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Night sweats in the summer are even worse than the rest of the year. While people without night sweats can be uncomfortable, those of us with night sweats suffer even more so. One of the biggest triggers for night sweats is room temperature – too warm and your night sweats will trigger all night long. While each person’s trigger point will be different, the recommended 18C/65F sleeping target can be a real challenge to achieve in the summer.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, well, then, move along, there’s nothing to see here….Unless you suffer from chronic night sweats, you will not understand the dread and the lack of enthusiasm for going to sleep at night. For some of us, it’s really just an exercise in closing our eyes and hoping for the best. Maybe we can manage a few broken hours cobbled together from sheer exhaustion. Maybe we will sleep through the damp and clammy sheets and endless cover-flipping.
The good news is, night sweats in summer are manageable whether you use hormone replacement therapy or not.
Here are some tips to help you sleep through warmer nights with fewer night sweats. If you have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment below. Sweet dreams!
Cool room temperatures are shown to help keep your night sweats at bay. However, in the summer this is easier said than done. If your a/c isn’t powerful enough to keep your room temperature below 18C at night, or you don’t have air conditioning, a fan can help. Install a ceiling fan or use a standing fan. Even with air conditioning they can make it feel 4C cooler than it is thanks to air movement. For an extra boost, set up three 2-litre bottles with frozen salt water in front of a table fan to really help drop the room’s temperature.
Hot tip: to prevent the room from heating up during the day, keep your curtains shut (invest in blackout blinds if necessary), and unplug/relocate any electronics which can give off a lot of heat.
It may seem obvious, but sometimes the warmer nights come on so gradually you don’t think about changing your bedding. Now is the perfect time to replace your winter duvet with a quilt, or if you prefer, remove the duvet from the cover. Use layers – sheets, a quilt and a duvet cover can work wonderfully to manage your night sweats and overall comfort. The key is that each layer works best if it is breathable, and the layer next to your skin should be moisture-wicking and heat managing (more on that below).
The best sheets are made from either linen, bamboo lyocell, long staple or extra long staple cotton with a low thread count (250-300), or hemp/cotton. They must be breathable, and the most effective ones are made from material that absorbs, wicks and manages heat and moisture. You do not want to use fabrics that lock in heat such as silk and wool.
A long soak in a tub of warm water will help relax your muscles and lower your core body temperature. According to Dr. Michael Mosely, a long soak – 10 minutes or more – is an effective way to help your body lower its core temperature – one of the signals your body uses to prepare for sleep. Your pores open and heat escapes and you begin to get sleepy after the bath.
Sleepwear is your first line of defense against night sweats. If you choose sleepwear that doesn’t breathe or manage heat and moisture you will cover flip and wake up damp and clammy. If, on the other hand, you choose sleepwear made from the right fabric, you can conceivably sleep through the night without interruption.
The best fabrics for night sweats are natural which have natural properties that allow them to suck up moisture and heat before their effects wake you up. Natural options are linen, lyocell and hemp.
Shameless promotion: Our Simone nightgown is so effective at managing moisture and heat that many of our happy customers now sleep through the night without feeling their night sweats – winter or summer. With each burst of heat your body generates, the fabric quickly absorbs heat and moisture before it rests on your skin keeping you dry and comfortable. So comfortable, in fact, that you’ll possibly sleep all night.
Summertime brings the warm weather and the hot summer nights. For those of us who suffer from night sweats, we might be in a period of our life where the heat is not welcome. There are ways to cope with it from setting your bedroom and yourself up for success to altering your lifestyle with diet and exercise based on your night sweat triggers. You can identify them by using our night sweats tracking journal.