Sweating at night while sleeping can have several possible explanations. It can be related to the overheated bedroom, nightmares, or when it is often happening, it should be a sign of some other health condition or disease. Night sweats occur both in men and women, and while symptoms are the same, there are certain reasons specific for both genders. If we want to know how to stop night sweats in women, we need to find all possible causes. In this article, we are going to reveal them, and we will also talk about night sweats treatment.
What You Should Know About Night Sweats
Sweating at night is quite common phenomena. According to the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (JABFM), 10-40 % of adults report night sweats in a given year. Increased perspiration during sleep occurs in men and women of all ages. While the symptoms are obvious – drenched pajamas and sheets, wet hair, and body – the causes vary according to the health condition, gender, and age. Understanding and defining the real reason behind night sweating is the first necessary step for setting a proper treatment. After we describe partial reasons and causes of excessive night sweating in women, we will focus on solutions and treatment of this unpleasant condition.
Causes of Night Sweats in Women
1. Estrogen level in menstrual cycle
Sweating at night is mostly linked to menopause, and it is correct. Menopausal women often wake up sweaty. But there are also many women in young age experiencing excessive sweating at night coming in waves. Variations in menstrual cycle usually cause night sweats in young women. Estrogen level fluctuation affects more sensitive body reaction to outside temperature. It means that even small temperature changes can activate sweat glands. Increased level of sweating usually occurs in the first week (due to low level of estrogen) and the few last days of the menstrual cycle.
2. Unbalanced diet
Some diets with little protein and fat can also result in night sweats due to unbalanced blood sugar regulation. When you are on a diet, don’t forget to consume proteins, fat, and fiber in the evening to keep a proper level of blood sugar and avoid sweating at night.
Increased perspiration level in pregnancy is very common. Pregnant women usually experience hot flashes during a day or excessive sweating at night. Body temperature fluctuates due to higher hormone levels and increased blood flow. Profuse sweating can also occur after the pregnancy until the stabilization of the hormone fluctuation.
Natural menopause occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. Around 85% of women in this period report excessive sweating at night. The reason is the changing of levels of estrogen and progesterone that affects the reaction of other hormones responsible for body temperature managing. The sweating level varies from person to person. Some women experience night sweats and hot flashes occasionally and for others are these symptoms a part of daily reality.
Excessive sweating is medically called hyperhidrosis. This condition has many possible causes. Primary hyperhidrosis is a genetic condition when the body produces sweat; even if it isn’t needed for cooling. Sweating usually occurs during a day, and there is no other health condition or disease responsible for increase perspiration. On the other hand, secondary hyperhidrosis is affected by other health disorder, condition (such as pregnancy or menopause) or it is a side effect of certain medicaments.
Night sweats are typical for secondary hyperhidrosis, but it can also occur in the people with primary hyperhidrosis. People with this condition tend to sweat more easily and often than others. Another typical sign of hyperhidrosis is a positive family history, which means that other family members also experience profuse sweating.
As we mentioned above, secondary hyperhidrosis is a body reaction for some health problem. There are several illnesses that can affect abnormal sweating, such as:
In the article 14 illnesses that cause sweating, you will find more information about diseases that affect extreme sweating as well as possible treatment options.
7. Anxiety and stress
Psychic discomfort, depression, fear, and anxiety when untreated can lead to excessive sweating that happens daily. We all know that body and psyche is connected very closely. The body reacts for stress and psychological problems by unbalanced temperature.
If you have long-term stress due to work or personal problems and you experience heavy sweating, or you suffer from depressions, you should visit an expert.
Excessive sweating at night can also be caused by using certain medicaments. Here you can find the list of common medicaments and drugs that can make you more sweaty. If this is happening and you have a suspicion that your pills affect sweating you can ask a doctor to describe an alternative medicament.
How to Stop Night Sweats in Women?
We already know possible reasons behind night sweats in women. Now we are going to discuss a solution on how to get rid of night sweats or mitigate the symptoms.
1. Know the reason
Understanding of the real cause of sweating is needed to choose a proper treatment. Now you know what conditions and health difficulties can lead to profuse sweating. If you are not still sure what can cause that you wake up sweaty, visiting a doctor is the safest solution. He/she can ask you questions and make some test that can reveal the cause behind your sweating.
2. Apply an antiperspirant
Over-the-counter antiperspirants are ideal for sweating that affect some parts of the body, such as armpits, hands, feet, or head. Antiperspirants should be applied before bedtime, and the effect can last even five days. There are also products in the form of lotion or medicated wipes that are very easy to apply.
Iontophoresis devices were initially designed for treating sweaty hands and feet, but these days are usable for underarms and other parts of the body. Mild electrical current act directly to the affected body location and paralyze sweat glands. It is a safe procedure that uses no chemicals. In the article Iontophoresis For Hyperhidrosis – Highly Effective Treatment of Excessive Sweating, you can find everything you need to know about this treatment.
4. Other hyperhidrosis treatment
On our page, in the treatment section, you can find detailed information about several treatments of excessive sweating. While antiperspirant, MiraDry, and Iontophoresis can be used for mitigating symptoms of hyperhidrosis, Botox, and ETS surgery are usually chosen by people who failed with other treatments. All these treatments are designed to suppress the symptoms of excessive sweating by affecting the activity of sweat glands. But we repeat, the first step to getting rid of excessive sweating is to know the real cause. When you experience night sweats often, don’t hesitate to visit a doctor.
A proper sleep environment is important to ensure a high quality of sleep. It is even more important for women who sweat too much at night. Before bedtime, ventilate the bedroom and set an accurate temperature on the thermostat. You can also check sweat-wicking pajamas that are designed for people who sweat excessively at night. Brands such as CoolJams, Drydreams, or Dreamsack offer sleep-wear and linen that can improve your sleep and keep you dry.
6. Check your sweat
If you are not sure if your sweating is excessive or not, you can use the SweatChecker. It is a quiz that reveals how much do you sweat and give you a detailed step on how to reduce sweating. Sweatchecker can’t replace a doctor visit, but it can give you a basic overview of your condition and recommend suitable treatment options.