5 Things you should know why you sweat in your sleep!

Waking up in a puddle of sweat is not the best experience in life, yet it happens to many people. Some have to wake up in the middle of the night to change their bedding, and this disruption may make them not feel well-rested in the morning. You may ask yourself, “Why Do I Sweat in my Sleep?”. Night sweats are caused by different factors and can be prevented using simple tips and techniques. Managing night sweats can also require medical attention, especially if they are persistent. This article will help you understand night sweats better and how best to deal with them.

What Are Night Sweats?

Night sweats refer to [1] frequent episodes of heavy perspiration that soaks your clothes or bedding. Usually, night sweats are a symptom of an underlying health condition. However, you may experience one isolated incident of excessive sweating at night without having an underlying health or medical condition. Such an incident could be caused by sleeping under too warm or heavy blankets and comforters. Often, choosing the wrong bed sheets for the weather causes excessive sweating. For instance, bamboo sheets are warmer than linen. These isolated incidents are not necessarily classified as night sweats.

Since most people find it challenging to distinguish between real night sweats and the isolated incidents, medical experts have explained what night sweats are in detail. Night sweats do not include those caused by very warm surroundings. Instead, real night sweats are characterized by severe hot flashes that are not induced by an overheated environment.

Usually, night sweats are accompanied [2] by other symptoms, including the following;

  • Hot flashes
  • Mood changes
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Painful intercourse
  • Difficulty concentrating/ forgetfulness
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Shaking and chills

What Causes Night Sweats?

Different reasons can cause night sweats. Finding the root cause often requires a doctor’s visit. A qualified medical officer analyzes your medical history and orders tests to determine the cause of excessive night sweating. Some of the common causes of night sweats [3] are explored below.

Menopause

Menopause is one of the most common causes of excessive night sweating in women. Usually, they experience hot flashes and excessive perspiration at night.

Idiopathic hyperhidrosis

The body produces excessive sweat without any identifiable medical reason in idiopathic hyperhidrosis. People suffering from this condition experience chronic night sweats.

Infections

Certain infections are known to cause night sweats. These include Tuberculosis and HIV. Bacterial infections such as inflammation of the heart valves or bones and abscesses also cause night sweats.

Cancers

Excessive sweating during sleep is one of the symptoms of some types of cancer, especially Lymphoma. Usually, these night sweats are accompanied by fever and unexplained weight loss.

Certain Medications

Some drugs can cause night sweats as one of the side effects. Antidepressants and other psychiatric medications, for example, tend to cause excessive sweating during sleep. Other drugs that may cause night sweats are those taken to manage fever, such as aspirin.

Hypoglycemia

Low blood glucose levels cause excessive sweating at night. Hypoglycemia commonly affects Diabatetic people on insulin or other oral medications, so they tend to sweat a lot at night.

Hormone Disorders

Some hormone disorders cause flushing or sweating. These include hyperthyroidism, carcinoid syndrome, and pheochromocytoma.

How to Treat Night Sweats

We have already established that in most cases, night sweats are a symptom of an underlying condition. For this reason, there is no specific treatment for night sweats. Instead, the underlying problem should be managed or treated by a medical expert. If you experience night sweats frequently, the best thing to do is schedule a doctor’s appointment. The doctor will help you to know and address the underlying condition before giving you a diagnosis.

If the underlying condition is menopause, for example, the doctor may recommend hormone therapy. The therapy will reduce hot flashes and relieve other symptoms. Other medications may also be prescribed. If the underlying cause is an infection, antiviral drugs or antibiotics may be prescribed to treat it. If necessary, the medical expert will recommend you to change or adjust your sleeping habits. You can also make your room cooler to manage the night sweats. Making the sleeping conditions more favorable may also involve choosing the best comforter for hot sleepers.

Preventing Night Sweats

Although different reasons may cause night sweats, you can take some steps to prevent night sweats. Some of the easy steps you can take are listed below.

  • Reduce alcohol or caffeine consumption
  • Stop using tobacco and illegal drugs
  • Ensure your bedroom temperature is cool and comfortable at night
  • Avoid exercising, ingesting warm drinks or spicy food close to your bedtime
  • Seek immediate medical attention in case you suspect an illness or have an infection

When to See a Doctor

It is essential to know that experiencing a night of excessive sweating is not unusual. You may sweat a lot if your bedroom is overly warm or you use many blankets. Sleeping in very warm clothes on a hot night may also cause excessive sweating. If night sweating happens once in a blue moon, it is probably not a cause for alarm. You should schedule an appointment to see a doctor [4] if the night sweats occur regularly, disrupt your sleep, or are accompanied by fever, cough, diarrhea, localized pain, and weight loss. If you already have a lymphoma or HIV diagnosis, night sweats may indicate the progression of the condition.

Conclusion

Night sweats normally cause discomfort and disrupt sleep. If they occur once in a long while, they should not cause you to worry. However, if they occur frequently, they could be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Therefore, you should seek medical attention if they occur often or are accompanied by other symptoms such as unexplained weight loss. Night sweats are best managed by treating the underlying condition and making some lifestyle changes.

Citations

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/night-sweats/basics/definition/sym-20050768#
  2. https://www.medicinenet.com/night_sweats/article.htm
  3. https://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/8-causes-of-night-sweats
  4. https://www.healthline.com/health/night-sweats
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