In order to stop night sweats naturally you should learn about the mechanics of sweating. There is no reason why you should suffer from night sweats ever again. Once you understand how sweating evolves, you will have the knowledge to make night sweats stop.
Your Body Uses The Following Methods To Keep Itself Cool:
- Radiation (your body is always radiating heat, like standing by something hot)
- Conduction (this is like the heat you would feel if you touched something hot)
- Convection (this is the heat that is picked up and moved by air, hair dryer)
- Sweating (we are trying to avoid this)
Typically body cooling takes place in that very order. If the body can not cool itself via radiation, conduction, or convection, you will start to sweat.
The Temperature Pendulum
The objective of this article is to teach you how keep your body cool and keep from sweating at night. To fully evaluate your options for managing night sweats you must understand each method of cooling your body.
Note that people who suffer from night sweats have a varying body temperature (hot flash). Therefore you will look at the cooling cycle with that in mind.
A Balancing Act
The temperature balancing act starts when you get in bed at night. You feel the cool of the sheets and the comfort of the bed. This is a good example of conductive heat transfer. Whenever there is a difference in temperature between the object you are touching and your body, you will feel either a warming sensation or a cooling sensation.
Remember that heat travels from hot objects to cooler objects. So if you touch ice you feel cold because the heat is leaving your body and going into the ice.
If you touch something that is warmer than your body you feel warmer because heat is moving from the hot object into your body. That is conductive heat transfer.
When you get in bed it feels cool. Right away your bed starts to absorb the heat your body is generating. The problem arises when the material that is absorbing your body heat is no longer able to absorb more heat. At that point your body starts to look for other methods of cooling.
In Your Bed
Heat transference by radiation will be absorbed by your bed. Radiant energy will be absorbed by the bed material until you reach a point at which the bed can no longer absorb more radiant heat.
Conductive heat transference, which is the heat that is transferred when you touch something, will be absorbed into your bed as well. This heat will also accumulate until your bed can no longer absorb any more.
Convection, which is the transference of heat by conveying that heat, in this case to air, is only effective when you can generate air movement within that space. Heat will transfer from your body to the air around you and then move off, either by a buoyancy difference or by induced movement.
Being that you are in a bed, covered with sheets, and the air surrounding you is trapped, the fresh air required for convection to work properly, is not there.
But if that was the case wouldn’t everyone sweat in bed? The short answer is no.
There is a point where you reach equilibrium between heat absorption of your bed and heat generation of your body. This is the point where your bed is able to absorb enough heat to keep you comfortable. This is your comfort zone.
Let’s say your body generates 200 units of heat every minute. Now equilibrium is where the bed is able to absorb 200 units of heat each minute. At that point you can sleep comfortably; you are in an equalized state.
Those Hot Bodies
If you are suffering from night sweats, your body is generating heat at different levels during the night. Although you are able to get into bed and it feels nice and cool, that feeling quickly fades. For those of us that have night sweats, we are dealing with a body that generates heat at varying temperatures all night long. The extra heat builds up in your bed during the night and leads right to sweating.
This buildup of heat in your bed starts a downhill roll into sweating. Once the extra heat starts to accumulate, and your body starts to get warmer, the only method left for cooling your body is sweating. You must get the heat out of your bed.
Turning Off the Oven
So the question is how you solve the problem of excessive heat that leads to sweating. In order to do this you must look at the three main methods of cooling and see what you can work with to keep your body and bed cool.
- Radiation, this energy is absorbed into your bed and will accumulate. You must cool the bed to eliminate this heat
- Conduction, Conductive heat transferred into your bed will accumulate and must be eliminated by cooling the bed as well.
Keeping your room cooler will help your bed absorb more radiant and conductive heat but relying on this method can be cumbersome. The cost associated with hyper cooling a room, the effect extra coolness has on other members of the house and the reaction time (too little too late), are just a few reasons to look elsewhere. This is the method that doctors are prescribing when they tell you to keep your room cooler. Remember the bed that absorbs 250 units of heat is a cold bed when you are only generating 200 units of heat.
- Convection requires air movement to be effective. Unlike the first two methods it is not relying on a cool bed to cool your body. Convection is relying on the movement of air to cool your body and your bed. So how do you move air when you are between the sheets?
There are several things you can do to move the air between your sheets. One is to kick off the covers and let some cool air in. The other is to raise the sheets and allow some air to flow in. When you lower the sheets the hot air flows out, the other option is to use a fan made specifically for this situation.
Keeping Your Cool
A special fan that can generate a light breeze between your sheets will be more effective than lowering your thermostat by six to eight degrees. A system like this will generate a light breeze that will travel between your sheets along your body and push the hot air out of your bed. It will also eliminate the heat that has been building-up within your bed and keep you body cool.
This type of cooling system will also benefit you in the following ways.
- Lower air conditioning bills.
- Rapid reaction time, with the fan speed controller right under your pillow
- Can be directed at a single user
- Cools your body and your bed
The extra body heat that you generate during the night, will be quickly moved out from between your sheets. This simple breeze will keep your body from ever reaching the point at which you start to sweat. This is the most effective method of dealing with night sweats when you look at it from a thermal dynamics point of view.
There are other methods of dealing with the effects of night sweats, like wicking pajamas and absorbent sheets, but those are not dealing with the problem at hand. They are only dealing with the aftermath of the problem. They are collecting sweat. What you want to do is keep from sweating all together. See what others are saying about our night sweat elimination program.
By Shelley M. Tompkins
Shelley M. Tompkins is the co-founder of Tompkins research, a specialty engineering firm concentrating on real life issues and logical methods to resolving problems. Her company developed, manufactures and distributes the Bedfan personal cooling system. A product designed strictly out of necessity and made with simplicity in mind. Let us show you how night sweats can be stopped. See what our clients are saying about the methods implied in this article.
The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.