Night Sweats: Stop Losing Sleep Over Soaking Wet Sheets
Dr. Jordin Wiggins
Night sweats are very common. They affect women of all ages, not just women in menopause. There are many causes of night sweats and it can be difficult to figure out the underlying source of your uncomfortable sleeps and frequent pajama changes.
Keep reading to discover common causes of night sweats and what you can do to help:
- Hormone Imbalance
As women, we all have hormone fluctuations each month. If you experience night sweats during your period, or the week before, it could be due to the drop in estrogen you experience during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. This is a normal process, but if your night sweats are causing disrupted sleep and impacting your quality of life, it is time to get your hormones checked! Your estrogen levels, and your estrogen in relation to progesterone, could be the underlying culprit.
These drops in estrogen are responsible for night sweats during menopause too.
And, if you are on a hormonal birth control pill, you are not safe from night sweats. The pill causes daily fluctuating levels of estrogen and could be contributing to the severity of your night sweats. Try taking your pill at a different (consistent) time during the day to see if it has any impact on your night sweats.
The solution: if you suspect an underlying hormonal cause for your night sweats, book an appointment to get your hormone levels tested.
- Blood Sugar Levels
Low blood sugar causes the bod to be stressed out. If you are experiencing low blood sugar, your body goes into panic mode and releases…you guessed it…hormones, that increase your body temperature.
Blood sugar stability it important for your energy, weight management, mood and preventing night sweats.
The solution: avoid high carb, high sugar and processed foods, especially before bed. Replace a sugary bedtime bowl of cereal with healthy fats and high fibre options to prevent the spike and subsequent dip in blood sugar while you’re sleeping.
- Thyroid Levels
The thyroid is responsible for regulating body temperature, so if you are one of the over 20 million people in North American suffering with thyroid disease, you are at a higher risk for night sweats.
The solution: start by removing the inflammatory foods from your diet (dairy, gluten and sugar). If you suspect your thyroid is an underlying cause of your night sweats (even if you are already on medication for it), book an appointment.
If you are in a constant stressed out state, you may be in sympathetic nervous system overdrive. When this happens, your awake and asleep hormones get confused. Cortisol could be peaking at night, meaning you wake up in a damp pool of pjs.
The solution: be diligent about a consistent bedtime routine. Shut down blue light, take a bath, drink a tea…anything that will help you wind down before going to bed and prevent night sweats from waking you up.
Your favourite foods may be affected the quality of your sleep. Do you like a glass of wine with dinner? Are you eating a highly inflammatory meal right before bed?
These can disrupt body temperature, and directly impact hormones (especially estrogen).
The solution: try eliminating alcohol from your diet and give your liver a chance to detox any extra estrogen that may be impacting your sleep.
Night sweats are usually harmless, but if you experience them consistently, it is time to book an appointment and get to the bottom of their cause.