A hormonal imbalance or other medical conditions can lead to night sweats or hot flashes that occur during the night. Although the main trigger of night sweats is a change in hormones, eating certain foods such as carbohydrates may contribute to the incident. If you are experiencing night sweats on a regular basis, consult your physician to rule out any other possible causes.
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Most people experience night sweats, or excessive sweating during sleep, from time to time. The cause of night sweats varies, including simple causes such as too many blankets or heavy clothes at night. Night sweats are a side effect of some medications, including antidepressants and hormone replacement therapy. Women going through menopause may experience night sweats as their hormones change. Night sweats can also be a sign of a more serious condition, like infections, cancer, stroke or an overactive thyroid.
Carbohydrates contain glucose, blood sugar that fuels brain cells. Grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables are good sources of carbohydrates. Although your body uses carbohydrates for energy, too many carbohydrates at one time can actually deprive your brain of glucose, according to the Franklin Institute. Some hormones, such as insulin and glucagon, are important in the metabolism of carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar stable.
Because eating carbohydrates, especially simple sugars, causes your blood sugar to rise and fall rapidly, carbohydrates can be responsible for night sweats. Avoid eating a snack or meal high in carbohydrates right before bed. If you need to have a sweet snack before bedtime, choose a snack that is low in sugar and carbohydrates. Also, steer clear of other foods and beverages that can trigger night sweats, such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and spicy foods.
The treatment for night sweats varies with the cause. Talk to your doctor to determine what could be causing your night sweats. Avoid things that trigger your night sweats, such as certain foods or beverages. Some naturopaths recommend herbs to reduce these sweats. Black cohosh, red clover, passionflower and wild yam are some of the herbal remedies that have been used by women for many years. If your night sweats are caused by menopause, hormonal replacement therapy may be helpful in reducing your symptoms.