How to sleep: Night sweats and insomnia – when is it serious and tips to help combat them

Dr Michael Mosley on the importance of routine for sleep

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Sweating during sleep is a common occurrence and happens for mainly two reasons. The first is the environment and the other reason is underlying medical issues. Sleep expert Andrea Strand from explains why you sweat during sleep and how to prevent and treat it.

The Mayo Clinic listed numerous factors that can contribute to those unwanted night sweats, including:

  • Hormone disorders
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Anxiety
  • Viral infections
  • Lifestyle factors.

For the optimal temperature, Andrea explains: “For an improved sleeping environment, the ideal temperature to turn your thermostat to is between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius.

“Additionally, adding a cooling mattress topper or switching to a lighter and more breathable bedding with moisture-wicking material can vastly cool down your bed.

“If this is not cool enough for you, you can always place a cool pack under your pillow to lower your body temperature and stop the sweating.

When it comes to certain lifestyle changes to help improve sleep, Andrea adds: “Avoid eating a large meal at least two to three hours before sleeping.

“This means your digestive system won’t be working after your fall asleep, allowing your body to rest more.

“Avoiding spicy foods and caffeine at night can also be a great way to beat the night-time sweats.

“Caffeine is a stimulant and can increase your heart rate, leading to a raise in blood pressure which can activate sweat glands.”

For when your night sweats and insomnia could be serious, Andrea warns: “If your night sweats get to the point that you begin to experience daytime fatigue as a result of lost sleep from sweating, it’s time to see a doctor.

“If you have been sweating consistently for two weeks or more with no signs of it getting better, that’s also when you should consider seeking professional help.”

The occasional bout of sleeplessness is no cause for alarm.

But if you go night after night without getting a full night’s sleep, that’s a wake-up call to reach out to a doctor for help.

“Whether it is stress due to recurring bad dreams, or general anxiety, stress is a hormonal issue which can lead to sweating,” adds Andrea.

“Doing activities such as yoga and meditation before bedtime is a great way to reduce stress and calm the mind, however if stress persists, seek professional help.”

Source: Read Full Article