweats are episodes of nighttime sweating, triggered by menopause that can soak through your pajamas or bedding.1 Night sweats occur as a result of complex interactions that involve fluctuating estrogen levels.2Due to the imbalance of hormones during menopause, the body can falsely detect an increase in body temperature, which it will then try to cool down by producing sweat.3 Although your hormones do play a major part, you can still make lifestyle changes today that will decrease the intensity of your menopausal symptoms tomorrow. Check out these Night Sweats Tips here!

Night Sweats Tip 1: Regulate Bedding Are you swimming in your blankets? Check the tags on your bedding to help you determine whether your sheets are making your night sweats worse. The thread count in your bedding is the total number of threads per square inch, counting both horizontal and vertical threads. The higher the thread count, the softer and warmer the sheets will be and the worse your night sweats and symptoms of menopause will feel, because they will trap the heat from hot flashes, in turn making you feel hotter. Fabric with lower thread count allows more air to flow though it, helping to release heat and keep you cooler during night sweats.4 Luxury bedding with a high thread count may be a popular choice but during menopause, especially when night sweats are at an all-time high, avoid that aisle and price tag. In terms of material, when looking to manage night sweats, always choose cotton—synthetic fabric does not breathe well and can make you feel hot.

Night Sweats Tip 2: Rain Check on that Nightcap A glass of wine can help take the edge off during menopause but it may be doing more harm than good when it comes to managing your night sweats. As you age, tolerance for alcohol decreases and consuming higher amounts of alcohol is particularly harmful.5Alcohol isn’t a proven night sweat trigger; but drinking alcohol does increase body heat and flushing.6Then, when the brain detects an increase in temperature, a signal is sent to release chemicals that cause blood vessels in the skin to dilate and dissipate excess heat.7 You can drink a glass of wine to relax but try to find an alternative nighttime ritual to avoid additional sweats at night.

Night Sweats Tip 3: Drink Water! Night sweats cause you to lose water levels from sweating and may leave you dehydrated. To counteract that, keep a glass of ice water next to your bedside table for a quick refresh.8 You’ll wake hot and flustered, but immediate hydration right by your side will help you recover from your night sweats. Worried your water may become warm halfway through the night? Invest in a bottle that will keep the water cold for hours. Maintaining a high water intake is crucial at any age and even more so during menopause; keep drinking water and aim to consume at least two liters of water per day even outside the bedroom.9

Now go home, change your sheets, and get ready for a night sweat-free, rejuvenating slumber.