Night sweats, medically known as sleep hyperhidrosis, refer to recurrent episodes of extreme sweating at night. This perspiration is often excessive, so much so that it causes one’s nightclothes and bedding to get drenched. Night sweats, for the most part, are usually related to an underlying medical or hormonal condition. These may range from anxiety to hormonal disorders, sleep disorders and HIV/AIDS. In some cases, the use of certain medication such as for the treatment of depression or infertility may cause night sweats. These episodes are also pretty common in menopausal women, making it important to get checked for an accurate diagnosis.
As such, other symptoms that often accompany night sweats include weight loss, cough, diarrhoea and fever among others. It is very important to note that while you may wake up in the middle of the night soaked in sweat as a result of using too many blankets or on generally warmer nights, when these episodes are not recurrent they are not referred to as night sweats. While the sweating in itself is not harmful, it often leads to the loss of important mineral salts from the body. This deficiency may interfere with optimal metabolic processes, making it important to use home remedies which manage the sweating. Note however, that these remedies ought to be used as an adjunct treatment following proper medical diagnosis and medication.
1. Flaxseed Oil:
Time Required:15 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Cup of Flaxseed oil and cotton wool.
Flaxseed oil is one of the most helpful ways to manage night sweats. This is because its active ingredients are made up of lignans. These are rich plant-based compounds that are known to help maintain the levels of oestrogen in the body. This is important because high oestrogen hormones are known to be one of the key triggers for sweating at night. This remedy is intended for topical use, so follow the simple procedures below to get the benefits of flaxseed oil.
- Soak the cotton wool in the flaxseed oil for a few minutes.
- Use the wet wool to apply the oil on the body.
- The best time to do this is just before bedtime for optimal efficiency.
- You may also use flaxseeds themselves.
- Simply add a tablespoon of the seeds to your cereals, smoothies or baked foods.
2. Primrose Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Cup containing a mixture of primrose oil and starflower oil and cotton wool.
Primrose oil is recommended for the natural treatment of night sweats, thanks to its high levels of linoleic acid (more specifically gamma linoleic acid, abbreviated GLA). GLA has such a profound effect on a group of compounds known as prostaglandins. The production of prostaglandins in the body is often related to increased sweating and high body temperatures. In cases where this does not occur due to a viral infection, it helps to apply primrose oil in order to reduce prostaglandin production, which in turn reduces the sweating.
Starflower Oil on the other hand, is added for its immense health benefits. Just like primrose oil, starflower is a rich source of GLA. Its role as a hormone regulator comes in handy for night sweats in menopausal women. Starflower oil also has benefits for a healthy heart, the skin and the joints. Use this combination to manage night sweats as naturally as possible.
NOTE: Starflower oil is extracted from the seeds of the starflower plant, and is sometimes referred to as borage oil.
- Mix the primrose and starflower oil so that you have 1/4 cup full of the mixture.
- Use the cotton wool to apply the mixture on the body before bedtime.
- If you opt to use primrose oil on its own, the best way to do this is to take the oil in capsule form.
- Some of the mild effects of ingesting the oil include nausea, diarrhoea and upset stomach.
NOTE: Do not ingest primrose oil if you are on blood thinning medication.
3. Aloe Vera Juice:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup of fresh aloe vera juice, cucumber slices as well as 5 tablespoons each of apple and lemon juice.
Aloe Vera juice, the main ingredient in this remedy, is used for the natural management of night sweats, thanks to its ability to balance oestrogen levels in the body. Oestrogen, one of the reproductive hormones, has been linked to these excessive sweating episodes at night. By managing the hormonal levels, it is possible to get relief from the night sweats. Aloe vera juice, undiluted and unsweetened, has a characteristic bitter taste which may make it difficult to use. This is why the cucumber, apple juice and lemon juice are added for a refreshing twist to the otherwise bland remedy.
- Mix the apple and lemon juices well before adding to the aloe vera juice.
- Stir the mixture well and then add the fresh cucumber slices.
- Use this remedy at least once daily to help manage the excessive sweating at night.
4. Soy Products:
Time Required: Varies depending on the method of preparation.
What You Need: A range of soy products or the use of soy isoflavones in capsule form.
Soy products have been known to have great benefits for those dealing with night sweats. The key active ingredients are isolflavones. These phytochemicals are best known for their benefits in maintaining a balance in the levels of oestrogen in the body. The most important part of this process is that when the levels of endogenous oestrogen are increased, the isoflavones play a critical role in lowering them, and this has a positive effect on the night sweats. As a result of their estrogenic activity, the specific isoflavones involved in this treatment are referred to as phytoestrogens.
- Increase your dietary intake of soy products to boost the concentration of the plant-based phytoestrogens in the body.
- Take 2 capsules of soy isoflavones daily to help manage night sweats.
NOTE: Do not use this remedy if the night sweats are as a result of an autoimmune condition or thyroid gland disorder.
5. Black Cohosh:
Time Required: 10-15 Min
What You Need: 2 Capsules of black cohosh taken alongside meals.
Black Cohosh is one of the world’s leading herbal remedies for the natural treatment of night sweats. Just like the soy isoflavones, black cohosh has phytoestrogens whose mode of action is the balancing of the oestrogen levels in the body. In doing so, the herb is able to regulate night sweats. It is important to note, however, that the use of this herbal remedy is not recommended for women on birth control methods and those receiving cancer treatment.
- Take 2 capsules daily to treat night sweats naturally.
6. Licorice Root:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Dried licorice root, 1 cup of water and a strainer.
Licorice root is one of the remedies that you may use for the natural treatment of night sweats. The root’s active ingredients are known to contain mild properties of the oestrogen hormone. As such, when ingested and these properties are made available to the body, their presence provides relief to those suffering from night sweats. Prepare the tea by following the simple directions below.
- Place 1 teaspoon of the dried licorice powder in the water and stir.
- Boil the mixture for 5 minutes and then turn of the heat and allow to steep.
- Strain the mixture and add some honey to sweeten the mixture.
- Drink this tea before bedtime.
7. Sage Tea:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of dried sage leaves/2 teaspoons of fresh sage leaves, 1 cup of water, strainer and honey (optional).
Sage tea has excellent benefits that make it ideal for the natural treatment of night sweats. Not only does it have a cooling sensation that provides relief from the sweating, it also has oestrogen-like compounds that play an essential role in the sweat cycle. Prepare a cup of sage tea at least once daily to help ease the night sweats. You may use the fresh or dried leaves for this remedy.
- Add the sage leaves to the cup of water and transfer to a pan to boil.
- Boil the mixture for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat and let the mixture steep.
- Strain the tea after 5 minutes and proceed to add a tablespoon of honey to sweeten the tea.
- Take the tea while it is still warm.
- Use this remedy twice daily to get relief from night sweats.
Other herbal teas that you can prepare in the same way, and which are beneficial for the treatment of night sweats include motherwort and sage tea (using motherwort, rosemary, alfalfa and sage chasteberry tea and raspberry tea.
8. Practical Tips to Manage Night Sweats:
In addition to the remedies listed above, there are handy tips that you can use to reduce the excessive sweating and hopefully get you through a night without the discomfort. These include:
- Reduce the temperature levels in your bedroom to avoid triggering the night sweats. You may use a fan, but be careful to check the settings.
- Reduce your bedding and remove excess blankets. You may also consider changing into cotton clothes to reduce the rate of sweating.
- It helps to sip cold water as this not only cools the body, it also replenishes the lost salts.
- Control your breathing to help the body relax. In a tense state, night sweating is more intense and one is likely to get recurrent episodes.
- It is also helpful to establish a night time routine that helps ease you into sleep. Add some exercise routines to reduce stress levels and help get a good night’s rest.
Night sweats are incredibly uncomfortable, and depending on the frequency of the episodes, may interfere with daily routines. Use the remedies and handy tips listed above to help manage the condition. Remember it is imperative to get an accurate diagnosis as some of the causes of night sweats are attributed to underlying medical conditions.