Night Sweats: What are They and how to Stop Them

The term night sweats describes excessive sweating at night which can affect both men and women of all ages. Whilst often associated with fever, there are also many occasions when people experience night sweats without a fever. Night sweats can be associated with certain situations such menopause, illness, and when taking some medications, although the most common reason for excessive sweating at night is using sleepwear and duvets that are unsuitable for the climate or room temperature.

What are Night Sweats?

Night sweats are when your body sweats excessively during sleep, and can happen without the temperature being too high. If the heating is just too high, then sweating at night may be alleviated if you get a lighter duvet.

Night sweats can come on suddenly and soak the sheets in a short amount of time, and can be a sign of underlying medical conditions, although many people perceive excessive sweating at night that isn’t related to a medical issue.

Finding the Right Duvet to Combat Night Sweats

Sweating during the night can cause interrupted sleep, leading to tiredness and fatigue throughout the day. If you tend to overheat during the night, you’ll know how unpleasant it can be to wake up uncomfortable and covered in sweat. If you are sweating too much while you sleep, you may be using the wrong duvet or pillow.

Making the Right Decision

Sleepers will sweat under all duvets if it is too warm, regardless of whether it is filled with down, wool or synthetic fibres. This is why it is essential to choose the correct duvet and pillow for your needs. In order to tell which duvet could be right for you, you’ll need to take a look at your tog rating. Tog rating is the measurement used for warmth in duvets – the higher the tog rating, the warmer the duvet. A tog rating of around 4.5 during the summer is optimal for most people and during the winter you will want to go for a tog rating of around 12.0. There is also the option of an all-seasons duvet, which combines two separate down duvets for both summer and winter use.

feather-down

Moisture-management and Ventilation

Another factor that could be contributing to the problem of overheating at night is the ventilation and moisture-management capacity of your pillows and duvets. Certain fillings allow for better ventilation than others, with down or wool being the best bet for combating night sweats. These fillings tend to breathe much better than synthetic fillings, which are known to ventilate poorly and cause those who use them to overheat and sweat much more. You can further ensure ventilation by choosing a cover for your duvet that also allows for good ventilation. Covers which are 100% cotton often do the job nicely and tend to be softer on your skin when compared to cheaper options.

The same goes when it comes to ticking, which is the fabric used to cover your pillow or duvet to prevent feathers from protruding through and becoming visible. Cotton ticking works best, as it is tightly-woven yet breathable, making it a particularly effective option when it comes to eliminating moisture build-up in your duvet. It is also advisable to air your duvets and pillows often when the weather is suitable and when you are not using them, make sure to store them in a well-ventilated area and avoid plastic bags in order to maximise the ventilation and moisture-managing effects.

Causes of Excessive Sweating

Room Temperature

It may be worth checking the temperature of the room you sleep in – sounds obvious, but you may be surprised. Research has consistently shown that optimal sleeping temperatures fall between 16 and 20°C, which means that your room should be fairly cool at night before you go to bed. Keeping your room a few degrees below or above these ideal levels may just be the cause of your restless and feverish sleep.

Sleepwear

Another often overlooked factor is the sleepwear you choose. If you wear the same pyjamas or nightwear all year round, you are likely to become too hot during the hotter months of the year. Interestingly, it can also be beneficial to wear socks during the night even if you overheat. This is due to the fact that our body temperature needs to balance – when our core temperature drops, our extremities (hands and feet) can become even colder. Striking a balance can be the difference between a comfortable night’s sleep and waking up drenched in sweat! Try switching to a lighter sleepwear option during the summer and wearing socks during sleep and see if you notice the improvement.

Medical issues

There are also certain medical issues that can impact on night sweating. Although this is a relatively uncommon explanation, if you have tried these methods and are still experiencing problems with overheating, it is always important to consult your doctor to find out if the cause could be health-related. Some types of medication list night sweats as a side-effect, so check the labels to see if you may be affected by this. Hormone disorders and neurological conditions can also cause excessive sweating, as well as natural bodily changes such as the menopause. If in doubt, please visit your doctor.

Children

Children experiencing night sweats can be very worrying for parents, and can affect a child’s quality of sleep, which has many knock on effects such as lower concentration and sleepiness during the day. It’s important to remember that climate conditions can have a stronger effect on children than adults, so sweating during the night can just be caused by being generally too warm at night.

There are a few things you can do to make sure your child stays comfortable at night, such as leaving a few hours between dinner and bed-time to make sure your child has time to digest before going to sleep. You should also make sure the bedroom isn’t too warm, and that the correct blankets are being used for the season. Fresh air is very good for quality sleep, so open a window slightly if possible.

If you’re worried that your child is experiencing night sweats, you should visit the doctor to get a professional medical opinion.

Additional Measures to Help you Sleep Easy

  • Keeping a glass of ice-cold water next to your bed can save you the trouble of getting out of bed when you overheat.
  • Cotton pyjamas or other breathable fabric such as linen or rayon are a great option to help your body stay cool.
  • Investing in a fan or air conditioning system may be a good option if you live in a much warmer environment.
  • Taking a cold shower before bed is a good idea if you want to lower your body temperature in preparation for sleep.

So whether you’re looking for a lighter, breathable duvet/pillow or just a more comfortable sleep that leaves you feeling well-rested and ready to start the day– don’t sweat it. Downduvet.co.uk has you covered with a wide range of high-quality products to help you sleep easy.


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  1. Duvet size: Which duvet size do I need?
  2. Tog: Choose the right tog
  3. Fill power: What is Fill Power?
  4. Duvet fabric: Good down belongs in a good fabric

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