Review: 'Through the Shadowlands’ describes Julie Rehmeyer's ME/CFS Odyssey
I should note at the outset that this review is based on an audio version of the galleys and the epilogue from the finished work. Julie Rehmeyer sent me the final version as a PDF, but for some reason my text to voice software (Kurzweil) had issues with it. I understand that it is...
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Strategies for managing night sweats?

Discussion in 'Sleep' started by MonicainAz, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. MonicainAz

    MonicainAz

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    Hi all, new here but not to CFS, I have been managing this illness for several years.

    One of the symptoms I'm having a hard time dealing with is night sweats. I am normally very cold when I sleep, but several days a month (right before my period) I get terrible night sweats and my body is just hot. And, still cold at the same time!!! Last night I felt like I was on a rotisserie, the side near the mattress was unbearably hot, but the side near the top was too cold, so I kept turning over every few minutes!! This is no way to sleep. Sometimes I wake up just drenched in sweat, and hot and cold at the same time. It is the most confusing feeling. Even now, up and awake (barely), my skin is cold but the inside of my body is hot??? What the....

    /rant

    Anyway, what strategies have you found are best for coping with this symptom? Have you found that the type of mattress makes a difference? What about the mattress pad? Has anyone tried switching to a wool comforter? What things have made a difference for you?

    We are getting a new mattress (mostly for unrelated reasons) and have decided on the Tuft and Needle mattress which is not memory foam, and claims to have conductive beads to help keep you cool. Does anyone have experience with something similar?

    This issue has been one of my most disturbing cyclical issues. I've had all kinds of testing done on all my hormones, and while I am on BHRT for testosterone, all my "girl" hormones are fine, go figure. I've tried progresterone and various other things to no avail, and have just concluded this is something weird that isn't well understood and I'll just have to learn to manage it as best I can. hopefully some of you who've been through this might have some tips!
     
  2. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    Diet is my cure-all for night sweating. I never have had severe problems with it, but frequently would dampen my sheets and pillow. Infrequently (but still disturbingly when it occured) I would wake up to soaked sheets and wet pillow.

    Bottom line is diet has helped me 100% with night sweating. Whole foods and low fat are best. When I eat like that I do not sweat at night. Period. Sheets dry and comfy all night.

    I know it's diet because I fell off the wagon a bit over the holidays, and it only too me a few days in a row of eating normal food (meaning, just normal stuff like spaghetti with meatballs, baked goods made with refined flour, etc.) and I started started waking up to damp sheets again.

    I'm back on the wagon now and no damp sheets since first day I climbed back on.

    I think it has something to do with the liver and not being able to perform its detoxification functions properly. Liver does a lot of work at night. The liver also has something to do with proper estrogen metabolism, which could be why the sweating gets worse at certain times of the month.

    For whatever that's worth. I can't know if diet will help your problem or not, but that's what cured the sweats for me. My feeling is that diet is the foundation of all health, especially for people battling the problems that we do around here, but YMMV.

    Now if I could just cure waking up from needing to pee... :rolleyes:

    Edited to add: viral issues or chronic infections may play a part in sweating at night, too. But even there a clean diet would probably help simply by taking some of the detox load off the liver.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
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  3. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Senior Member

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    I also agree that diet plays a part in it. When I get too much sugar in my diet my thermostat is out of control.
     
  4. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    I've gone through night sweats from this illness (the first few years were hell) and also menopausal sweats. Here are a few things that work for me:

    1. 100% cotton sheets. Ditch anything with polyester. Cotton will wick away the moisture, whereas polyester will not. I'm not talking about flannel. I think the word I'm searching for is percale; a finely woven cotton.

    2. If you don't like getting into a cold bed, an electric mattress pad set on low keeps the chills away. I turn it off as morning gets closer.

    3. I prefer to wear a light skimpy cotton nightgown and regulate heat with the electric mattress pad.

    4. I use a wool comforter that has a cotton cover. This can get a bit warm by morning, and I have to throw it off at times. I don't think it's any better than any other comforter I've used.

    I'm also very cold when I get into bed at night, so this is what my bedtime regimen is:
    1. Turn the electric mattress pad on to a low setting about 30 minutes before bedtime. Meanwhile, I'm resting on the couch with a fuzzy blanket.
    2. About ten minutes before actually getting into bed, I turn the comforter and top sheet back, lay the fuzzy blanket on the bottom sheet, then cover again with the comforter and top sheet, and crank the mattress pad to a high setting. Then I go brush my teeth and do all the bedtime preparations.
    3. I get into bed, turn the heat down after about ten minutes, and I'm good for the night, except for when it gets close to morning I ditch the fuzzy blanket (it ends up on the floor). In the morning I seem to alternate a lot between comforter on or off, depending on how sweaty I am.

    ETA: When menopausal sweats and summer heat were killing me, I cut my long hair and it helped a lot. I had been keeping it up in a bun the majority of the time. Once I cut it I instantly understood why so few women keep long hair after a certain age.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  5. MonicainAz

    MonicainAz

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    Thanks for the ideas everyone. I haven't noticed that my diet plays too much part in it, but I will try cutting down on sugar and see what that does. Unlike many people with CFS, I seem to be INsensitive to diet changes - I can eat normally or go to a lot of effort to eat clean, and get much the same results. It is so frustrating that so many things about this illness seem to be "your mileage may vary."

    Last night was the first night with the new mattress, and although I didn't sleep well because I'm not used to it and it's still a bit stiff, it DID seem much cooler.

    I'd had cotton sheets before, but they were a high thread count which I've read is not good for trapping heat/moisture. Last night I tried cotton jersey sheets for the first time (they are knitted, like a t-shirt), and I think they helped also. :) I thought they were great but my husband is not so sure.

    But, my sweats may not have been as bad last night, who knows. I don't feel *as* hot this morning, although I am still both hot and cold. I hadn't thought much about the hair - I've had short hair for years and recently started growing it out and it is now shoulder length. I have told people that having long hair is like wearing a wool hat all the time, which really isn't necessary in AZ! :) But I do like the look of it. Tying my hair up today sounds like a good idea. :)
     
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  6. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    One thing about diet...IMO not enough attention is paid to the role of too much omega-6 in health issues. Omega-6 is literally everywhere, even in "mainstream" protein foods like meat, chicken, & fish (mainstream meaning animals that are commercially farmed, not grass-fed, free range, or wild).

    Omega-6 oils (canola, soybean, safflower, corn, etc.) are added to all processed foods and in commercial baked goods. We cook our food in omega-6 oils. Our favorite snacks have nuts in them, which are loaded with omega-6, or we just eat a lot of nuts because they are "good for us".

    I guess I should have clarified that when I say clean diet I mean one mostly free of omega-6 fat. In my experience whether or not I sweat or fee bad is not really about sugar or carbs, or even about the amount of fat, it's what kind of fat. We can even think we're eating a low fat diet but even getting 25% of calories from all or mostly omega-6 is too much for me. I will still sweat and generally feel crappier. Eating a lot of nuts is a sure way to put me in the tank. If that makes any difference. Just saying, in case that's more food for thought (no pun intended :)).
     
  7. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    When it's hot here (rarely), at night I do a braid behind each ear with just one rubber band on each at the bottom. Then the back of my neck is bare, where it seems to help the most.
     
  8. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    Inclining your bed may help with that. Since I have raised the head of my bed by 6" I no longer wake up with a desperate bladder. Depth of sleep has improved as well.
     
  9. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    Didn't work for me. :( I bought an inclined bed frame a few years ago and slept with it elevated 6" for at least two years. No difference. Plus, I would wake up sometimes with my panties in a bunch. Literally instead of figuratively. :lol:

    I suspect my problem has to do with uterine fibroids as well as maybe some kidney issues. I don't know. Kinda pisses me off. Pun intended. ;)

    Seriously, I think it's a good idea for most people. I passed the bedframe onto my mother last year to maybe help her back problems.
     
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  10. PallasKat

    PallasKat

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    I have been dealing with severe night sweats for over 6 years now....it has been really really hard. Like you, it first started several days per month before my period, but over time, it is now almost every night.

    I did do a sleep study recently (which I could only afford it since I qualified for expanded Medicaid...thank you ObamaCare!). I was told that I do not have sleep apnea (which apparently can cause night sweats) but I DO have Periodic Limb Movement Disorder or PLMD. So...I am a little like a dog dreaming of chasing a squirrel in it's sleep ;). My dreams are very vivid, busy and exhausting. I wake up drenched - freezing cold (never hot) with sore/tired muscles and joints. It IS worse closer to my period, but still happens almost every night of the month.

    I have found that what makes me more comfortable in bed is almost the complete opposite of @CFS_for_19_years (we are all so different!)

    I only wear fabrics like lyocell, light weight poly-fleece, lycra blends and basically anything that stretches and wicks moisture. I cannot wear cotton because, although it absorbs nicely, the damp stays in the fabric and gets ice cold against my skin. Also, because I have Fibro, my skin is very sensitive to anything scratchy - and I find that some cotton actually gets scratchy when wet. Wool wouldn't work for that reason too.

    I wish I could wear cotton to bed - I love nothing better than wearing 100% cotton during the day! I also wish I could sleep "pajama free" like I did in my 20s and 30s, but if I do, I wake up all sweaty and sticky and horrible! So sad.

    As far as bedding is concerned. I never use a top sheet because it gets soaked and wads up - yuck. I just use primarily fleecy, ultra soft, wicking blankets. Costco usually has great ones that are quite luxurious and really affordable. Calvin Klein makes a great fleece blanket that washes up nicely for several years: http://www.amazon.com/calvin-klein-plush-queen-blanket/dp/b005m3mad0 . Now, you can buy fleece sheet sets too, which will be my next purchase.

    Because of my night sweats, my Sweetie and I have to have separate blankets. These fleecy, light-weight, un-bulky, soft blankets still make it possible for us to cuddle in the night....which is really nice.

    I live in WA State, so cannabis is legal. Although I never liked using pot, I now eat a tiny portion of a high CBD / low THC edible candy about 3 nights per week. It REALLY helps sleep THROUGH the night sweats and it also calms down my dreams. Sometimes when I do this, I actually wake up feeling refreshed, which is absolutely blissful when you have CFS/ME !!

    Regarding diet, I have completely changed my diet during the last 12 months to exclude all wheat, grains and potatoes. I eat a lot of veggies, quinoa, nuts, seeds, goat cheese, eggs, beans, olives, fish and chicken. This does seem to help (and I have lost over 20 LB). I also try hard to stay away from sugar, but I have a mean sweet tooth. Fruit is wonderful and satisfying, but if I eat too much I get interstitial cystitis (bladder pain flair up from the acid).

    Best of luck to you - I know how disruptive this is and how totally exhausting!! I really feel for you.

    P-Kat :cat:
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
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  11. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    Speaking of sweating, does it mean anything on the flip side if you lose the ability to sweat? I don't mean just at night but during the day or ever? I assume sweating is all autonomic and some of us sweat too much and some do not sweat at all (or is this incorrect?) I feel like if I could sweat even the tiniest bit, I would know something was working right again!
     
  12. hellytheelephant

    hellytheelephant Senior Member

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  13. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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    Don't agree with the cotton sheets. Pure linen is much much better for temperature control both in summer and winter. I could barely believe how much better they are but cannot afford more than one set so have to go back with cotton when they are in the wash. I absolutely love the linen and wish l had bought them much earlier.
     
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  14. PatJ

    PatJ far and free I gaze

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    I wasn't able to sweat for many years after becoming ill. It wasn't until I went through Freddd's treatment that I was able to sweat again. I don't know what it was about the treatment that fixed that problem. I can still perspire even though I stopped the treatment six months ago.
     
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  15. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    This info could be helpful
     
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  16. Gingergrrl

    Gingergrrl Senior Member

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    @PatJ Thanks and was just curious if I was the only one who now lacks the ability to sweat!
     
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  17. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    How funny, taking methylation supplements made me totally sweat-free, except for high histamine (hypoglycemic) sweat bouts, esp. during the night.

    One month ago, though, I finally managed to normalize my estrogen levels, so the sweat bouts are gone and I am sweating again like a normal person.

    My interpretation is that the supplements accelerated the hormone degradation by the liver, and since I was on a phytoestrogen-free diet, I never had enough estrogen for a healthy metabolism. As a bonus, sleep is great and food intolerances are much improved.
     
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  18. Mels

    Mels

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    @Gondwanaland That sounds like a lot of progress, brilliant! I am delighted to read good news!

    WOuld you mind telling how you normalised your oestrogen levels please?

    THank you

    Mels
     
  19. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Hi Mels, I hope my experience can be useful to you.

    After following a lot of bad advice from doctors - bioidentical progesterone cream for someone with low estrogen like me, herbal supplements with isoflavones which had adverse effects on my thyroid, adding flaxseed (too high in lectins and caused me gluten-like painful FM), I finally found a source with the right amount of phytoestrgens that don't cause me FM or hypothyroidism: I add one Table spoon of alfafa or red clover sprouts to my dinner leafy greens. That's it. Just food.

    After only a few days eating it, the sweat bouts were gone, and one month later I had a period. Short and painless. I wonder if my periods will normalize from now on. I have signs that ovulation will happen again in due time.

    The only downside is that I had PMS. When I realized my mood swings were due to PMS I took 2 drops of silymarin extract to help with estrogen metabolism in the liver and it was gone.
     
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  20. Cog71

    Cog71

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    I have exactly the same issue as you - at the same time of the month. It goes from unbearable to hardly noticeable - I still don't know exactly why, but I have noticed the following:

    1) Certain meds will guarantee waking up so drenched I think I've peed the bed. The worst ones are the tricyclic anti-depressants which are also prescribed for sleep. (Amytriptiline, Nortryptiline) and Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) which is actually muscle relaxant but supposedly works like a tricyclic. Also tramadol. When I take doxylamine succinate (anti-histamine which isn't Benadryl) to sleep it actually seems to prevent sweating.

    2) Alcohol. Before fibro I loved a good cocktail. I could easily have 4 or 5 drinks and feel nothing but a vague wooziness in the morning. Now even one glass of wine will guarantee waking up around 4am stating hot with soaking wet sheets.

    3) Tempurpedic. No! We had a foam mattress topper that was fantastic for my aching limbs but I didn't realize how hot it made me. When we took it off a few months ago it was actually wet, and the areas where I lie had been eaten away! Yuk! I also saw hat I believe to be mold. The hub's side was fine.

    4) I have to agree with a PP that cotton is NOT your friend. I have allodynia as part of my fibro, and can only wear cotton during the day because my skin hurts. But in the night it literally traps the sweat and keeps you soaking. Rayon seems to work best for me.

    5) Sometimes when I take too many vitamins I notice an increase in sweating. I'm a bit haphazard with my supplements - very assiduous at times and not at others. But I sure know when I've downed too many because I sweat like a pig.

    6) Silk pillowcase with a zipper from Amazon is your friend - both for your face and because it seems to dry instantly. They change up the names of the brands all th time but my current favorite is Yanibest. About $18 but worth it.
     
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