Sweating during the night is normal, if uncomfortable. Summer temperatures, having your heating too high or simply wearing too many layers at night will cause your body to sweat to cool down. If you sweat so much that you wake up in a hot flash and find your clothes, pillow and sheets completely soaked, despite keeping you and your room cool, you have the night sweats. As for making nights a little more comfortable, try wearing as little as possible. Your skin loves any opportunity to be able to breathe and have fresh air circulating the pores. If you can’t do without clothing, you can use baby powder on the heavy-sweat areas, and generally avoid having a duvet or comforter on the bed. For a really trusted brand that knows how to keep skin peachy, we recommend Peach Skin Sheets.
If men and pre-menopausal women experience night sweats regularly, you might want to get checked out by a doctor. Excessive sweating can be an indication of a number of illnesses and conditions, including lymphoma (a cancer that begins in your lymphocytes, your immune system’s infection-fighting cells). Bacterial infections such as endocarditis (an inflammation of your heart’s valves), HIV or esteomyelitis (bone inflammation), certain antidepressants and even some neurological conditions can lead to increasingly common night sweats. Luckily, most of these symptoms can be treated if caught early on.
With the scary part out of the way, let’s break down the most common reasons for night sweats.
Menopause and your menstrual cycle
Most people think of menopause when night sweats are mentioned. While the average age for menopause is 52, the sweats can begin in women aged in their mid-20s. They may be thinking they’re experiencing early menopause, however up to 40% of adults report having night sweats. Variations in your menstrual cycle will lead to a decrease in estrogen. Estrogen controls and expands your body’s thermoneutral zone, (the ambient temperature range in which heat produced by your metabolism is low and you have no evaporative heat loss) the fancy name for sweating. It’s normal to experience night sweats as you begin your period, when estrogen levels are the lowest.
Low blood sugar
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycaemia, is another common cause of night sweats. Low blood sugar triggers the release of adrenaline and norepinephrine. Combined, they trigger your body’s fight or flight response by increasing your heart rate and increasing the strength of your skeletal muscles. “Relative” hypoglycaemia can also occur, where your blood’s sugar levels are normal but will suddenly dip low enough to trigger your fight or flight response.
Everyone suffers from anxiety at some point and it can wreak havoc on your physical health. Too much stress will also trigger your fight or flight response while also releasing the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol helps with memory retention, reduces inflammation and regulates your metabolism. High cortisol levels lead to high blood pressure, a flushed (and hot!) face and an increased metabolic rate, subsequently warming your body up.
Alcohol can cause night sweats in any quantities. Alcohol affects practically every function in your body. The most noticeable are an elevated heart rate and the widening of your blood vessels, causing sweating. Around 90% of the alcohol you consume is eventually metabolised by your liver, thus increasing your body’s metabolism overnight.
Excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, is a common condition that generally affects certain areas of the body, such as the face, hands and feet or chest and back. It’s quite common, and can cause you to sweat for no specific reason.
Quick tip: cut down on caffeine and nicotine. These two stimulants can mimic hot flushes and contribute to a nasty case of night sweats. Keep your caffeine intake to a maximum of two caffeinated drinks per day, and in general smoking will just make every physical ailment worse, so it’s just best not to do it.
Another way to ensure your skin is in it’s happy place throughout the night, is by using the right products on it. Try not to smother yourself in cosmetics or lotions if you know you’re just going to sweat them out later on. Stick to all-natural and organic products as much as possible, and remember that with cosmetics, less is always more.
Make your own Holistic Skincare Products with our Diploma Course
Here at The School of Natural Health Sciences we offer a selection of over 60 holistic therapy courses, among which is our distance learning diploma course Holistic Skincare Products. Learn how to make your own products with all the best natural ingredients, and upon completion you’ll be able to design, create, tailor, package and distribute your homemade goods.
This course covers it all, from equipment and food additives to labelling and legislation. Not only will you have a fresh skill set and brand new career path, but you’ll take away tricks of the trade and top quality insider knowledge thanks to the course writer, Joy Picot, who has over 20 years experience in the field.
- Study from the comfort of your own home
- Take lessons at your own pace
- Choose to self-study or be tutored
- Say goodbye to deadlines and stress
- Benefit from our special pack deals
- Become a practitioner who makes a difference!
- View our full A-Z list of Holistic Therapy Courses.