Because night sweats in women can be the result of many things besides menopause, including heavy pajamas, covering up with bulky covers at night, or sleeping in a sweltering bedroom, a woman of any age should consider some basic common sense solutions before getting too stressed about other possible serious causes of sweating at night.
However, night sweats in women can also be caused by menopause via menopause night sweats, certain medications, and medical conditions. So after you address the basics, you may need to develop an understanding for how different conditions may cause your hypothalamus (a gland in your brain that acts like your internal thermostat) to run amok.
Table of Contents:
- Medical Causes
- Environmental Causes
- Night Sweats In Women of Different Ages
- How to Reduce Excessive Sweating At Night
- Hormone Replacement Therapy, Estrogen and Foods for Menopause
- Universal Precautions
The following medical conditions have been known to cause night sweats in women:
- Bacterial infections like tuberculosis and inflammation of the heart valves
- Cancer, especially lymphoma
- Drug side effects, especially antidepressants and antipyretics (drugs that reduce fevers)
- Hormone disorders such as hyperthyroidism
- Idiopathic hyperhidrosis and sleep hyperhidrosis
- Menopause symptoms and hot flashes from hormonal fluctuations
- Neurological conditions
For more on conditions behind various forms of night sweating, visit night sweats causes. One tricky condition is insomnia. Sometimes it acts as a trigger for those night sweats women experience and sometimes it is a symptom.
Before you grow too concerned about any of these medical causes, please note that many people who believe they’re suffering from sleep hyperhidrosis are only sweating while sleeping because of environmental conditions. By environmental conditions I mean they’re sleeping in a room that is too warm, they’re wearing pajamas or bed clothes that are too heavy or made from non-breathable fabrics, or they’re using blankets or sheets that are too heavy or again, made from non-breathable fabrics.
So before you go through a list of medical causes (which may only increase your stress), consider making some deliberate but common sense changes. Wear lighter, wicking pajamas made from natural, breathable fabrics. I offer some suggestions for effective night sweating clothing on my new page: Night Sweats Sleepwear.
Use only light, natural fabrics like cotton for your bedding, and go without the blanket at all if possible. Try to increase the air circulation in your room and if possible, lower the thermostat a few degrees to see if you sleep more comfortably with the temperature just a couple degrees cooler. Read on for more tips for how to stop night sweating in women or consider reading my article on night sweats relief, which suggests some inexpensive and natural remedies for excessive night sweats in women.
The reasons young women may experience sleep hyperhidrosis may be quite a bit different than the reasons a woman over 60 may experiences this. Be sure to consider your age and condition when considering the different possible causes of night sweating. I am currently working on articles targeting these age groups and I will update this page as I publish them. Currently I have the main three published:
Outside of hot flashes and menopause, most situations that cause female night sweats only happen every once in a while, and the majority of these episodes are harmless. But waking up with soaking wet covers and pajamas can be more than a bit discouraging, so finding relief from symptoms is important. Here are some ways to control excess sweating at night.
Manage stress with regular exercise such as walking, jogging, biking, or swimming to ward off excessive sweating at night. However, do not do these types of exercises prior to bedtime; they raise the body’s core temperature and increase perspiration while sleeping. Meditation and deep breathing techniques are more appropriate stress-relief options to do before bedtime.
Avoid eating heavy meals before you go to sleep. The food will just sit in your stomach, and cause you to feel bloated and uncomfortable. Eating too close to bed can also trigger heartburn, which can raise your body temperature. Also avoid spicy foods and hot beverages before bed as they may increase perspiration and make night sweats more likely.
For a more specific discussion on treating night sweats women often experience, and for tips on clever devices to help provide relief, please visit my comprehensive guide: Night Sweats Treatment
I’ve also added an article on selecting the best night sweats bedding, from bed sheets to clever bed cooling devices: Night Sweats Bedding.
Using natural remedies for night sweats in women, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or increasing your intake of foods containing phytoestrogens can help replace lost estrogen, which in turn can help combat menopause night sweats. This can even help a woman suffering from premenopause or from excessive perspiration before the age of 40. Foods that naturally contain estrogen and help with low estrogen symptoms include:
- alfalfa sprouts
- legumes and lentils
- nuts and seeds
- soy milk
- whole grains
In general, these foods are good to integrate if want a natural hot flashes treatment that will also provide a health benefit.
Watch your alcohol consumption as the night sweats alcohol may trigger can be particularly uncomfortable — or smoke cigarettes before bedtime. These stimulants raise your body’s pulse rate and body temperature, increasing the chance of perspiring while you sleep. If at all possible, I urge you to avoid these toxins entirely, especially when you’re trying to isolate the causes of your sweating at night.
In addition to the above mentioned lifestyle changes, keep your bedroom cool, wear lightweight, loose fitting clothes, and use thin covers to reduce sweating at night.
Find more ideas for treating your night sweats in my sweating while sleeping article.
Night sweats in women that are recurrent or accompanied by a fever, pain, or discomfort should be addressed. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to a doctor immediately. Your physician can evaluate your medical history, do an examination, and run tests to rule out any problems or serious underlying conditions.