DON’T LET COLD SWEATS AT NIGHT GET THE BETTER OF YOU
Ever wondered why you are sometimes hot and sometimes cold during the night? Night sweats can really decrease our sleep quality and sleep duration and as a result we wake up tired. To be able to enjoy a good night's sleep we need to keep the right temperature. When we are hot and cold at night, the very important deep sleep phases suffer and our sleep quality is reduced. If we get too warm we start to sweat and afterwards we often become cold and start to shiver.
Many people are impacted by sweating at night. A study in the UK has shown that a third of patients visiting their local doctor complained of night sweats.
WHY ARE WE SWEATING AT NIGHT?
Sweating is a perfectly normal physiological process; it helps regulate our temperature by cooling us down as the moisture evaporates from our skin.
Our body contains 60% water and we have 4 million sweat glands to be able to regulate our temperature.
We sweat all the time, even if we are sitting still, and lose up to 2.5 liters of fluid every day. On average we sweat one full cup of perspiration every night. It’s not possible, nor desirable, to stop sweating while sleeping but we can alleviate the effects, in particular in the case of excessive sweating at night.
The amount we sweat at night is affected by a whole range of factors, such as our exercise habits, diet, dreams, choice of bedding or sleepwear, age and the temperature of our bedroom.
Our bedrooms are now about 5ºC warmer than in 1971 due to central heating and home insulation. This is comfortable during the day but can lower our sleep quality if we can’t release excess heat and start to sweat at night.
Sweating is also a common side-effect of some medications and is often experienced during the menopause, pregnancy or periods of anxiety. In extreme cases night sweats can also be a sign of ill health so it is important to consult a doctor if excessive sweating at night is accompanied by other symptoms such as weight loss.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT SWEATING AT NIGHT?
Luckily for most of us there are steps we can take to control sweating at night and sweating at night when cold.
Diet and drinks
- Avoid foods that are difficult to digest before sleep, including high-fat or protein-rich foods, such as red meat and fried foods. Strong spices can also lead to sweating at night and sleep problems.
- Alcohol is also associated with both night sweats and poor sleep quality, so reducing late-night drinking could also be beneficial.
- Smoking and inhaling second hand smoke has also been linked with night sweats.
- Exercise at the right time. Doing sports is a great way to improve your sleep, in particular if you do it outdoors and get the additional benefit of exposure to natural light during the day. Avoid exercising 2 hours before going to bed however as you otherwise might be too energised or too warm to fall asleep.
- Ice down. Keep a glass of ice water next to your bed and have a cold facecloth available in case you wake up feeling overheated.
- Cooler room temperatures help us to sleep better as breathing in cold air helps to keep our core temperature low which supports a better sleep quality. We also reduce the risk of night sweats this way. Aim to keep your room temperature below 18 C/ 65 F.
- Temperature and moisture regulating sleepwear. Use moisture wicking and breathable sleepwear that help to regulate your temperature and that work as a complement to a cold bedroom. It’s important that your clothing doesn’t become wet as you then will wake up cold instead.
Dagsmejan Balance has been developed to help you to keep the best sleep temperature for a longer and deeper sleep. Find out how the best pjs for night sweats can improve your sleep.
- 6x more breathable than cotton, keeps your skin 1°C cooler.
- 4 x better at drawing sweat away from the skin