Night sweats: causes and helpful tips

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Reasons for night sweats can include unhealthy sleep and lifestyle habits or a cold. However, sometimes a serious illness can also be the reason for heavy sweating at night.

Heavy sweating at night

Sweating is a natural process, also while we are asleep. During the night, the body regulates its temperature by releasing sweat. This doesn’t usually affect our sleep as the moisture evaporates on our skin.

What are night sweats?

It's a different story with the condition known as night sweats: people with this condition sweat so much during the night that their pyjamas and bedlinen become soaked, they start to feel cold, and they may even have to get up and take a shower. Their sleep is therefore considerably disturbed, making them feel sleep-deprived and exhausted in the morning. There are various causes for night sweats.

Night sweats: improve bedroom conditions

One reason can be that the conditions for sleeping are poor: a hot summer night, an over-heavy duvet or an overheated bedroom (a maximum of 19° is optimal). Pyjamas and bedlinen made of synthetic materials can also induce sweating. Textiles made of natural materials such as cotton, silk or linen are better suited.

Reduce night sweats with proper nutrition

Consuming alcohol, caffeine and nicotine as well as spicy food can also lead to heavy sweating at night. It’s therefore best to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, coffee and other caffeinated drinks before going to bed. It’s also advisable to avoid spicy and heavy, calorie-laden food in the evening.

Hormone-induced hot flushes at night

Hormonal fluctuations can also trigger heavy sweating at night. For many women, menopause causes hot flushes and sweats during the day and sometimes at night too. In addition, women's hormone levels fluctuate during pregnancy and the postpartum period, which can also cause severe night sweats.

Hormonal night sweats can also occur in men: lower testosterone levels due to age can have an effect on sweat production.duktion auswirken.

Influence of the thyroid

An overactive thyroid can also lead to hormone fluctuations and thus stimulate the production of sweat.

Psychological stress: go to bed in a relaxed frame of mind

Mental stress can trigger severe night-time sweating. Constant psychological tension causes the body to release more stress hormones, which leads to additional sweating not only during the day, but at night too. When feeling tense in the evening, practise a few simple rituals to relax.

Relaxation rituals

Sage tea for severe sweating

One of the best home remedies for extreme sweating is sage. For a tea made from this pungent garden herb, pour 250ml of water over 2 teaspoons of sage leaves and leave to brew for about 10 minutes, then strain and refrigerate. Drink 2 to 3 cups of the sage tea throughout the day – preferably also shortly before going to bed.

When to see a doctor?

Night sweats can be a sign of a serious disease such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis or cancer. Side effects of medication can also be responsible for night sweats. If heavy night sweats last longer than three to four weeks or if additional symptoms such as fever, weight loss, pain or fatigue appear, it’s essential to consult a doctor.

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