Why do we get Night Sweats?

There’s nothing worse than being fast asleep and then waking up soaked with sweat. Suddenly you need a complete change of pyjamas and even fresh bed sheets.

We aren’t active in our sleep, so why does this sweating happen? We investigate night sweat causes and treatment of this strange phenomenon.

What are night sweats?

Medically, this is known as sleep hyperhidrosis. This excessive sweating can occur even when the temperature of your bedroom is cool.

While it is really irritating to have to get up in the night and change your bedding, night sweats are completely harmless.

However, repeated occurrences can sometimes be due to an underlying medical condition.

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Causes of night sweats

Night sweats can cause embarrassment, especially if you share your bed with a partner, but they are nothing to worry about as they are a very common occurrence.

Some of the causes include:

Medication

Some antidepressants can sometimes cause night sweats as a side effect, as can aspirin and some psychiatric drugs. Any drugs used to reduce fevers can also cause sweats as a side effect.

Hormones

If you are going through the menopause, you will be used to hot flushes which can also disturb you at night time. If you have missing or irregular periods and no other symptoms, it could be that night sweats are another sign that the menopause is on its way.

Spikes in blood sugar

Fluctations in blood sugar levels decrease the body’s ability to control its own temperature, which can result in night sweats. A high intake of sugar is usually the culprit here.

Cancer

Night sweats can be an early symptom of certain cancers, such as lymphoma however, this is rare, and  you would expect a range of other symptoms alongside it, such as unintended weight loss. If you have any concerns, consult your doctor.

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Night sweats treatment

If you need to know how to stop night sweats, you could look at a few of these top tips before visiting a doctor:

  • Reduce anxiety in your life as stress will increase your chances of sweating excessively in the night.
  • Monitor room temperature and check your heating isn’t coming on unnecessarily during sleeping hours.
  • Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before bed which may cause acid reflux and sweating.
  • Take in less refined sugar as this is a further trigger of sleep hyperhidrosis.
  • Improve the conditions in which you sleep by wearing loose-fitting clothes or leaving a window ajar. Make sure you give yourself the best chance of falling asleep by investing in a comfortable mattress.

 

We hope you enjoyed reading some of these top tips on how to stop night sweats.

It is worth remembering that if you excessively sweat in general, this condition is known as hyperhidrosis, which doesn’t cause a threat but can just be distressing, especially when noticed by others. If this is the case, a prescription antiperspirant may improve your sweating.

It is possible to have night sweats with no identifiable cause and this is known as idiopathic hyperhidrosis.