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How Can Drinking Water Help Prevent Night Sweats?

Nocturnal hyperhidrosis, better known as night sweats, is one of the many symptoms that a woman might experience as she approaches menopause. Clammy, uncomfortable, and downright unpleasant, sweats have the potential to disrupt sleep and result in tiredness the following day, and regular outbursts of sweating may also lead to personal hygiene issues. Getting regular, restful sleep is important, but where night sweats are concerned, this is often easier said than done. Drinking more water may play a role in maintaining a consistently cool body temperature and minimizing night sweats.

During perimenopause, you can get peaceful sleep by drinking enough water throughout the day

Why Do Night Sweats Occur?

During perimenopause, the body reduces its hormone production in preparation for menopause. This usually results in hormonal imbalances that can trigger seemingly random changes in internal body temperature, to which the body responds by flushing and producing sweat to cool down. When this happens during the night, this is known as night sweating. While hormones are the primary cause of night sweats, other factors, such as diet and lifestyle, can intensify the symptom.

How Can Drinking Water Help?

The recommended liquid consumption for women is 1.6 liters per day, which equates to around eight 200-mL glasses. While this may sound a lot, it makes sense; approximately two-thirds of body weight is usually made up of water, and the majority of chemical reactions in the body's cells require water to take place. Though any beverage can make up this quota, water is the healthiest source of hydration in terms of weight management, as it does not contain calories or fat.

Drinking water could help prevent night sweats in a number of ways. Firstly, it contributes to the healthy functioning of the body and its various processes in a general sense. Moreover, water helps the body remain consistently cool, which is what's needed to prevent internal temperature increase; sudden and extreme measures of cooling down, like applying an ice pack to the skin, are likely to trigger internal activity and exacerbate sweating in the long run. Drinking water will also help to replenish fluids lost during sweating episodes to prevent dehydration.

Other Ways to Prevent Night Sweats

Of course, water can only go so far in keeping the body cool; it may be necessary for you to adapt your sleeping environment, too. Heaping heavy comforters on the bed and using central heating commonly trigger sweating. To prevent night sweats, keep a small window open as you sleep and layer breathable cotton sheets to sleep beneath to keep the body cool and ventilated.

Similarly, be careful with your choice of nightwear; restrictive fabrics in clingy styles - such as lace thongs - prevent air access to the body and make clamminess more likely. Sleep naked or opt for loose, breathable nightwear, instead.

When it comes to preventing night sweats, a series of simple and natural adjustments to habits and environment is usually all that's needed to relieve the symptom and enjoy restful sleep. Drinking more water is not only free of charge; you'll most likely experience other health benefits as a result of it, such as clearer skin, increased energy, and a greater sense of well-being.

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Sources:
  • Dall, L. & Stanford, J.F. (1990). Fever, Chills, and Night Sweats. In: Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd ed. Boston: Butterworths. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK324/
  • National Health Service UK. (2011). Night Sweats. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/night-sweats/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  • National Health Service UK. (2013). Water and drinks. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/water-drinks.aspx
  • National Institutes of Health. (2011). Sweating: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003218.htm
  • Stanford University. (1998). Sleep hyperhidrosis. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/sweats.html