Night sweats, also known as sleep hyperhidrosis, are a common symptom experienced by many people. They can be caused by various factors such as menopause, medications, infections, or certain medical conditions. While night sweats can be uncomfortable and disruptive, there are natural remedies and supplements available to help manage this issue.
This article explores the various natural approaches to tackle night sweats and help you achieve a better night's sleep.
Understanding Night Sweats
Night sweats, a common occurrence affecting many people at some point in their lives, are characterized by excessive sweating during the night that can disrupt sleep and result in soaked bedding and clothing.
Women experiencing menopause are particularly susceptible to night sweats due to hormonal fluctuations that cause hot flashes. However, various other factors can also contribute to night sweats, including hormonal imbalances, infections like tuberculosis or HIV, certain medications such as antidepressants and hormone therapy, anxiety, stress, and medical conditions like cancer, hyperthyroidism, and hypoglycemia.
Although night sweats can be a symptom of certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma and leukemia, they do not always indicate the presence of cancer. When night sweats are associated with cancer, they typically occur alongside other symptoms like unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and persistent fever.
It is essential to consult a healthcare professional if you experience persistent or severe night sweats, especially if accompanied by other unusual symptoms, to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.
Lifestyle Changes for Night Sweat Management
Before turning to supplements or remedies, consider making some lifestyle adjustments that can help minimize night sweats:
- Maintain a cool and comfortable sleep environment by using breathable bedding and lowering the room temperature
- Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol, particularly close to bedtime
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation, to reduce stress and anxiety
- Exercise regularly but avoid intense workouts close to bedtime
- Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
Maintain a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle
- Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
- Stay hydrated by drinking enough water throughout the day.
- Exercise regularly but avoid intense workouts close to bedtime.
Natural Remedies for Night Sweats
Several natural remedies may help alleviate night sweats:
Black cohosh is a perennial plant native to North America, and its root has been used for centuries to treat various ailments. Recently, it has gained popularity as a natural remedy for menopause-related symptoms, including night sweats.
Black cohosh is thought to have estrogen-like effects, which can help alleviate hot flashes and night sweats. Some studies have shown positive results in reducing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in women using black cohosh supplements, although more research is needed to confirm its efficacy and safety. 1
Sage is an aromatic herb commonly used in cooking and traditional medicine. It has been found to have potential benefits in reducing hot flashes and night sweats, particularly in menopausal women. The exact mechanism of how sage works is still unclear, but it is believed to have a cooling effect on the body and may also help regulate hormone levels.
A study conducted in 2011 demonstrated that a daily supplement of fresh sage leaves significantly reduced the frequency and intensity of hot flashes in menopausal women over an 8-week period. 2
Chaste Tree Berry
Chaste tree berry, also known as Vitex, is a Mediterranean plant that has been used for centuries to treat various female reproductive issues. It is believed to have hormone-balancing properties, making it a popular choice for alleviating menopause-related symptoms, including night sweats.
Chaste tree berry modulates the release of certain hormones, particularly prolactin, which can help reduce hot flashes and night sweats. A systematic review of clinical trials found that Vitex agnus-castus extracts showed promise in treating female reproductive disorders, although further research is needed to determine the optimal dosage and duration of treatment. 3
Soy contains phytoestrogens, which may help to balance hormone levels and reduce night sweats in menopausal women. 4
Flaxseed is another source of phytoestrogens and may help alleviate night sweats when consumed regularly. 5
Dietary Supplements for Night Sweats
Some vitamins and minerals can also help manage night sweats:
This antioxidant vitamin may help reduce hot flashes and night sweats in menopausal women. 6
Magnesium can help improve sleep quality and may also reduce night sweats. 7
This vitamin plays a role in regulating body temperature and may help reduce night sweats. 8
Risks and Considerations
While natural remedies and supplements can effectively manage night sweats, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new regimen. Some supplements can interact with medications or have side effects. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, individuals with existing medical conditions, or those taking medications should be especially cautious.
When to Seek Professional Help
If night sweats persist despite trying natural remedies and lifestyle changes, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional. Night sweats can be a sign of an underlying medical condition that requires proper diagnosis and treatment.
Natural remedies and supplements offer a promising approach to managing night sweats. By making lifestyle changes and incorporating the appropriate remedies or supplements, you may experience significant relief from night sweats and improve your overall sleep quality. However, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications. If night sweats persist despite your efforts, seek professional help to rule out any underlying medical issues.
Continue reading below to learn which natural remedies helped Earth Clinic readers with night sweats, and let us know which remedy or supplement helped you!
Barton, D.L., et al. (2009). "Pilot study of black cohosh for the treatment of hot flashes in women." Cancer Investigation, 27(8), 823-830.
Bommer, S., Klein, P., & Suter, A. (2011). "First time proof of sage's tolerability and efficacy in menopausal women with hot flushes." Advances in Therapy, 28(6), 490-500.
van Die, M.D., et al. (2013). "Vitex agnus-castus extracts for female reproductive disorders: a systematic review of clinical trials." Planta Medica, 79(7), 562-575.
- Taku, K., Melby, M. K., Kronenberg, F., Kurzer, M. S., & Messina, M. (2012). Extracted or synthesized soybean isoflavones reduce menopausal hot flash frequency and severity: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Menopause, 19(7), 776-790. doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e3182410159
- Pruthi, S., Qin, R., Terstreip, S. A., Liu, H., Loprinzi, C. L., Shah, T. R., ... & Barton, D. L. (2012). A phase III, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of flaxseed for the treatment of hot flashes: North Central Cancer Treatment Group N08C7. Menopause, 19(1), 48-53. doi:10.1097/gme.0b013e318223b021
- Barton, D. L., Loprinzi, C. L., Quella, S. K., Sloan, J. A., Veeder, M. H., Egner, J. R., ... & Novotny, P. J. (1998). Prospective evaluation of vitamin E for hot flashes in breast cancer survivors. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 16(2), 495-500. doi:10.1200/JCO.1922.214.171.1245
- Sarris, J., Byrne, G. J., Bousman, C., Stough, C., Murphy, J., MacDonald, P., ... & Adams, L. (2019). Adjunctive nutrients in first-episode psychosis: a systematic review of efficacy, tolerability, and neurobiological mechanisms. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 13(2), 178-193. doi:10.1111/eip.12544
- Das, S., Mandal, M., Chakrabarti, S., Mandal, A., & Das, N. (2018). Nutritional Factors in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries, 38(3), 283-301. doi:10.1007/s13410-018-0636-9
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