The weather is finally more comfy for sleep… if only you weren’t jolted awake by night sweats! At least 75 percent of us battle them at some point, and if you’re tired of waking up drenched, help is here…
Also get heartburn? Try a pillow trick.
Acid reflux doubles your risk of night sweats. Why? “If stomach acid washes up into your throat when you lie down, it disrupts a group of nerves that help keep your core temperature steady,” explains internist Barb Finn, MD.
But sleeping on your left side with an extra pillow tucked under your head speeds stomach emptying, which UCLA doctors say cuts risk of nighttime heartburn and sweating in half.
Also edgy? Try stretching.
If levels of stress hormones are high at bedtime, they triple your risk of waking up drenched! To stay calm and cool all night, end your day with 20 minutes of deep breathing and relaxing stretches. Researchers at Wake Forest University say yoga cuts anxiety in half, plus night sweats by up to 66 percent.
Also feeling blah? Try 5-HTP amino acid.
Mood-boosting serotonin keeps you cool at night by steadying your body temperature, says Michael Breus, Ph., author of The Power of When (Buy on Amazon, $17.79). Raising levels with an amino acid called 5-HTP can cut blah moods and night sweats by 52 percent in six weeks, Georgetown University researchers report. The study-proven dose? 300 mg. daily. Note: Check with a doctor before supplementing.
Also have ‘day sweats’? Try melatonin.
Melatonin doesn’t just deepen sleep, it powers the temperature-control part of your brain. And Canadian scientists say taking 3 mg. before bed can cut night sweats (and daytime hot flashes) by 53 percent in three months. Try: Life Extension Melatonin 3 mg. (LifeExtension.com/ww).
Over 50? Try maca.
Falling estrogen levels make hot flashes the number one complaint of women in menopausal years. Thankfully, an ancient Peruvian root called maca can help by combating the hormone dips that trigger sweats. Studies show women who took 2,000 mg. of maca daily had a 31 percent reduction in hot flash severity after a month and 62 percent after two months.
Bonus cool tip: Keeping your bedroom between 61 degrees Fahrenheit and 64 degrees Fahrenheit helps your body release excess heat quickly, say British researchers, cutting risk of night sweats by up to 68 percent.
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This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.