Is it possible to reduce night sweats naturally without extreme measures or prescription medicine? The answer is, yes!
Instead of offering quick solutions to the symptoms, I think it’s important to help you address night sweats from the root of the problem. In my opinion, this is the very best way to go for long-term benefits. So, keep in mind, you’ll need to be consistent and patient to see improvements. But these steps really can work!
What are night sweats?
Night sweats are episodes of intense sweating during the nighttime. Typically they are heavy enough to soak through pajamas or even bedding.
Why do they happen?
While you can find several theories on why night sweats happen, most involve liver congestion. At the root of the problem is toxic overload.
The liver handles filtering both toxins and hormones. This can be problematic during periods of hormonal fluctuation such as during your cycle. Why? If the toxic load on the liver is already high, it can be difficult to handle the additional hormone load.
A natural solution is for the body to “help” the liver detoxify via sweat. This can lead to intense night sweats.
What are some ways to reduce night sweats naturally?
As you will see, most of these tips are targeted to improve liver health. Liver congestion and toxic buildup are a huge root cause of night sweats. So if we address liver health, then improvement in night sweats can naturally follow. I’ve used these tips for my clients at my practice and they see great results!
Let’s dive into how to address night sweats naturally:
1. Eat a healing diet.
Eating a healing diet is where I encourage all of my clients to start when they’re trying to reduce night sweats. Honestly, it’s where I encourage anyone to start when they’re trying to heal almost anything!
The food you eat either improves or damages your health. Eating for health is actually quite simple:
Low Sugar, Whole Foods, Nutrient Dense
The liver benefits greatly from improving the quality of your diet! This is because the liver filters so many of the toxic things we consume through our diet. This includes alcohol, chemicals, excess hormones, high amounts of sugar, inflammatory or rancid oils and more.
Remove all highly processed vegetable and seed oils from the diet. These are oils like: vegetable oil, corn oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, etc. These oils are highly inflammatory.
I suggest keeping sugar consumption to 20-30 grams or lower per day. The liver is responsible for processing sugar. When we intake too much sugar, it burdens the liver. As a result, the liver has difficulty keeping up with other detoxification.
Beyond that, simply eat real, whole and unprocessed foods. I love focusing on tons of vegetables, lots of healthy fats, proteins from organic, pastured sources and some healthy carbohydrates. Fermented foods and cultured and raw dairy are excellent foods to consume as part of a healing diet.
For further information on what a low sugar, whole food, nutrient dense diet looks like, check out these resources:
Animal Fats + Organ Meats
Healthy animal fats and organ meats provide the body with the nutrients and vitamins needed to support the liver.
Some of my favorite sources of animal fats are: butter, ghee, tallow, duck fat, pastured eggs, and raw or cultured dairy. The liver needs healthy amounts of retinol (vitamin A) found in animal fats for efficient detoxification.
Eating organ meats 1-2 times a week is also supportive of the liver. Organ meats are high in Vitamin A, B vitamins, choline and more.
2. Prioritize sleep and stress reduction.
I firmly believe you cannot heal if you do not sleep. Sleep is foundational to optimal health. It is during sleep that our bodies do their deepest detoxification and regeneration.
I also realize that night sweats can be disruptive to sleep! Don’t stress over disrupted sleep due to night sweats. Instead, focus on what you can control. This includes the practices you put into place to set yourself up for your best sleep possible.
You may be surprised to learn that sleep and liver function are very connected. This is because the liver is synced to the circadian rhythm. As with other organs, the liver does its deepest detoxification during the night while sleeping.
Here are some suggestions to improve quality sleep and, thus, liver health:
- Going to bed and waking up around the same time every day
- Getting morning sunlight directly to your eyes upon waking
- Getting evening sunset rays directly to your eyes
- Keeping the temperature in your room cool
- Avoiding blue light and screens 1-2 hours before bed
Staying on a schedule and being consistent with “sleep hygiene” can go a long ways in improving health and reducing night sweats. If you’re having trouble with sleep, click here for some tips.
The Parasympathetic State
The parasympathetic state is the “rest, digest and heal” state. The sympathetic state is the body’s “fight, flight or freeze” state.
Detoxification is a parasympathetic process. So unless we are working to actively reduce stress and enter a rested state, it’s difficult for the body to remove toxins. This can lead to toxic buildup and worse, night sweats.
Here are some easy-to-implement ways to reduce stress:
- Get outside. Cortisol naturally lowers when you spend time outdoors. I cannot suggest this more highly!
- Read the Bible, pray, meditate or journal.
- See a counselor to deal with past trauma and hurt.
- Spend time with loved ones.
- Sleep. Seriously! It’s so healing.
- Take a walk or do something you love.
- Play! Leisure is more than just fun. It’s important for physical and mental wellbeing.
For more reading on this topic, check out 15 Ways to Reduce Anxiety When You Have Thyroid Disease.
3. Move your body.
Gentle movement is a fabulous tool to combat night sweats! It encourages detoxification, lymphatic flow and improved general well-being.
Gentle movement of the body is very supportive of liver detoxification. It improves blood and lymphatic flow, which eases the burden on the liver.
Be careful not to over exercise. That can add stress to the liver. I address the best way to move your body so that you can heal and detox in this article.
My favorite ways to incorporate movement into my day are: walking, pilates and yoga. These types of movements lower cortisol, which reduces the stress on the liver.
I know what you’re thinking. I struggle with night sweats and you’re encouraging me to sweat?! It’s counterintuitive, but sweating appropriately supports detoxification and actually reduces night sweats!
Don’t be afraid to sweat while exercising or in the sauna, etc. This is appropriate and even helpful. It encourages the release of toxins through the skin and eases the burden on the liver.
As I mentioned, one of my favorite ways to sweat is in the sauna. The one I use gives you the benefits of sweating, increasing body temperature and near infrared light all in one!
4. Focus on gentle detoxification.
I’d encourage you to make these detoxification practices part of your daily and/or weekly routine. Liver detoxification is necessary for night sweat reduction as well as overall health. You can support it by any of the following:
Castor oil packs over the liver are a gentle way to detoxify the liver and encourage lymphatic flow. Castor oil packs stimulate the lymphatic system, which gets toxins flowing through detox pathways and out of the body. They are best done 3-4 times a week.
Beet kvass is a tonic that cleanses the liver. It is high in the phytonutrient betaine. It is an easy way to support detoxification and help improve night sweats
I like to drink a small glass first thing each morning. It is inexpensive and very easy to make.
5. Consider Supplementation
Livaplex is a fantastic whole food supplement that supports gentle liver detox.
I also really like using LivCo for myself personally and my clients. It’s a combination of milk thistle, schisandra and rosemary and it helps support natural detoxification and healthy liver function. I like taking one before bed to support my liver while sleeping.
I hope this article gives you a good foothold for where to start in naturally reducing your night sweats. Unfortunately, they will not go away in a day. But if you implement my suggestions consistently and give yourself some time, I’m confident you’ll see improvements!