Why Do I Sweat So Much In My Sleep? These 7 Tips Will Help You Cool Down Tonight
Have you ever woken up from a deep slumber, feeling incredibly well-rested, but also incredibly sticky? If it just so happens that, more often than you'd like to admit, you wake up in the a.m. with spots of your PJs soaked through, and little beads of perspiration on your forehead, chances are this isn't a situation of you being an overactive freak in the sheets (though, if that is what that means, more power to you). So, why do you sweat so much in your sleep, if it isn't a direct result of a healthy sexual appetite? Well, it turns out, Women's Health UK reports that 15 to 30 percent of women wake up drenched in the a.m. for a whole host of different reasons, from pajama problems to anxiety issues.
The good news is, it's not necessarily abnormal to experience the occasional night sweat. In fact, certified sleep science coach and founder of SleepZoo, Chris Brantner, tells Elite Daily that frequent night sweats in women can be a tell-tale sign of menopause. However, I'm going to assume if you're reading this article, you probably aren't quite there yet. So, if you're profusely sweating throughout the night, and it isn't because the female reproductive system is causing a bunch of heat waves to ball up and burst from the inside of your body and trickle out onto the surface of your skin in the form of water droplets, what's the deal?
According to Dr. Sam Rodgers, GP and medical director of Medichecks, night sweats can be defined as "sweating that is heavy enough to soak your bedclothes and/or bedding to the extent that you consider changing them in the middle of the night." It could be, he told Women's Health UK, due to a thick duvet, or having the heat on too high. But sweating all night, every night can also be concerning if it's a result of something psychological, like anxiety. To provide a little more insight, here are a few reasons why you might be experiencing extreme night sweats, and how to deal.
1. Stress-Inducing Dreams
If you've ever woken up in the middle of a falling-off-a-cliff kind of nightmare, then you probably have a good idea just how bad stressful dreams can be. Normally, when someone begins experiencing night sweats, doctors will first try to rule out any medical issue that might be the root cause, but once those are ruled out, nocturnal panic attacks come into play.
In an exclusive interview with Elite Daily, doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Danielle Forshee, LLC, explains that intense dreams that focus on subjects that are "emotionally laden or meaningful to us" can lead to your body having a physiological response, otherwise known as nocturnal panic attacks. These might be associated with a sleeping disorder, such as sleep apnea or insomnia, so it's important that you seek professional help as soon as you can.
2. Anxiety IRL
Have you ever noticed that whatever's going through your mind during the day is often reflected in your dreams? If your thought process is cranking out all the negative scenarios, that anxiety is likely to wreak havoc on your REM cycle.
Brantner tells Elite Daily that anxiety is, in fact, "notorious for causing all sorts of sleep disruptions," including the sweats. Aside from talking to a professional to seek proper treatment, Brantner suggests committing to a calming bedtime routine 30 minutes to an hour before bed.
"Dim the lights and relax," he tells Elite Daily. "[A soothing routine] can go along way in setting you up for a better night's sleep."
Do your research, girl. Find what helps you unwind (taking a warm bath, diffusing essential oils, reading a good book, sipping on sleepy tea), and put these things into practice every night for an easy snooze.
3. Medications You're Taking
You know how, on just about every commercial for medication, there's a cute little cartoon or sob story that draws you in, and then wham, the brand hits you with a grocery list of potential side effects that make you wonder why in the world anyone would pop said pill? Well, according Brantner, "various medications can lead to night sweats."
Mayo Clinic reports that night sweats are actually a very common side effect of meds prescribed to treat depression, diabetes, and cancer. If, when starting new medication, you start to notice night sweats becoming an issue, Brantner tells Elite Daily, you should definitely consult your doctor to see what's up.
4. Your PJ Choices
Listen, I'm all for flannel PJs in the fall, or slipping into a silky number that feels and looks equally as fabulous, but the truth of the matter is, while these types of fabrics may be aesthetically cool, they tend to feel anything but on your body. If you're sporting those heavier threads under the sheets, there's a good chance you'll be wet and sticky come morning.
Luckily, this is a quick fix: Swap out denser staples in your wardrobe for lighter options. Raven and Crow, for example, is a sleepwear brand that produces eco-friendly loungewear made with bamboo fabric that's not only sustainable, but breathable, with 30 percent more oxygen than other brands, absorbing more carbon dioxide and moisture to help you get the snooze you want.
5. You're PMSing
I don't know about you, but at this point, I'm pretty much convinced every little thing your body encounters can somehow be linked to PMS. According to Women's Health UK, high levels of progesterone during that special time of the month can cause body temperatures to spike, causing you to feel, as they say, "hot and bothered," but not in the get-it-on sort of way.
Luckily, PMS doesn't last very long, and neither will your night sweats, should your flow be the root cause of the issue. Once your progesterone plummets, so will your body temp, and you can resort back to getting sexy, rather than sweaty, between the sheets.
6. You're Exercising Too Much
Whether you're lifting heavy weights, running three miles every morning, or taking up Zumba, the more active you are, the more active your metabolism is going to be. According to Fitness Republic, any time you're engaging in physical activity that can alter your metabolism, there's a chance that your body's ability to regulate temperature will be affected, as well.
Basically, when your metabolism spikes, your body puts its calorie-burning functions on overdrive, which is what causes those night sweats to happen. The good news, though, is that "once your body gets used to its new resting state, the night sweats should go away," according to the outlet.
In the meantime, try to opt for PJs made of a wicking type of fabric to keep moisture at a minimum.
7. Your Bedroom Is Way Too Hot
If you can't take the heat, lower the thermostat. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep space temperatures should, ideally, range from 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit, which will, in turn, help your own body cool down for the night. If the temperature is any higher, it could disrupt your body's ability to regulate temperature, and before you know it, you're drenched in sweat all through the night.
Plus, it's just kind of common sense that, when you're body is hot AF, your pits and other places are bound to perspire, so be aware of a) the temperature in your room and b) the weight of the blankets you're snuggling into at night. A warm room paired with a heavy comforter will result in an even warmer body, and that's the last thing you want when you're already struggling with night sweats.