It can be hard to sleep if you’re having night sweats. Up to 75 percent of us are hit with these pesky temperature surges after age 50, and while menopause is often blamed, researchers say for one in three of us, estrogen shortfalls aren’t the problem. To wake up cool and well-rested, experts recommend…
If you often feel blue: St. John’s wort
This herb is a study-proven mood-booster, and research suggests taking 600 mg. to 900 mg. daily could cut your risk of night sweats by 54 percent in eight weeks! Explains study co-author Marjan Khajehei, PhD, St. John’s wort prods your brain to make serotonin — an antidepressant hormone that heightens the body’s ability to control temperature throughout the night. Note: Check with your doctor before supplementing.
If you can’t drift off: melatonin
After age 50, melatonin production drops, and this sleep-inducing hormone also prevents night sweats by keeping your core temperature low. Luckily, two studies suggest that boosting melatonin levels by taking a 3-mg. supplement a half hour before bed will cut night sweats by 53 percent in three months.
If snoring wakes you: side sleeping
Sleep apnea, a condition marked by disrupted breathing, triggers night sweats by prompting the release of stress hormones that cause a body-temperature surge, explains cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, MD. But using pillows to keep you sleeping on your side can reduce apnea and cut night sweats by 65 percent.
If hunger triggers headaches: nuts
Canadian researchers say when blood sugar dips too low at night, it can trigger sweaty temperature spikes. That’s why they recommend 1/3 cup of your favorite nuts before bed to steady blood sugar for eight hours straight.
Good news about night sweats!
They’re a sign that your arteries are strong and are responding properly to hormonal changes. In a surprising Norwegian study, women who dealt with night sweats were 30 percent less likely to develop heart disease.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.