Caffeine and night sweats, are they related?
I started drinking coffee during this COVID shut down. It tasted good. It gave me a much needed boost. I had time to drink it in the morning. And it gave me something with some substance to take in while intermittent fasting.
Normally, I don’t do well with caffeine (because of my vata and pitta constitutions), but for some reason during the shelter in place, I wasn’t having the effects I normally do—jitters and stomach pain later in the day. My hypothesis is that without my normal schedule of running around from appointment to teaching and back again (the air element of vata), I wasn’t over-stimulated. After a short frenzy of shifting all my yoga classes online I had time to sit and reflect about all that was going on.
Fast forward to May, into June. I start waking up in the middle of the night, drenched. Sweat dripping from my legs. Completely soaking through my night clothes and sheets. I began sleeping with a towel underneath me. I would soak through 2 changes of night clothes every night.
This hadn’t happened to me in a while–it had been about 7 years since I thought I had figured out my hormone imbalance issues. So naturally, that is where my mind went again. I was curious if I was actually now heading into peri-menopause–more age appropriate now, than when it occurred in my past. Or perhaps it was the added stress of bubbling up racial tensions and unrest across the world. Or perhaps the more frequent sugar and alcohol imbibing. Or maybe all of it at once!
There are also other sources of night sweats to consider……cancer, thyroid conditions, diabetes, auto-immune conditions etc. So please do diligence to rule other things out. Believe me, my mind went there too.
So I tried my go-to’s….adding in diindolylmethane (DIM-Evail) that helps process estrogens. I started taking Femmenessence, which has Maca, a phytoestrogen. I tried carving out the sugar and alcohol to see if that made a difference. I tried cooling breaths (Shitali and Sitkari) at night.
Nothing seemed to help.
Until, one night I woke up in one of those horrid sweats, and the first thing that came to mind was…..you’ve got to stop the coffee. You’ve got to.
And so I did. No caffeine for the last 4 days.
And here I am, 4 nights in and no night sweats. It is a glorious feeling to wake up dry. The towel is gone.
In all of my searches for what causes night sweats, caffeine never came up once. It was all the more scary things that could happen on the health spectrum. So I wanted to share my story, because it might just be a simple fix.
There are studies to show that there is some correlation between vasomotor symptoms (night sweats, hot flashes) and caffeine during menopause, post-menopause. And we know that caffeine stimulates your physiologic responses anyhow–increased heart rate and stimulation of your sympathetic nervous system.
And it did cross my mind that the half life of caffeine in the body is ~8 hours (I talk about this in my sleep course). So, I knew that if I drank it at 10am, that by by 6pm I would still have 50% in my body. So that by 12am to 2am, it would still be processing through–which is when I would normally experience the night sweats. This is also the time of pitta, when the liver is processing your intake from the day before.
So it makes sense. I will say that from April to May, I was drinking Peet’s coffee and didn’t have any night sweats. Then about May, I purchased some coffee from Julie’s Coffee & Tea–it was a bit heartier and earthier–it was about this time that my night sweats started. Now, whether it was the type of coffee bean, or perhaps just an accumulation of caffeine in my system over the past month, I’m not certain. My next experiment is to possibly shift coffee beans and see if it still happens.
But part of me doesn’t even want to go there. I may treat coffee like a delicacy. A treat on the weekends or something.
Here’s to dry nights and less laundry! And to feeling empowered by my choices.
I welcome your feedback and if you find this information helpful, please share with your colleagues and your friends. I would love to hear how you may have if you’ve experienced night sweats. If so, is caffeine a part of your story that you could alter the outcomes? Contact Tianna if you are seeking ways to add a more holistic lifestyle approach, so you can live in a space of vitality.
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