If you train or exercise regularly and wake from a sweaty sleep with an elevated heart rate and flushed skin, it’s time to examine the cause of your discomfort. Night sweats – repeated episodes of extreme perspiration that can leave you drenched in sweat – are actually quite common; these repeated episodes of extreme perspiration can interrupt nights of quality sleep, causing long-term issues if left untreated. Here’s what you need to know about night sweats.
What Causes Sweaty Sleep Among Athletes?
Athletes who have recently increased their training volume or intensity may start to experience sweaty sleep, as your metabolism will be increased after these workouts which leads to a higher core body temperature. During sleep, you start sweating at a lower core body temperature than when you are awake. So if you have a higher core temperature due to a recent increase in training volume or intensity, or you workout late at night close to bedtime, which increases your core temperature, you will likely experience night sweats. Night sweats can also be caused by not properly re-fueling after intense or prolonged exercise.
However, there are many causes of night sweats independent of exercise, including alcohol consumption, or in more serious cases, a medical condition. Be sure to speak to your doctor if it seems like your night sweats are occurring on a frequent basis, independent of your training volume or intensity or the time of day that you exercise.
Why A Good Night’s Sleep is Important for Athletes
Sleep is undoubtedly one of the most crucial factors for an athlete’s mental and physical health, and performance. The importance of quality sleep for athletic performance cannot be overstated. Athletes cannot perform their best if they are waking throughout the night due to excessive heat and sweating.
Building Muscle: sleep is crucial for repair to damaged muscles from exercise. Sleep generates increased blood flow to the muscles and muscle-building hormones, helping your body strengthen itself throughout the night. Bodily restorative processes also occur during sleep, so losing even just a few hours of sleep every night can severely affect the body’s ability to repair after intense exercise.
Other Problems Caused by Poor Sleep
Loss of quality sleep spurs a multitude of issues, including but not limited to:
- A weakened immune system leading to more illness
- Increased susceptibility to injury that could end your season
- Depleted nutrient and energy stores which will prevent you from performing at your best each day
The importance of sleep cannot be overstated, so if you are experiencing poor sleep due to extreme perspiration during sleep, take steps to sleep cool and keep your well-being and athletic performance at their best.
Solutions to Sweaty Sleep
Luckily, night sweats can often be treated once the cause is identified. You can also make mindful dietary changes to ensure your body is properly fueled during long and intense training periods.
If you’ve dropped your thermostat down and are still experiencing sweaty sleep, the Eight Sleep line of covers can help. The Eight Sleep Pod makes sleeping cool easier by automatically adjusting temperatures continuously throughout the night, cooling all the way down to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, as Dr. Andrew Huberman explained, “what many people don’t realize is that in order to fall and stay asleep, your core body temperature has to drop by about one to three degrees. Conversely, in order to wake up each morning and feel refreshed, your body temperature actually has to increase by one to three degrees. Therefore, controlling the temperature of your sleeping environment is absolutely key.”
If you want to fall asleep faster, wake up less, and increase your recovery, Eight Sleep is here to help. The Pod 3 Cover fits over your existing mattress and does wonders for a cool sleep, but you should also remember to listen to your body during workouts. If you are an athlete suffering from night sweats, try moving your exercise earlier in the day, reducing your training volume or intensity for a few days, and, make sure to properly fuel yourself after training. Your body will thank you, and your athletic performance will, too!