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This common issue has a number of underlying causes. We break them down for you.

| By Bed Threads | Wellness

Why Do I Sweat So Much When I Sleep?

This common issue has a number of underlying causes. We break them down for you.

Waking up from a night of sleep should never be a stressful occurrence. But when you wake up sweaty in the morning it’s understandable that you might feel a little overwhelmed. Night sweats can make you feel uncomfortable, interrupt your sleeping pattern (or those of your partner) and in rare instances could be a sign of a health problem. Why are you sweating so much when you sleep? And what could be causing it?

The first thing to remember is that sweating is a natural function that is part of the way that our body regulates its temperature. Sweating at night is a part of that; if your body is too hot while sleeping, it will produce sweat to help cool down. But there are a number of different reasons as to why you might be sweating excessively or frequently overnight.

According to Dr Moira Junge, health psychologist and CEO of the Sleep Health Foundation, the most obvious and common cause for night sweats is menopause. “It isn’t unusual to have night sweats if and when a woman experiences a hot flush overnight,” she explains. For the vast majority of women going through menopause, hot flushes become a part of life and having them in the evening is very common. According to a 2018 study in Nature and Science of Sleep journal, up to 64% of women going through menopause reported that they had experienced sleeping problems and insomnia.

How to deal with night sweats

1. Breathable sheets and pyjamas

For more infrequent and less serious incidents of night sweats, Junge has a few tips for how to deal with them. “It’s important not to overheat yourself,” she says, pointing to the cotton and linen sheets and pyjamas as a way of reducing your body heat at night. (“Avoiding synthetics,” is Junge’s big tip.) Here at Bed Threads, we have long been a fan of the quick-drying and temperature regulating qualities of linen and have plenty of options for both sheets and sleepwear to keep you cool all night long. 

2. Let air circulate

The way you sleep can also help to reduce the amount of sweat your body might produce overnight. Junge advises “making sure some parts of the skin are uncovered”, allowing for your cool night air to circulate over your body and prevent you from overheating, as well as “increasing the surface area of the skin that is exposed”, perhaps by opting for short sleeve or sleeveless sleepwear, will all help your body reduce heat. 

3. Manage stress hormones

In terms of lifestyle changes, Junge notes the significance of staying on top of your stress hormones long before you get into bed at night. “It’s very important to try to manage workload and stress during the day,” she points out, “therefore reducing the likelihood of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline being released overnight.” Junge suggests exercising in the evenings or taking part in a relaxing activity, such as meditation or yoga, before going to bed, to help manage stress in the hours before sleep. 

4. Reduce caffeine intake

Reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake before sleep could also help ensure that you aren’t waking up sweaty the following morning. All of these small changes could help make a world of difference if you are a sweaty sleeper. The most important thing to remember is that sweat is a normal part of life and is usually a result of specific causes that can be easily managed, through finding ways to regulate your body temperature and making some key lifestyle changes. Stay cool, everybody.

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