Night sweats or sleep hyperhidrosis can affect people, which makes them feel afraid for their well-being. The condition refers to the extreme perspiration that can occur repeatedly. You can soak your clothes as a result of excess perspiration. Several underlying medical condition or illness can result in the condition. The condition can also occur due to simple causes like warm environment or using too many clothes. It is important to know the actual problem resulting in the issue. In some cases, excessive sweating at night can make people feel afraid of sleep. It means you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
What Do You Mean By Night Sweats?
Night sweats refer to the excess perspiration when you sleep. It can cause discomfort in your life. You can get up many times at night due to the problem. So, it can break your sleep cycle. Men and women can suffer from the problem due to different causes. In women, menopause can result in the condition. While men can suffer from it due to taking certain medications or having medical conditions. The hot flashes, severe in nature can drench your sleepwear as well as sheets you sleep in. You may not feel seeing a doctor when the condition occurs infrequently.
For the condition that occurs frequently, you need medical assistance. Sleep hyperhidrosis can affect your regular sleep pattern. So, you can feel the issue pulling you back from living a good and healthy life. You need medical assistance as early as possible when you suffer other symptoms along with the persistent sweating at night. Look for the following signs:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Localized pain
The above-mentioned signs indicate you need medical assistance to manage the problem. So, talk to your doctor as some signs can point towards life-altering complications. With proper care at the right time, you can prevent the underlying health issue from worsening.
Symptoms Of Night Sweats
You may confuse the problem with other simple issues. You can sweat too much with a hot environment or when you wear too warm clothes to bed. Sleep hyperhidrosis is distinguished from the other issues due to its symptoms. When you experience the condition, you can have the following signs:
- Persistent sweating causing drenching of sleepwear and/or bedsheets
- Excess sweating that interferes with your sleep and disrupts the cycle
- Does not occur due to environmental factors, like a too hot bedroom
When the excess sweating causes you to lose sleep, you need to see a doctor. It is important to manage the condition before it becomes severe and affects your life adversely.
Difference Between Benign And Severe Cases Of Night Sweats
You can sweat profusely at night due to different reasons. But, it is important to know the underlying cause to detect its severity. The benign form of problems will not affect your life as you can easily overcome them. By making some small changes in your sleeping arrangements, you can manage simple causes that lead to sweating episodes at night. While serious issues with serious underlying causes need medical attention. The nocturnal hot flashes and sweating episodes due to serious issues can make your life hell. Therefore, take notice of the actual problem leading to profuse sweating episodes at night. The three main environmental factors leading to sweating and drenching of your clothes/bedsheet are:
Warm Clothes Or Bedding
Wearing inappropriate clothes can make you sweat more. So, you need to wear according to the seasons. For example, wearing multiple layers of clothes in summer can make you sweat. Sleeping on multiple layers of heavy bedding can also result in such a problem. Try to wear appropriate clothes to bed to ensure thermoregulation. Thermoregulation is nothing but maintaining consistent body temperature. Your circadian cycle (it refers to the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that can follow your daily cycle) is linked to thermoregulation. So, your body naturally cools down at night when you sleep. It increases slightly during the day to make you active. The increase in body temperature during the day offers you a boost of energy to perform the daily activities.
You need a lower body temperature at night for uninterrupted sleep. Wearing breathable fabrics (or naked) aids in cooling your body during nighttime. So, you can avoid profuse sweating due to warm clothing. Choose bed sheets that keep your body cool and does not increase the temperature. Cool bed sheets made from natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, etc. prevents perspiration. It can whisk away any sweat produced and keep you dry throughout the night.
High Bedroom Temperature
Having an overly warm bedroom temperature can also make you sweat at night. Keeping the bedroom close to mid-sixties (degrees Fahrenheit) can make you fall asleep faster. In normal cases, the body temperature drops as night approaches. So, your body gets the signal to slow down and rest. A hot room can block the signal of the body, making you feel uncomfortable. The high temperature can make your body hot and cause excess sweating. So, you can become drenched in sweat and wake up in the middle of the night. The disruptive sleep pattern causes adverse reactions in your body.
Underlying Health Conditions
When you suffer from occasional cold or fever, your immune system kicks into high gear to combat the problem. It helps you recover your health. The immune system’s working to overcome the cold and fever can raise the body’s core temperature. The increase in temperature can lead to night sweats. Once you get well, the sweating also stops. So, excessive sweating cannot persist once you regain health.
The above-mentioned cases are benign. So, the sweating can go away once you make some changes. So, by changing the bedding, sleepwear, adjusting the temperature in your bedroom, or overcome any illness, the sweating can stop completely. If the problem persists, it means you have some serious health problems. So, you need to make an appointment with your doctor to talk about the condition.
Different Causes Of Night Sweat
The severe cases of night sweats can arise from a variety of causes. Men and women can suffer from the issue due to varying reasons. It differs from sweat produced due to hot weather or rigorous workouts. Excessive sweating can occur at night time, especially when you sleep due to serious health conditions. If you have persistent sweating, you need to talk to your doctor. You may suffer from serious issues like:
Infection can trigger excessive sweating at night. Any infection caused by bacteria, virus or parasite can make you feel hot. So, you can sweat a lot during the day or night. Some of the infections causing the persistent sweating are:
- Tuberculosis (TB)
The life-threatening diseases or febrile illness can result in the problem. You can experience other symptoms like vomiting, jitteriness, and overall weakness due to the condition. When you see such signs, it requires immediate hospitalization.
You can experience imbalance in your hormones. The endocrine discrepancy can result in excess sweating at night. The following condition can cause hormonal imbalance in your body:
It is one of the common causes of night sweats in women. Perimenopause and menopausal women can experience altered levels of estrogen and progesterone levels. So, it interferes with the body’s normal temperature regulation. It causes hot flashes along with excessive sweating.
People with diabetes can have fluctuating sugar levels in their blood. When the blood sugar levels drop at night (nocturnal hypoglycemia), it can trigger several symptoms in your body. Headaches and severe sweating are common signs associated with the issue. The symptoms can disrupt your sleep cycle due to damp bedding and discomfort.
Thyroid problems can result in fluctuation in thyroxine levels. Hyperthyroidism can result in excess weight loss. So, your body can feel overheated. It results in sweating profusely during the day as well as night.
Puberty can cause hormonal changes in the body. It can result in sweating at night.
Pregnant women can experience several unpleasant symptoms. They can also suffer from discomfort when trying to sleep. The hormonal fluctuations in the body can trigger a sense of feeling too hot. So, pregnancy can cause excess sweating during the day or at night.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
When people experience narrowing of the throat walls, it can cause problems with breathing. People with untreated sleep apnea can suffer from excessive sweating during night time more often compared to others.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD refers to the digestive disorder affecting the LES (lower esophageal sphincter). LES is the ring of the muscle present between your esophagus and stomach. The condition can cause acid indigestion and heartburn. In most people, the disease can also cause excessive sweating.
Excessive sweating can indicate one of the early signs of cancer. Other symptoms can also appear along with sweating at night. In the majority of cases, the following types of cancer can lead to night sweats:
When you have excess weight on your body, it can worsen the sweating. Overweight and obesity can pose several problems, including sleep issues. So, you can experience an increased risk of sleep problems like obstructive sleep apnea.
Mood disorders and anxiety issues can cause excessive sweating at night. The issue can cause stress and affect your sleep cycle adversely. So, severe stress and anxiety can lead to negative problems including night sweats.
It is a condition that causes you to sweat more. People affected by the condition can chronically produce too much perspiration without any identifiable medical condition.
Side Effects Of Medications
You can experience excess sweating due to the side effects of taking some medications. The medications used to treat common problems can result in the condition. The generic medication prescribed by the doctors triggering the condition includes:
- Medication to treat depression (antidepressants)
- Drugs prescribed by your doctor to treat diabetes, especially for the low sugar levels (hypoglycemic agents)
- Drugs like hormone-blocking medication to treat specific types of cancers (hormone therapy)
Other Problems Causing Night Sweats
Apart from the above-mentioned problems, you can also experience severe perspiration when you experience the following issues:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Substance abuse (recreational drugs like heroin)
- Parkinson’s disease
Diagnosing Night Sweats
In the majority of cases, the condition does not lead to serious complications. The benign form of issue can alleviate by making some small changes. But, in some cases, excessive sweating can indicate an underlying medical condition that needs immediate medical treatment. You need to see your doctor when the condition occurs frequently, disturb your sleep cycle or experience other symptoms. When you suffer from the following issues along with sweating, get medical assistance:
- High fever
- Unexplained weight loss
People with already diagnosed health conditions like lymphoma or HIV need to see their doctor. The excess sweating at night can indicate the rapid progression of the disease. Your doctor can diagnose the condition by performing the following:
Your doctor can ask about your medical history and perform a complete physical assessment to detect the exact cause of sweating. Your doctor can suggest other tests to eliminate the presence of other issues (Thyroid tests, Erythrocyte sedimentation rate evaluation, etc.)
Complete Blood Count
The CBC can help your doctor detect any infections that can lead to the condition. It can also rule out any problem causing the excess perspiration.
The chest radiograph, as well as the CT scans to the chest and abdominal region can detect the presence of serious health conditions.
Treatment Options For Night Sweats
If you have severe perspiration that affects your sleep cycle, then you need to see a doctor. In most cases, you can suffer from health issues leading to the sweating at night. Your doctor can suggest treatment for the condition based on the specific diagnosis. So, you have the following methods to overcome the condition:
If you have hot flashes and excess sweating due to menopause, then you need to undergo hormone therapy. The hormone therapy gives you relief from the severe symptoms associated with the condition. You can see a visible difference in the symptoms as you undergo the suggested therapy. Your doctor can also prescribe the following medication to offer relief:
If bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections lead to excessive sweating at night, then you need medication to cure it. Once you control the infections, the signs associated with the problem clears by itself. So, based on the type of infection, your doctor can suggest antibiotics, antiviral or other drugs.
Some types of cancer can lead to night sweats. So, your doctor develops a treatment plan to get rid of the cancerous cells. The treatment usually combines two or more techniques to eliminate malignant cells. So, you need to undergo a combination of treatments like:
Side-Effects Of Medications
Some cases of night sweats are linked to the side-effects of certain medications you take to get relief from a specific health condition. So, you need to talk to your doctor about the excessive perspiration at night. The doctor can adjust the dose of the medication you take or recommend another drug to address the health issue. The modified dosage or alternate medication can help overcome the condition.
Use of drugs or consuming too much alcohol can result in the condition. Therefore, you need to address the root problem to get relief. You need to avoid using the substances that can lead to the condition. If you cannot quit using the substance, you need professional assistance to quit the problem. Your doctor can prescribe medications or therapy to help quit the bad habit.
You need to adopt some stress alleviating techniques to reduce the negative emotion from your life. The excess pressure can lead to anxiety and other issues. So, practice some relaxation techniques to overcome the problem.
Prevent Night Sweats
Is it possible to prevent night sweats? You can manage some causes leading to the condition. So, you can prevent the problem by including some steps. It will lower your risk of experiencing night sweats. You can follow the steps suggested below to reduce excessive sweating at night:
Consume Less Alcohol
Alcohol consumption is not good for your health. You need to limit the consumption of spirits to reduce excess sweating at night.
Avoid Using Drugs
Try to avoid using recreational or illegal drugs that can make you sweat more. Apart from developing dependency issues and other health problems, taking drugs can impact your life adversely.
Keep your bedroom comfortable and maintain a cooler temperature at night. It will help you feel relaxed. You can wind down completely at night and have a fitful sleep.
Avoid Certain Habits
Before going to bed, try to avoid certain habits that can increase your risk of sweating at night. So, you need to follow the pointers:
- Never exercise close to bedtime as it can increase your sweating at night.
- Avoid eating spicy food before going to bed
- Try not to drink warm fluids like coffee too close to your bedtime.
Immediate Medical Attention
If you experience other signs along with sweating, it can indicate underlying problems. So, get immediate medical attention. The care and management of your doctors can alleviate the root problem. So, you can overcome the excessive sweating at night with ease.
You can experience sweating at night due to some simple conditions. So, you need to monitor your signs closely to distinguish it from true night sweats. Since several issues can contribute to the problem, you need medical assistance to deal with the issue. So, get an appointment with your doctor to determine the actual cause of sweating. With proper care and medications, you can alleviate the medical condition responsible for excessive perspiration at night. It will ensure you get uninterrupted sleep at night. Therefore, you can function properly in the morning without any health issues.
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