How to manage night sweats during pregnancy

How to manage night sweats during pregnancy

Increased sweating is a normal part of pregnancy. Explore tips that can help you get a better night's sleep while dealing with pregnancy night sweats.
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When your body is working hard to create an entirely new human, it undergoes all kinds of changes. Unfortunately, sometimes this also means hot flashes and waking up drenched. While night sweats are a normal and common part of pregnancy, it’s a less-than-comfortable side effect. 

We have tips that can help you get a better night's sleep while dealing with pregnancy night sweats. 

When does sweating start during pregnancy?

While increased perspiration may occur throughout all stages of pregnancy, including during the postpartum period, night sweats are most common during the first and third trimesters. 

Women may start to feel hot right at the beginning of pregnancy because of the sudden hormonal changes and increase in blood flow. The heat and sweat might quiet during the second trimester, but often returns during the third one as your body prepares for delivery. 

You may also experience sweating (and itching, but that’s another story) during the postpartum period. This is because the body is working to return to its pre-pregnancy hormonal equilibrium after delivery. 

What causes sweating during pregnancy at night? 

Night sweats, or nocturnal hyperhidrosis, is a normal symptom of pregnancy, but why does it happen? Pregnancy night sweats are brought on by a few factors, including: 

  • Hormonal change. During pregnancy, you go through a lot of changes as your body prepares to care for the baby. This fluctuation in hormone levels is one of the main factors of many pregnancy symptoms, including increased sweating.
  • Faster metabolism. Your body is working for two, and as a result, its heightened metabolism burns more calories at a higher rate, generating more heat in the body.
  • Increased blood circulation. This is also heightened as the body supplies blood to both the mother and the baby. The blood vessels dilate near the surface of the skin, making the body feel hot and the skin warm to the touch.
  • Temperature swings. As your heart and lungs work harder to pump blood and oxygen to the growing fetus, it can cause swings from hot to cold. This is your body’s effort to regulate its temperature during pregnancy.
  • Medication. Some medications are prescribed to help with pregnancy symptoms like nausea. However, many of these medications may prompt increased sweating as a side effect.
  • Illness. Although in most cases night sweats are a normal part of the pregnancy journey, sometimes they can be a sign of e your body’s response to a fever, cold, flu, or another illness. If you think your excessive sweating could be indicative of a fever or infection, consult your healthcare provider immediately. 

In addition to finding safe and comfortable pregnancy sleeping positions, night sweating is another burden on sleep for moms-to-be. Luckily, there are some methods you can try to ease night sweats. 

How to manage night sweating

If you find yourself late at night searching “night sweats pregnant,” here are some tips to try and cool the heat: 

  1. Drink more water in the morning. Increase your fluids early in the day to stay hydrated, but stop drinking water right before bedtime. Getting up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night may disrupt your sleep cycle and cause more heat flashes.
  2. Turn the AC up. Use a fan or air conditioner to increase airflow in your room at night.
  3. Use summer bedding. Sheets that are lightweight and breathable can help you keep cool and wick away excess moisture. 
  4. Wear breathable clothing to bed. As with bedding, dress in lightweight clothing to stay cool while pregnant. Cotton is a great fabric to help oxygen flow to your skin and keep you cooler. 
  5. Avoid certain foods before bed. Carbs, caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, and sugar can be triggers for excess sweating.
  6. Run a cool shower. Taking a rinse during the day or right before bed can help reduce your heart rate, one of the reasons for your increased body temperature throughout pregnancy. It can also help you feel clean and refreshed after a hot flash. 

Hopefully, this list will help you manage your night sweats and bring you ease at night. Remember that it’s normal for your sleep to be disrupted or for your sleep habits to change. If you feel like it’s impacting your quality of life, talk with your doctor about solutions that meet your unique needs.

Stay cool and sleep tight with Nanit 

Pregnancy is an intense process. Hot flashes and pregnancy fatigue just add to the many uncomfortable symptoms. Between hormone fluctuations, increased blood circulation, and a higher metabolism, the changes your body goes through are extreme. 

Do your best to find time for your own self-care during pregnancy with Nanit. Unwind with our Hatch Collection Belly Besties Bundle, or combat headaches and tweaks with the Rescue Me Bundle. The Vitruvi Stone Diffuser with Sleep Oil can also bring calm to a long day of creating new life. 

While we can’t stop the night sweats, we can provide thoughtfully designed products to make your experience a little bit more comfortable.

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    Key takeaways 

    • Night sweats are a common, normal occurrence during pregnancy.
    • Increased perspiration is caused by bodily changes, including hormone shifts, increased blood circulation, and heightened metabolism.
    • Sweating can be abated with lightweight clothing and bedsheets, air conditioning, night showers, and limiting trigger foods. 

     

    Sources

    Verywell family. Excessive Sweating and Night Sweats in Pregnancy. https://www.verywellfamily.com/sweating-during-pregnancy-4687125

    Nct. Pregnancy hormones: progesterone, estrogen and the mood swings. https://www.nct.org.uk/pregnancy/how-you-might-be-feeling/pregnancy-hormones-progesterone-oestrogen-and-mood-swings

    theCheckup. What causes night sweats during pregnancy—and how to find relief. https://www.singlecare.com/blog/night-sweats-pregnancy/

    International Journal of Nursing and Midwifery. Prevalence and factors related to hot flashes and night sweats in postpartum women in Japan. https://academicjournals.org/journal/IJNM/article-full-text-pdf/6831BBD62982 

    WebMB. Can What You Eat Make You Sweat? https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/sweat-how-food-affects 

    NIH. Prospective Evaluation of Hot Flashes during Pregnancy and Postpartum. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4167790/

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    CONTRIBUTORS

    Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

    Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

    Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

    Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.