Sunday, January 1, 2012

Some Reasons for Night Sweats

If you have ever woken up in the middle of the night sweating profusely, you have experienced a common condition called night sweats. They may occur because of a number of benign causes, and your physical activity is one factor that may affect your risk. Running may increase your chances of experiencing this unpleasant condition. However, for some individuals, running may offer a way to rid yourself of this discomfort.

What Are Night Sweats?

Just as the name implies, night sweats are episodes of heavy perspiration during the night, typically during sleep. They may occur even if your bedroom temperature is at a comfortable level. Night sweats are a common compliant, and they usually don't indicate a serious issue. Several things can cause them to occur. Medications such as antidepressants or hormone therapy may trigger a spell. Other more serious causes include hyperthyroidism, tuberculosis or certain types of infections. You may find them merely bothersome. However, if they continually disrupt your sleep, you should consult your doctor.

Exercise Effects

Exercise may affect your tendency to experience night sweats, especially intense activity like running. Running will raise your heart rate upward of 90 percent of your maximum heart rate, or 220 minus your age. Exercising at that intensity affects the levels of circulating thyroid hormones in your body. These hormones regulate metabolism, which can explain the effect of running on night sweats. A study by the GENLAB Medical Diagnostics and Research Laboratory in Turkey, published in the December 2005 issue of “Neuroendocrinology Letters,” found that moderate and intense exercise increased hormonal activity, with moderate exercise showing the most noticeable effects.

Night Sweats and Menopause

Another reason behind your night sweats may be hormones. Night sweats are a common symptom of peri-menopausal and menopausal women. Because of the effects on thyroid hormones, you may wonder if night sweats are caused by menopause. Researchers at Queensland University looked at the effects of physical activity on menopausal symptoms in a study published in the January-February 2008 issue of “Menopause.” Researchers found that physical activity did not affect symptoms. However, weight loss reduced symptoms and improved the quality of life. Running may offer a weight loss solution.

Running and Calorie Burn

As a form of exercise, it is hard to beat running. Exercising at a moderate or intense level improves cardiovascular health and reduces your risk of osteoporosis. It may also lower your blood pressure. In terms of night sweats caused by menopause, it may offer the key to managing your weight. A 160-lb. woman running for an hour at 8 mph will burn about 986 calories. If you run three times a week, you are well on your way to losing a pound a week without any other lifestyle changes. The boost in your metabolism from thyroid hormone activity will allow you to further benefit from running and help alleviate your night sweats.

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