Written by Mallory Junggren
Night sweats, nighttime hot flashes, sweaty beddy, sleep hyperhidrosis. Whatever you call it, these terms all describe one of the most disruptive and uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. Night sweats can range from mild to extremely intense. Waking up in the middle of the night to clammy, sweat-soaked sheets is not only unpleasant; it also leaves you feeling exhausted, especially when it happens night after night. Luckily, there are things you can do to get quality shut eye if you suffer from night sweats. One positive step you can take is to use different sleepwear. Here are tips on how to find pajamas that will help keep you cool and comfortable at night.
Finding the Right Fabric for Menopause Pajamas
There are pros and cons for different fabrics used for menopause sleepwear. We aren’t suggesting one fabric above all others; you’ll have to try them for yourself and decide which works best for you.
Contrary to popular belief, when it comes to staying cool and dry, natural isn’t always better. Fabrics like cotton, linen, and even wool were once thought to be best for sleepwear because they’re highly breathable and soft to the touch. Those are indeed the benefits for natural fibers. Where they fall short, however, is in moisture retention. Natural fabrics tend to absorb sweat. Instead of evaporating, the sweat is soaked up by the fabric, so your jammies stay wet and make you feel as if you’re wearing a wet blanket.
One positive attribute of polyester and other manufactured fabrics is that they have excellent wicking properties. They pull moisture away from the body to the exterior of the fabric where it can evaporate more easily and won’t leave you cold and damp. This quality makes synthetics perfect for workout clothes. On the negative side, when you’re in bed, where the air isn’t circulating, the moisture just collects in pools instead of drying.
In a somewhat different category is bamboo. Touted as organic and eco-friendly, fabric made from sustainable bamboo provides clothing that’s soft, comfortable, and naturally breathable.
Wood pulp, another option, is used to create a fiber called lyocell. The best-known brand name under which lyocell is marketed is TENCEL™. The processing technologies to manufacture lyocell are considered to be more environmentally benign.
In short, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for menopause sleepwear. Besides choosing among different fabrics, women have different preferences in bedtime attire. Some feel more comfortable wearing nightgowns or nightshirts, while others prefer pajamas with pants and tops.
Manufacturers have taken notice of the problem posed by night sweats, realizing that keeping women cool, comfortable, and dry in bed is a great business opportunity. As a result, there are now a number of companies that offer specialty sweat-wicking sleepwear.
Top Brands for Menopause Pajamas
Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular, cool sleepwear:
Lunya: You’ve probably seen the ads for Lunya’s chic loungewear and washable silk PJs. The brand has an entire section of their website dedicated to Hot Sleepers, offering minimal and monochromatic camis, slips and sleep briefs. These PJs are made of a variety of fabrics, from breathable modal to a cooling pima and transdry cotton blend. Many are also antimicrobial, meaning you can wear the clothing longer before washing.
HotMama Sleepwear, a product of HotCool Wear: Made from both Coolmax and bamboo fabrics, these garments are engineered to move sweat away from the body to the outer layer of the fabric so that it dries faster than most other fabrics. In addition to sleepwear, HotCool Wear has a selection of other clothing, ranging from lingerie to separates, caftans, and workout clothing. The company also offers pillowcases made of the same moisture-wicking fabrics.
Cool-jams: Made from polyester microfiber, this brand of sleepwear wicks away moisture and is breathable, while also eliminating odor-causing bacteria. The manufacturer states that the fabric feels like cotton but has a superior ability to wick and dry. The garments are said to combine the best features of natural and synthetic fibers. The company offers a large line of basic sleepwear in traditional styles.
Cool Nights by Soma: This brand has nightgowns, PJs, robes, and cami-style nightshirts in their Cool Nights exclusive line. The sleepwear is made with lightweight rayon fibers that feel cool to the touch and prevent the fabric from sticking to your body. The pajamas are said to retain its shape and continue to drape well after being machine washed. PJ sets are an option, but you can also mix and match tops and bottoms to find your perfect fit and style.
For more sleepwear options, check out this top 11 list from Health.com, where you’ll find a selection of cool sleepwear from several manufacturers. The list offers a variety of sleepwear, from basic T-shirt tops to lacey nightgowns to pajamas with short and long pants.
Additional Options for Night Sweat Relief
If you’ve tried everything to stay cool, but night sweats are still keeping you up, be sure to see your healthcare provider. There are both prescription drugs that replace the hormones you’re losing (hormone replacement therapy) and hormone-free, non-prescription supplements available.
Relizen® has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce menopausal hot flashes at night.* Learn more.
* Data supporting Relizen’s improvement in quality of sleep was gathered from our open-label study.