Excessive sweating during sleep is a common symptom in both men and women. Various medical conditions lead to night sweats.
Sweating due to warm rooms or too many clothes on is usually normal. It is important to differentiate between night sweats that arise from medical causes from those that occur because of unusually hot surroundings. Real night sweats are referred to as severe hot flashes occurring at night that can soak through your sleepwear and bedsheets.
Some of the common reasons for night sweats are:
● Stress and anxiety disorders
● Menopause in females
○ This is when women stop having their periods. Significant hormonal changes are occurring in the body during this time, which can be a common driver of hot flashes.
● Idiopathic hyperhidrosis
○ It is a harmless condition in which the body produces too much sweat without any identifiable medical cause.
○ Some antidepressants and steroids may cause night sweats
○ The infection commonly associated with night sweats is tuberculosis. Others are endocarditis, osteomyelitis, HIV, etc. This is mainly because infections can trigger fever and overheat the patient.
● Excessive caffeine intake
● Drug abuse
● Alcohol abuse
● Gastroesophageal reflux disease
○ It is an early symptom of some cancers, such as lymphoma. Other than that, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy for cancer treatment may provoke night sweats.
● Hormonal imbalances
○ such as overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes, elevated blood sugar level, and abnormal sex hormones.
● Sleep disorders
○ such as obstructive sleep apnea that causes you to stop breathing while asleep because of throat tissue that blocks your airway.
This condition can be worrying and bothersome. As there are various causes of night sweats, no single treatment option will stop them. Several steps may be involved to resolve this specific situation.
The most common treatment methods include:
● Modifications to environment and behavior
○ Sleeping in a cooler bedroom.
○ Avoiding tight clothes while sleeping.
○ Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and drug abuse.
○ Drinking cold water before going to bed.
○ Keeping an ice pack under your pillow to keep yourself cool.
○ Maintaining a healthy weight, as being overweight can contribute to many health problems which may lead to night sweats.
○ Trying to relax through relaxation techniques, such as deep, controlled breathing before going to bed. This reduces hot flashes in menopausal women.
● Cognitive-behavioral therapy
○ CBT is a type of counseling conducted in person by a psychiatrist or a counselor to help people with depression, anxiety, and insomnia. According to a study, CBT for hot flashes and night sweats can improve one's quality of life and help them get better sleep.
○ One should know if any existing medicine is the cause of their night sweats. If yes, you need to talk to your doctor so he can change the prescription or the dosage that is causing night sweats. If it's because of an underlying infection or hormonal imbalance, medication may help address it.
You need to talk to your doctor if you have night sweats that are:
● Frequently wake you up from sleep
● Persistent over time
● Affecting your sleep
● Interfering with other aspects of your daily life
● Accompanied by unexplained weight loss observed over time
● Observed with other health problems, such as high temperature, cough or diarrhea
Most people who experience night sweats do not raise the issue with a doctor. Meeting with a doctor is important because they'll help diagnose and determine the likely cause of your sweating. They may order tests to get to the bottom of the situation. Your doctor can make a treatment plan for you so you can have better sleep hygiene.