Do you wake up at night to find yourself all drenched up in sweat even if the weather is not really that hot and humid? If your answer is yes, you might actually need to take it seriously. Excessive sweating while sleeping at night is medically termed as “Sleep Hyperhidrosis”. However, there is nothing to worry about, as in most of the cases, the problem is temporary and can be treated by introducing simple lifestyle changes. Night sweats can be really uncomfortable and it can take a toll on a good night’s sleep which on the other hand is directly related with increased stress and mental pressure.
If you are suffering from night sweats, the first and most important step is to determine the cause. Once you are able to determine the cause and eliminate it, you can get quick relief from the problem. Before we move to the common causes of night sweats in women, first let us take a deeper look at why your body sweats, as it will help you to understand the problem and pinpoint the cause more accurately.
Why you are sweating at night?
Over sweating while sleeping at night is only a symptom of some other underlying problem. Sweating is a natural mechanism of the body to cool down in case of overheating. So, if you are sweating profusely during night, it means your body is overheating while sleeping.
The hypothalamus of brain regulates the temperature of the body and in case of overheating to ensure normal functioning of the organs and systems of the body it stimulates over 2 million sweat glands present on the skin to exudate sweat. The sweat upon evaporation takes the latent heat from the body, making it cooler.
So, if you are experiencing night sweats, the primary problem is that your body is overheating during night while sleeping and you need to find out the reason of this overheating while sleeping when your physical activities is nil and metabolism rate is naturally low. Let us take a look what might cause overheating of the body during night, triggering night sweats.
Causes of night sweats in women
Fluctuations in the balance of the different bodily hormones are one of the most common causes of night sweats in women. A balanced estrogen and progesterone level is important in order to keep the body temperature normal, a change in the level of these hormones can easily work as the reason of overheating of the body causing night sweats.
Profuse night sweating is most common in women during menopause, puberty and pregnancy as during these times the hormonal levels in the body of women are changed drastically. One can also experience night sweating due to changed hormonal levels during menstruation, but in that case the problem is usually solved after the first 1-2 days of menstruation.
Problems of the thyroid gland can also cause serious changes in the hormonal levels of the body. So, night sweats in women, if not triggered by any of the feminine hormonal problems mentioned above, might be caused due to a problem of the thyroid gland.
Certain infections can increase the body temperature severely during night, triggering night sweats. Tuberculosis is one of the common infections that are associated with night sweats. Infection of the lung or respiratory system, influenza or HIV can also be a cause of overheating of the body during night while sleeping, triggering excessive sweating.
Anxiety disorder and Obesity
If you are suffering from anxiety disorder or obesity or both, it might be the underlying cause of sweating profusely during the night. Anxiety disorder is becoming more and more common amongst women and it is often a common cause of night sweats. Obesity on the other hand, which is also related with anxiety disorder, can trigger night time sweating.
Some other conditions
There can be some other underlying health conditions behind the regular night sweats. Obstructive sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease, cardiovascular disorder, cancer or low blood sugar level can also trigger night sweats. However, these conditions usually produce other symptoms along with night sweats. So, if night sweating is the only problem you are having and you do not have a history of any of the above problems, it is more likely that your night sweats are caused due to hormonal imbalance or infection.
Side effects of medication
You might experience night sweat as a side effect of certain medications. So, if you have started experiencing night sweats recently and you are on some medications, it is important that you inform your doctor about the night time sweating to make sure if you need a change of medication or alteration in dosage.
Treatments of night sweats in women
The first step in treatment should be to find out the underlying cause of the night time sweating and treating that particular reason. However, in case there are no such direct and clearly determined causes for the excess sweating while sleeping at night, the treatment should include different ways of prevention as well as management.
Most commonly, imbalance in the levels of female hormones is the culprit of night sweating in otherwise healthy women. So, if you are having this problem, you might try the next home remedies that will help in balancing the hormonal levels in your body and thus curing the problem of excess night sweats.
Home remedies for night sweats in women
Black Cohosh tincture to control nigh sweat
Black Cohosh is a herb with a number of medicinal properties. Taking black cohosh tincture 2-3 times in a day mixed with a glass of water or any other juice might be helpful to control night sweats as it reduces the levels of luteinizing hormone in the blood and helps in controlling body heat.
Sage tea for night sweats
Sage is another herb that might be helpful to control the problem of night sweat. You need to prepare sage tea by boiling dried sage leaves in water. You should drink at least 3-4 cups of this tea in a day to get some benefits.
Flaxseed oil can reduce night sweating
If you are suffering from night sweating for hormonal imbalance, taking 1-2 spoons of flaxseed oil daily can be really helpful. Flax seed oil has high amount of lignans which can be helpful to maintain a stable level of estrogen in the body and thus relieving night sweats.
Aloe Vera juice to get relief from night sweat
For women suffering from night sweats without any direct or clearly determined cause can be helped by drinking few glasses of pure Aloe Vera juice daily. Researches have shown, Vitamin E can be helpful to reduce the problem of night sweats in women and Aloe Vera is a natural source of Vitamin E. Aloe Vera also helps in keeping the body cool which can give great benefits to get relief from the problem of night time sweating in women.
Soy products can help night sweats
Various soy products can be helpful to control the problem of night sweating in women because these products contain high levels of phytoestrogen that might be helpful to balance the hormonal levels in the body. So, if you are most probably having night sweats due to feminine hormonal imbalance, including more of soy products, like soybeans, tofu, soy milk in your regular diet can be helpful.
Liquorice tea for night sweat relief
The roots of liquorice are known for their medicinal properties and in some folk culture these roots are used for curing problems like night sweats in women. Soak 2-3 inches of dried liquorice root in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes and then drink the tea removing the root. You should drink 2 -3 cups of this tea daily to see any results.
Night time sweat in women – Prevention and management techniques
Get the right sleeping environment
In order to avoid the problem of sweating at night make sure that you are sleeping in the right environment. Sleep in an AC room or at least under a fan. Make sure that your bedding does not include warm comforters. A thin cotton sheet is the best. Wear non-synthetic and breathable loose fitting cotton clothes while going to sleep. Do not cover your body with a heavy comforter. These small changes in your sleeping habit can be most helpful to prevent the problem of excessive sweat during night.
Get the right diet
Your diet is certainly responsible for your body heat and hence what you eat has a great impact on your overall body temperature and sweating. If you are suffering from regular heavy night sweats, start avoiding high fat and sugar rich foods. Also reduce your intake of alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine and keep an eye on whatever you eat before going to bed. Drink plenty of water during the day; this will naturally help your body to stay cool.
Exercise & yoga can help
If the problem of night time sweating is related to obesity, anxiety or even hormonal imbalance, in all the cases, exercising & yoga can be of great help to control the problem. Exercise and yoga ensures overall better physical and mental fitness which can be really helpful to control overheating during night.
Take a special bath before going to bed
Taking a special bath before going to the bed is a simple and effective way to make sure that your body is not overheated during night. By special bath we mean, your bathing water should include one of the below mentioned ingredients and you should soak yourself in that water at least for 10 minutes before going to sleep.
Ingredients to add in your bathing water
- Essential oils like evening primrose oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil.
- Leaves like Basil leaf, Mint leaf.
- Bathing salt, sea salt, oatmeal.
You can add any of the above mentioned ingredients to your bathing water to make sure that your body stays cool while you are asleep.