Night Sweats: Remedies That Work

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Q: Any advice for night sweats? – E.P.

A: Night sweats, or hyperhidrosis, are defined as excessive sweating beyond what is necessary to adequately cool down the body. Night sweats and hot flashes are bothersome symptoms that frequently occur hand-in-hand with menopause. While you may not be able to avoid these symptoms completely, there are several things you can do to help decrease the frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats.

Sleeping partners should be questioned about the patient’s sleeping habits (snoring, apneic spells, and daytime sleepiness). Obstructive sleep apnea is a relatively common disorder affecting up to 4 percent of middle-aged men. It may be a common cause of heavy night sweats

Uncommonly, neurologic conditions also may cause increased sweating and possibly lead to night sweats including:
-autonomic dysreflexia
-post-traumatic syringomyelia

Here are some quick remedies to help reduce night sweats:

  • Keep cool – Turn up the air conditioner if you do not have an air conditioner consider a floor fan to blow while you are sleeping.
  • Apply a clinical strength antiperspirant to the parts of the body that are most sweaty; underarms, hands, feet, hairline, back, chest or groin
  • Avoid over bundling or using a heavy comforter
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, and eating 2-3 hours before going to bed
  • Eat a Mediterranean-style diet