Night Sweats During Pregnancy – 8 Easy Ways To Prevent

Many physical and hormonal changes happen during pregnancy. Nocturnal hyperhidrosis is the medical term for this and if it occurs women experience heavy sweat and wake-up in the middle of the night. Night sweat during pregnancy is usually happening in the 1st and 3rd trimester of pregnancy. But it varies, as no two pregnancies are the same.  Some women will have problems frequently and some will have occasional hot flashes and wake soaked in sweat and will have uninterrupted sleep rest of the time.  For very few women, the problem may persist even after the delivery.

What night sweats mean?

Night sweats during pregnancy

Night sweats during pregnancy happen because of the excess sweating during sleep and force the patient to wake up in the middle with sweat.  It attributes mainly due to hormonal changes.

Can you have night sweats while pregnant?

Yes, it can happen to anybody. During pregnancy, you will have many physical and hormonal changes. Nocturnal hyperhidrosis or night sweating is one of the most frequent and less severe things happens during pregnancy. Intense perspiration is the visible characterization of the symptom. It can technically define as profuse sweating, and you are forced to wake up due to sweat and unable to continue sleeping without changing the clothes.

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What causes of night sweats while pregnant?

The following are the reason that causes night sweat while pregnant.  Read further:-

Hormonal imbalance:

The fluctuating hormonal levels during pregnancy are the primary cause of night sweats. It occurs when hypothalamus in the brain responsible for regulating body heat starts malfunctioning because of the deficiency of the estrogen hormones. Thus, the malfunctioning hypothalamus increases body temperature at night resulting in uncontrollable sweating. Impaired hypothalamus ejects chemicals into mother’s blood that dilates blood vessel and releases body heat. Shivering or cold sweats in some cases may also happen because of hormonal imbalance.

Medicine:

Women taking medication for various reasons might affect the body temperature and experience night sweats during pregnancy. Women taking aspirin or acetaminophen as painkillers or for fever might experience hot sweats. Even anti-nausea or anti-depressant medicine for nausea might be a cause for night sweat as there will be a rise in body temperature.

Illness:

Infections and disease of various severities can be a reason for night sweat. Infections, viral, autoimmune disorder or cancer, can increase the temperature and so cause extreme night sweats in pregnancy. According to National Cancer Institute, cancer Hodgkin’s lymphoma is an example of an illness that causes drenching night sweat during pregnancy.

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How to stop night sweats while pregnant?

We are unable to recommend any specific remedy for treating night sweats as hormonal levels fluctuate regardless of any precautions. But there are plenty of ways to prevent night sweats it.

Some options are as follows:-

Lifestyle:

Many of us would disagree about any changes in our way of life. But if small changes can bring some comfort, then one should surely give it a try. During the early stage of pregnancy avoid overeating spicy, oily food as it triggers sweat reflex. So does drinking caffeine or alcohol. A balanced diet rich in fiber like rice bran or wheat is the best choice.  So are essential nutrients like Vitamin B, C, D and calcium, which are highly beneficial.

Sugar intake:

Sugar is also considered to be a problem. It increases metabolism causing your body to generate more heat. Eating sweet at dinner or before bedtime can cause more heat generation which releases when you sleep.

Hydration:

Keeping hydrated is a predominant factor to control night sweats. As you lose water when you sweat can make you faint and dizzy. So drink a lot of water. Drinking cold water is also helpful in regulating body temperature. It is a good idea to keep a bottle of cold water handy to you. Keep on gulping small sips at regular interval rather than waiting to become thirsty. Water is best, but natural juices of fruit and vegetables are also nutritious. Avoid sodas and sweetened drinks, as they are empty calories leading to weight gain.

No outdoor exercise:

Avoid exercising outdoors at daytime. Keep it for early morning or evening. Pregnant women can go for swimming under trained instructor. A sedentary lifestyle increases the severity of night sweat. Regular exercise supports general health and regulates the hormonal function of the body. It can reduce the malfunction of the hypothalamus.

Hypothalamus in the brain regulates body heat and sleep cycle. So getting around 8 hours of sleep is essential for a pregnant woman. Try sleeping little early and at the same time every night. Some women might find taking cold shower relaxing and helpful in reducing night sweat.

Comfort:

Pregnancy in its early trimester can be uncomfortable. Trying to reduce the daily life burden is beneficial for the pregnant woman. You can consider wearing light-colored soft cotton clothes especially at night and avoid tight synthetic garments.  Wearing light colored night wears help in staying cool. Also, do not pile too many blankets. Cotton sheets and lightweight blankets are better for minimizing sweat.

Sleep on a towel:

If possible try sleeping on a towel as it can absorb extra sweat. Make sure that you are using light and breathable material. Keep fresh nightgown, cold water and some ice near you. So when you wake up at night, you will have your things handy to cool you down and get back to sleep. The point is to solve your problem without waking you up fully.

Set the room temperature:

The temperature of the room is also play an important role to have night sweats during pregnancy. If it is too warm, it will only aggregate the problem. Open the window, use a fan, and turn on the thermostat or air conditioner as climate permits are some of the practical solutions to maintain the room temperature for avoiding night sweats.

Talc-free powder:

Using talc-free powder in body parts more prone to sweating prevents heat rash. A pregnant woman should also avoid using thick lotions or oils containing a lot of fragrance and ingredients. If at all you wish to use it, then it is preferable to use during daytime. Carrying handheld fan helps in evaporating excess sweat and cooling your skin and reduce the harsh condition of night sweats.

Night sweats do not harm the development of growing baby. It is not a matter of great concern, so nothing to worry about it. When you feel overheated, make sure to go into a cool place which can significantly improve your body condition.

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When should you call for help?

If a pregnant woman experiences uncontrollable night sweats, then it is better to consult a doctor. In the case, if the condition accompanied by palpitation, rapid heartbeat or fevers, then the patient should have to carry out some health checkup as per medical advice, which can help to determine the root cause of the problem. A paper test or starch-iodine test may be necessary to identify the level of night sweats.

The genetic condition will also play a pivotal role for causing night sweats. If the woman is facing night sweats before her pregnancy, there might be some pregnancy-related issues. So you need to consult a doctor for the treatment.

You may also require keeping a healthy diet style to control or prevent night sweats, and for this, you can take advice from a dietitian or health service professionals. Some foods may aggravate the night sweat condition, therefore identifying the food will be helpful to prevent night sweats, and you can accomplish this target with the help of a dietitian.

Certain medical conditions like cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, mononucleosis and other viral infection might cause excessive sweat.  In these circumstances, only a qualified medical professional can take care of your health and the fetus.  Therefore I recommend you to consult a doctor if you are falling under any of these categories.

Conclusion:

Night sweats during pregnancy are usually not dangerous, as it does not harm the pregnancy. It can consider as one of the many uncomfortable symptoms like nausea, heartburn that are common during pregnancy. While there are no fixed rules to eliminate or avoid night sweat, it can reduce its occurrence and recurrence to a considerable level.

Many factors like food, clothing, health, hygiene, and environment play a significant role in controlling extreme night sweats. It can become extremely uncomfortable for the pregnant woman if the situation persists and frequently occurs with a severe attack. So in the interest of mother and baby appropriate care should be taken and recommend you to consult a doctor at the earliest.

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