Night sweats and supercompensation?


Does anyone know of any research on the relationship between night sweats and supercompensation? Or sweating at night and exercise/recovery more generally?

I ask because basically all the time I’ve been doing structured work and being sure that I’m pushing myself, my recovery will include waking up having sweated at night. Nothing dramatic – I’d say sticky or damp, rather than drenched – but enough to be noticeable.

The unusual thing is that it seems to be associated with recovery more than it does exercise. Specifically, I have these nights at times I feel like my fitness is really levelling up. Last night, for example, was the Monday rest day at the beginning of a recovery week; as expected, I woke up clammy.

It previously happened to me during a big period of run training, too, which is also incidentally my only significant structured work in running. The same thing: happening rarely, always after big days.

In the moment – that is, when I wake up, half-asleep and damp – I tend to think that it makes perfect sense because my body is doing a lot through the process of supercompensation, and of course some of that work will throw off waste as heat. Which I don’t think really makes any scientific sense, but is some clue to how established the correlation is in my brain, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was some more reasonable version of this process.

It’s got to the point that I sort of don’t mind it because it feels like an indicator that something of some kind is going on. But would be grateful to know what that something is! It would also be nice to stop it happening, if I can, though it’s not so miserable to be a big problem.

Having read through a few of the threads on here about night sweats, I don’t think much of it applies to me. People seem to get them chronically, and independent of exercise and recovery, which is absolutely not the case. Others get them from doing more obvious things like working out late, which doesn’t really apply for the reasons outlined above.

Grateful for any help! Thanks!

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If you drink alcohol at night try limiting or stopping and see what happens. Alcohol=low blood sugar=adrenaline…

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I don’t – or only a little bit on the weekends. It doesn’t take much to wreck my recovery (both in terms of how I feel and on metrics like Whoop’s recovery score/HRV), and so on nights when that happens then neither are the sweats – they only really happen when I’m feeling properly rested and like I’m improving.

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I only sweat at night when I eat wayyy too much. Particularly, for me, lots of dietary fats before bed will trigger this, but if I go crazy on carbs and/or protein that will do it too.

But I also sleep with the air con on all year round haha.

I don’t know about sweat but when I have completed hard 1.5hr workouts I am hot at night. I just assume this was my body recovering.

Yeah that was my assumption too. I suppose I wonder

I found this article that suggested much the same, but only in passing and at the end of talking about something else.

Dr. LaForgia says he has not studied sensations of warmth, and Dr. Kenny says that if someone feels warm that long, it is not an effect of delayed heat dissipation.

Instead, it might be caused by yet another exercise effect — the body’s efforts to repair subtle tissue damage from all that exercise. The immune system can kick in, and so can enzymes that repair muscles and require heat-producing energy. Maybe the heat-generating effects of damage repair are the reason Dr. Laursen kicked off the covers that night after his 90-mile ride.

If true that would also explain how it can happen on the night after a rest day, I suppose.

But would be keen to know what specifically is going on there…

I sweat more at night if I drink alcohol or eat sugar.

Same as above I’ll get the carbs/sugar sweats if I eat wayyy too much. If I eat too much I take a digestive enzyme and that helps a little.