No one likes waking up in a pool of sweat every morning. It is uncomfortable and a nuisance, to say the least. But don’t worry, as night sweats are quite common and affect both men and women.
The causes range from a number of reasons, including hot weather, sleeping in too many clothes or covers, or just eating something too spicy before bedtime.
Various products on the market aid with excessive night sweating. Sweat-proof pillows and clothes can keep your body temperatures from getting too hot, decreasing the amount of sweat you produce.
Effective cooling sheets are available as well. They are airy, breathable, and effectively drain away moisture, allowing you to stay dry while sleeping.
It is crucial to remember, however, that cooling sheets do not cure night sweats in most cases since they are caused by a physiological problem rather than an environmental one.
Cooling sheets externally make sleeping more pleasant by keeping your bedding dry, but they do not solve the underlying issue, which is the reason for your night sweats.
Excessive and uncontrollable sweating, especially while sleeping, should definitely be a cause of worry, as it usually indicates an underlying health condition. And a lot of it has to do with hydration and dehydration.
While hydration is usually associated with dieting and exercise, several new studies and research are exploring a connection between proper hydration and how it affects your sleep quality and overall health.
What Causes Night Sweats?
Night sweating is also known as nocturnal hyperhidrosis or sleep hyperhidrosis. People who experience this usually wake up with their clothes, body, and sheets completely soaked in sweat.
Night sweats can be caused by a variety of factors. If you experience it regularly or if you suddenly start sweating heavily at night and there is no environmental reason, consult your doctor. Night sweats range in levels from person to person, depending on their health and hydration.
Hormone imbalances, anxiety disorders, sleep apnea, and obesity can most definitely be the culprits. Night sweats can also be an indicator of diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis, hypoglycemia, lymphoma, or Parkinson’s disease. So it is crucial that you schedule an appointment with your doctor if you notice an unusual amount of sweating.
However, not all night sweats should alarm you. It's the level and frequency that should be concerning.
Mild and light sweating during the night is barely noticeable and doesn’t really disturb your sleep or soak you completely. This much is natural and isn’t a cause for worry, so medical attention isn’t needed.
Moderate and higher levels, however, greatly disturb sleep and make you uncomfortable. If you find yourself constantly waking up mid-sleep soaked in sweat and have to change your clothes or sheets because of it, it’s definitely an indicator of some physiological health issues.
For women, night sweats can also be because of menopause.
How Sweating And Dehydration Come Into Play
Sweating is a completely natural function of your body. Your body constantly works to make sure your core temperature doesn’t exceed the 98.6 °F (37 °C) threshold. This threshold is known as the thermos-neutral zone or TNZ.
When core temperatures exceed the threshold, this mechanism kicks in, which leads to sweating to bring down the core temperatures. Sweating also helps release toxins from your body and clear your pores, making it a useful bodily function.
A raised core temperature has several reasons and can happen while exercising or when wearing thick or excessive clothing. Certain medications and medical conditions can also affect the body’s core temperature.
Hydration is extremely crucial for maintaining the core temperature. Your body requires sufficient fluids to sweat and maintain TNZ. If your fluid intake is less, the body won’t be able to produce enough sweat, which can lead to high core temperatures. However, excessive sweating is just as bad as it leads to rapid depletion of bodily fluids.
With the TNZ rising during sleep, night sweats occur. You also lose water through breathing, and most of it is when asleep. Since there is no fluid intake, you lose a large component of your body’s fluids during that time, and dehydration can occur if you aren’t careful.
People who are severely dehydrated consistently feel exceedingly weary, sluggish, or exhausted. Other dehydration symptoms, such as headaches, dry lips, and nasal passages, and muscular cramps, also make it difficult to sleep properly.
Dehydration leads to other complications in health. Your body is deprived of its benefits, and with no way to bring down core temperatures, a heat stroke can occur. If dehydration symptoms are left untreated, organ failure is imminent. But that's for extreme cases.
As for night sweats, your level of hydration affects the intensity. If you're somewhat dehydrated before you go to bed, you'll probably sweat less. However, if you're well-hydrated, you will likely sweat more.
Because night sweats and dehydration are linked, it's essential to stay hydrated and take the necessary steps to control the problem. So balancing your fluid intake is important.
Ways To Prevent Dehydration And Night Sweats
Now, you might think that completely lowering your fluid intake should reduce night sweats.
But that is highly discouraged, as it can adversely affect your health without really solving the problem. Instead, take a look at the following tips to help you manage your hydration and reduce night sweats overall.
Get Timely And Sufficient Sleep
Preventing dehydration requires a significant quantity of quality sleep. During sleep, the body goes through a number of complex processes that allow for general health restoration.
Sleeping the correct amount is necessary to allow these processes to develop and enable your circadian rhythm (your internal clock) to properly control your body's fluid levels.
Making sleep a priority is a good way to increase your overall sleep quality. Having a consistent sleep pattern that focuses on delivering the sleep you require is a common aspect of sleep hygiene.
Positive sleep hygiene includes limiting late-night electronic device usage, creating a soothing bedtime ritual, and sleeping on a soft mattress.
Balance Your Fluid Intake
With proper hydration, you'll have to worry less about bedtime thirst or mid-sleep bathroom runs if you stay hydrated throughout the day. Most importantly, mild night sweats can be controlled this way. Some ways for maintaining a healthy hydration routine include:
- Make sure water is your primary drink: It is essential for keeping your health in check. Avoid any sugary or artificial drinks like juices and soda. The sugar and sodium levels in these drinks can actually cause dehydration. Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption as much as possible.
- Sipping fluids at regular intervals: Don’t take large amounts of fluids at once. It is better to spread out your fluid intake frequency throughout the day. Drink more during the day, and don’t drink anything an hour before going to sleep.
- Drink water right after you wake up, especially if you sweat the night before: This will help regain body fluids that you lost while sleeping. Drinking a glass of water replaces what you've lost and helps you avoid dehydration.
- If you forget to drink water often, set reminders on a schedule or on your phone: Keep a water bottle close to you, so you have easy access to water whenever needed. With this, you can keep track of your fluid intake throughout the day.
- Eat a well-balanced diet: Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your daily meals. They contain high moisture content and will help you obtain more water from food.
- Drink water according to your body weight so that you don’t end up drinking too much: If you exercise a lot or are active, then drink more water than your normal amount.
Sleep In A Cooler Room
Heavy sweating is more probable if your bedroom is excessively hot or if you sleep with several covers and clothing on. You will wake up dehydrated as a result of this.
To avoid this, make sure you maintain a suitable temperature all night long. Most experts recommend setting your bedroom thermostat at a lower temperature. You may also avoid overheating by wearing light, loose clothing and using breathable bedding.
Also, make sure you choose the right sheets to sleep on. Materials like silk are not breathable, so it’s best to avoid them. Instead, opt for natural, lightweight, and breathable fabrics like bamboo and cotton.
Prevent Frequent Urination During The Night
Knowing how to stay hydrated when sleeping without having to get up regularly to go to the restroom is a typical issue. There are a few things you can do to avoid dehydration and frequent trips to the bathroom:
- While sipping water is okay, avoid consuming large amounts of any beverage in the hours leading up to the night.
- Caffeine and alcohol can have a laxative impact and create the urge to urinate in the middle of the night, disrupting your regular sleep cycle and sleep quality.
- When you're lying down, your body reabsorbs water from your legs, which causes some overnight urination. If you raise your legs a few hours before bed, this procedure will occur without disrupting your sleep.
- Most importantly, pee right before you go to bed. Add this to your sleeping routine so that your bladder is empty when you eventually go to bed. It’ll help you sleep more peacefully and prevent any disruptions in the middle of the night.
Consult A Specialist
If you find yourself often dehydrated, it’s important to go to a doctor and get a check-up. The same is true with excessive night sweats, as some health mishaps might be behind this.
A doctor or specialist will help diagnose the cause and recommend steps you can take to cure it. They can also prescribe you appropriate medications and give suggestions for diets.
Everyone experiences night sweats once in a while. It is quite common in adults. If you find them discomforting, try some habit changes. Proper hydration can also greatly help you with your problem.
However, in case of severe dehydration or excessive night sweating, it is important to seek medical help and determine the root cause. This way, you can tackle the issue early on and enjoy much better sleep quality.