Sleep is an essential function of the human body. Going without sleep for long periods of time can threaten your health like other essentials like water and food. Also, like other essential functions of the body, your body is hard at work while you sleep. You aren’t aware of it because you are asleep, but occasionally, you wake up sweaty from the work of sleep.
When you find yourself covered in sweat after sleeping, you may wonder what caused all that sweat. When it occurs too frequently, you may have to give it closer consideration. Also, frequent and excessive sweating episodes, also called night sweats, that can leave your night clothes and bedding soaked can be due to underlying causes like menopause, fever, weight loss, or other situations.
It’s important to understand what could be causing you to sweat at night, especially if you are concerned about it.
What Could Be Causing You To Sweat At Night?
Sleeping is so important, and forming good sleeping habits helps to encourage healthy sleep. If you’re waking up sweaty, you may question what’s behind the sleeping sweat session.
Your Sleep Environment
When you get sweaty during the day, one of the first things you’d notice is being too warm. You’d check your thermostat or turn on a fan to help you regulate the temperature in the room. When you’re busy sleeping, you won’t usually wake up because you’re warm. You just naturally compensate for the temperature by sweating to keep your body regulated.
If your thermostat is set to a toasty temperature, you’re wrapped up in heavy blankets or thick pajamas, or you don’t have air conditioning for the warmer nights, it’s normal for you to reach a warm temperature that causes you to sweat. Just like during the day, sometimes sweating is just sweating.
The CDC recommends a comfortably cool temperature of about 65 to 68 degrees fahrenheit for most of us to sleep well with suitable covers. In this temperature, most of us won’t wake up in a sweat.
Your Sleep Cycle
As your body moves through the stage in the sleep cycle, you will go through temperature variations throughout the night. For example, most of us will have a dip in our core body temperature in the early hours of the morning.
Conversely, the body’s temperature will rise during certain stages of the sleep cycle alongside the heart rate and blood pressure. This heightened activity in the body can cause some sweating.
As we sleep, we dream, and unfortunately, sometimes those dreams aren’t as pleasant as we would hope. Since there are very few ways to control your dreams, nightmares can occur and induce feelings of restlessness and tension. During these types of dreams, you can experience sweating.
If you are experiencing recurrent nightmares, it may be necessary to address your emotional wellness to help minimize these dreams and alleviate frequent night sweats. There are natural supplements that can promote feelings of calm.
Before menopause, women experience perimenopause without realizing they’re body is preparing to change. During this time before menstruation ends, women experience an increase in hot flashes as they sleep. As women move from perimenopause to menopause and on to postmenopause, this increase can really disrupt sleep and lead to poor sleep quality.
The occurrence of night sweats during any part of menopause may be a result of lower levels of estrogen and progesterone. If you think you’ve entered that phase and are experiencing more night sweats, it might be time to consider your hormones as the culprit.
If you tend to experience discomfort like heartburn, you could experience sweating at night as your body deals with your discomfort. Sometimes treating this discomfort or addressing the cause can reduce your night sweats. This could also make it easier to get restful sleep.
You may have heard the advice to drink a glass of wine before bed to help you sleep. Occasionally, you can fall asleep faster, but it doesn’t help you stay asleep. Additionally, you may have a sweatier night when you sleep after a night of alcohol consumption.
Alcohol dependency itself can also cause nighttime sweating. It may be advisable to find a better alternative to help you fall asleep naturally.
Your Other Concerns
While there are plenty of natural reasons that could be causing you to sweat at night, it is possible that your nightly sweat session is cause for concern. If you’re concerned that the reason you’re sweating at night is something more serious, it may be time to talk with your doctor to rule out other issues.
What Can You Do To Stop Sweating As You Sleep?
In order to stop sweating as you sleep, you need to address the root cause. But, there are things you can do to minimize natural sweating that occurs at night.
- Keep your bedroom temperature set to a comfortably cool temperature.
- Keep your bedding lightweight and use moisture-wicking materials.
- Wear sleepwear that will wick moisture away from your skin.
- Avoid alcohol before bed.
- Drink cool water to ensure you’re properly hydrated before sleep.
- Avoid exercise before bed.
- Take a supplement to help you get to sleep easier, sleep deeper, and to calm your mind.
In order to have consistently good sleep, it’s important to be consistent with your nightly routine. There are steps you can take to improve your sleep routine before bed.
- Make sure your sleep environment is peaceful for you.
- Calm your mind by focusing your attention on your sleep routine.
- Ensure you have darkness to help you sleep restfully.
- Use natural remedies to aid you in your transition to sleep.
- Follow a sleep schedule.
- Employ essential oils to help you fall asleep faster.
Can You Improve Your Sleep Naturally?
Even with setting the perfect environment for sleep, sometimes you still need help getting to sleep and staying asleep in order to wake up refreshed and ready for the next day. There are some key ingredients that can help you calm your mind, transition peacefully, stay asleep, and avoid that groggy feeling in the morning.
One key ingredient that has shown promising results is the patented Safr-Inside which is an award winning extract of Persian saffron. In over ten clinical studies, Safr-Inside has shown its ability to help support emotional health, encourage feelings of calm, and aid in the improvement of sleep quality. Safr-Inside can be found in Complete Calm Sleep Gummies.
In addition, when considering a natural sleep aid, you should opt for a supplement that either contains melatonin or L-tryptophan. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that our bodies produce in cycles throughout the day to keep us alert during the day and help us to fall asleep at night. As we age, we produce less of this hormone, and it may help support a proper sleep balance when you supplement with it.
L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that our body can use to convert to 5-HTP and then convert to serotonin. Serotonin is the body’s “happiness hormone”, and making sure you have a good balance can help promote emotional wellness and restful sleep when you’re having trouble.
There are many reasons that we sweat while we sleep, and discerning what your reason for sweating at night can help you address it and alleviate this symptom. Paying close attention to your sleep and setting yourself up for a successful night’s rest can help you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Meet our Experts
This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Jay Cowin, Nutrition Expert
Founder of Functional U, a Nutrition, Performance & Optimal Health practice.