Night sweating is a common problem that affects both men and women. Get an update on the causes, symptoms and how to stop night sweating.
Why do I Sweat at Night?
There are numerous underlying conditions that are associated with this kind of symptom. Just to outline some of them, you may find that when women are in perimenopause or menopause, under medication, with hormonal complications, with low blood sugar and with neurological problems, they are likely to sweat at night. Sweating in the night sometimes is not a cause of worry and should be left alone.
If your sweating is because you have a condition in your body, there are other symptoms that may also experience. In case you have numerous other symptoms apart from sweating in the night, it is good if you book an appointment with your doctor. Other symptoms include the following:
- Chills or shaking due to fever
- Vaginal dryness in women
- Change in moods
- Lose of breath
- Increased heart beat
- Hot flashes
- Forgetting so easily or issues with concentration
All these symptoms may rely on a specific problem that resulted to sweating in the night. Although not common, sweating can also be caused by infections and cancer. Your doctor will treat your night sweat by diagnosing the underlying cause and treating it.
Sweating at Night Causes
To explain this problem further, doctors who work in primary fields are used to hearing of complains about night sweat almost in day to day occasions. Usually, night sweats can be explained as excess sweating that occurs during the night. However, there are cases when your sweating at night is just as a result of keeping your room temperatures high or sleeping with too many cloths, hence this is a normal thing.
For you to separate a serious condition from a normal one, doctors may describe a true sweating as serious hot flashes that occur during the night which may drench your sleepwear and sheets, which are not resulting from the issues of the environment. According to some researches done in the United States, it has been discovered that excessive sweating in the night is a common thing. It is important for you to know that flushing may also be mistaken for night sweats.
Causes of Night Sweats or What Causes Sweating at Night
It is important you know that sweating in the night is a condition that can affect any one regardless of gender or age. There are many issues that may result to sweating that occur in the night. For you to know what is causing your condition or that of your child, your doctor may ask some questions relating to your past medical history or carry out some tests to find out what type of medical underlying condition could be the cause for sweating at night. Note that, knowing the underlying cause is the beginning of an effective treatment of night sweats.
If the night sweats are more serious, you may experience other signs such as drastic weight loss which c cannot be explained due to lymphoma, shaking due to fever and many more. All conditions that cause increased sweating generally (which is not specifically at night) will as well cause sweating in any other time of the day.
The following are some of the reasons for night sweats:
- Perimenopause and menopause
When a woman is undergoing menopausal transition, she may experience some hot flashes which are fond of occurring at night and may result in sweating. Usually, this is a common cause of sweating in the night in women undergoing perimenopause. Usually, women should know that hot flashes in association with vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, and mood changes which are symptoms of perimenopause can as well precede the actual menopause stage by a number of years.
There are cases where low levels of blood glucose may result to night sweats. This condition is also referred to as hypoglycemia. Persons who suffer from diabetes are commonly known to have this symptom especially those who are taking insulin or oral anti-diabetic medications. They may experience a hypoglycemia in the night which is associated with sweating.
- Hormone levels disorders
This is another common condition that is known to resulting in increased sweating in the night. There are several hormonal disorders such as pheochromocytoma which is a type of adrenal gland tumor which overproduce hormones referred to as catecholamines, carcinoid syndrome which is a condition whereby there is overproduction of some hormones by tumors of lungs and gastrointestinal system, and hyperthyroidism – excess in levels of thyroid hormones, which are known to appear with sweating at night and flushing symptoms.
- Idiopathic hyperhidrosis
Some sources have revealed that, there are some times when your body can just produce excess sweat without any identifiable cause. This is what is referred to as idiopathic hyperhidrosis. This is normal condition and it should not cause you to go into a panic mode.
- An infection
There are several infections that are known to show up with symptoms such as sweating at night. For example, people suffering from tuberculosis usually experience night sweat that is also associated with increased coughing. Also, there are other many bacterial infections that associate night sweat as their common symptom. These may include: endocarditis infection which is an inflammation of heart valves, osteomyelitis – the inflammation of the bones due to an infection, abscess such as boils, tonsils, and aids virus infection.
As we have said above, though in rare cases, you may experience sweating at night which is as a result of cancer infection. This is considered as one of the early symptoms of cancer. Sources have revealed that sweating at night is associated mostly with lymphoma type of cancer. However, if the cancer condition has not yet been diagnosed, there are other symptoms that you may experience apart from night sweats.
There are some medications that may as well cause you to sweat at night. In case you do not have any other physical signs such as tumor or an infection, and you have taken some medications such as anti-depressants, then that could be the reason why you are sweating in the night.
It has been concluded that all types of anti- depressants can resulting in sweating at night as a side effect, which mostly covers a range of between 8 to 20% of people using them. Apart from that, even other psychiatric medications can cause you to sweat at night.
- Obstruction sleep apnea
This is a condition whereby the walls of your throat may narrow causing restricted breathing. This is the reason why you may hear some people snoring at night. However, a part from snoring, a person suffering from this condition may also sweat at night. Research reveals that those people who have untreated obstructive sleep apnea are three time common as compared to other people.
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition that affects the esophagus. Some of the symptoms that are associated with condition include heartburn and sweating at night as well.
Obesity is a condition of having too much weight as compared to what your height should withstand. People who have increased body mass have difficult in doing most of the things including normal metabolic processes. Therefore, during the night these people may experience increased sweating even if they are not covered with thick clothing or duvets.
- Other medications side effects
Also, medications that are taken to lower fever such as aspirin and acetaminophen may sometimes be associated with sweating at night. Some other drugs may as well result in flushing or reddening of the skin around cheeks and neck as said above, and this may be confused with sweating that occur at night.
- Neurological conditions
Researchers also have concluded that there are some neurologic conditions that may result in sweating at night and even at day time. Some of these conditions may include stroke, autonomic dysreflexia, post-traumatic syringomyelia as well as autonomic neuropathy.
Night Sweats Men
Sweating at night in male is usually considered as serious hot flashes that commonly appear at night. When a man has night sweats, this may result in excess drench of night clothing as well as beddings. Often, sweating that occur at night may result in loss of sleep since you are feeling an intense heat that is above the normal warmth that bring about nice sleep.
There are several causes of sweating in the night but when it comes to men, we specify on some of them. Usually, sweating in men in the night is not as a result of intense heat alone but may also be caused by the malfunctioning of the hypothalamus – the part of brain that control temperature regulation. This malfunctioning occurs in this way; the hypothalamus receives a wrong signal as a result of hormonal imbalance communicating that the body has more heat and this causes the body to react immediately to remove the non-existing excess heat.
The low levels of testosterone hormones which are found in andropausal men are known to be the common cause of false signals the hypothalamus receive. High levels of stress or cortisol and a poor diet are known to be the main contributors of sweating at night. Also, men who have poor body fitness may sweat in the night.
Night Sweats Women
In some women, hot flashes and sweating in the night are usually not so much frequent and they can be managed. However, in others, the conditions can be intense and therefore cause problems when it comes to normal quality life.
Women who experience sweating in the night may be having problems with hormonal imbalances. In recent cases, it was thought that having low levels of estrogen would cause problems. However, sources have revealed that having too much estrogen and too little progesterone could be the cause for sweating at night in women.
Also, dis-functioning of some other hormones in the body that come from adrenals, ovaries, thyroid pancreas and gastrointestinal tract can result to night sweats in women. Most of the conditions we have talked about above may cause women to sweat as well. It is usually a process to keep these systems in balance, and it may be challenging in women since they undergo several midlife changes. However, we shall discuss several activities in this post that can help in dealing with these conditions.
Cold Sweats at Night
Cold sweats are not same as night sweats. Cold sweats usually occur when you experience a sudden chill in the body which is associated with increased sweating, regardless of the hot or cold weather that may be around your area. In most cases, cold sweats usually appear in the palms, armpits and soles of your legs. When compared to normal sweating, cold sweating at night is not as a result of much exercise or higher temperatures.
When experiencing normal night sweats, you may wake up in the middle of the night soaked in drenches of sweat which may make all your beddings and night cloths wet. Night sweat usually occurs while you are sleeping while cold sweats can occur at night even before sleep. As we have said above, cold sweats only occur in specific areas and not the whole body and they are not limited to sleeping time or being in bed.
Causes of cold sweats
There are numerous issues that can result in cold sweats. In most cases, cold sweats are associated with fight or response. This is a condition that occur when your body respond to fear hence prepare to run away or when you get hurt. Also, cold sweats show up in conditions which prevent oxygen or blood from moving around the body. There are some conditions that can cause cold sweats as we have shared below:
Shock is a response that occurs when the body reacts to harsh environmental conditions or a serious trauma. When you experience shock, organs of the body usually do not get enough oxygen or blood as they normally do. If your body stays in this state for longer hours, your body organs can fail. If not treated, shock can develop into a fatal condition.
- Infection and sepsis
Usually, infections are caused by disease causing organisms such as bacteria and viruses that affect the body tissues. Often, infections causes the body tissues to be inflamed as the immune system is compromised due to increased fighting with germs.
Sepsis is a condition that occurs when the immune system responds to severe disease causing germs in the body tissues and organs. When sepsis occurs, there is inflammation in the whole body. This may result in internal blood clotting or blood spillage out of the vessels, hence making some organs not to receive fresh blood with oxygen, therefore resulting in cold sweating at night. This is a life threatening condition and should never be taken for granted.
Other conditions that may result in cold sweat include:
- Nausea or vertigo
- Intense pain from injury
- Stress and anxiety
How to Stop Night Sweats
In many cases, treatment of sweating in the night usually relies on the underlying condition that caused it. As we have said above, there are some night sweats that are harmless and clear off without medical intervention. However, if there are severe signs associated with night sweats, it important that you visit the nearest medical center.
Doctors that treat sweating at night
Normally, this condition is usually treated by internists, gynecologists or family practice specialists. In case the sweating in the night is caused by a specific kind of condition, a doctor specialized in that condition will be the best in treating that condition and therefore sweating will go away.
How to stop sweating in the night
For you to stop this condition there are several things you must look at in order to stop the problem. This includes the following:
- avoid the triggers
You should make sure you stay away from triggers of night sweats at all times. For example, smoking, wearing tight clothing while sleeping, use of heavy duvets, drinking alcohol and overwarming your rooms and allowing yourself to be overwhelmed with stress are issues that should be avoided.
- Establish helpful habits
Also, there are habits that are carried on day to day activities that can also help in treating this condition. You have to make sure you are free from stress before going to bed. This may be done by exercising during the day. Make sure you wear loose cloths while you go to bed.
- Find relief when you are sleeping
Sweating at night and hot flashes usually occur when you try to sleep. However, finding a way to get relief quickly may help you go back to your sleep immediately. You may try to relax to cool your body and also turn down temperatures in your bed room by making sure it is well aerated.
- Add supplements to your diet
Use of natural foods and supplements may help also to bring down this condition if it is caused by hormonal problems or lack of some nutrients. Some sources have revealed that some supplements work marvelous when it comes to solving hot flashes and sweating at night.
- Night sweats and treatments involved: http://www.medicinenet.com/night_sweats/article.htm
- Night sweats causes: http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/night-sweats/basics/causes/sym-20050768
- Causes of night sweats: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296818.php
- What area night sweats in men: https://www.bodylogicmd.com/for-men/night-sweats
- Hot flashes and night sweats: https://womeninbalance.org/symptoms-solutions/hot-flashes-night-sweats/