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Home > Symptom > Night Sweats

Night Sweats

Night Sweats

Overview of Night sweat

Night sweats are very common during menopause, but sweating from night to night when you’re not sleeping may be a sign of an infection, diabetes, or cancer. Night sweats may also be a side effect of the medicine you’re taking. Talk to your doctor or a member of the health care team right away so they can connect you with treatments specifically designed to manage your symptoms and moisture control.

What is night sweating

Night sweats are intense and drenching enough to soak through your clothes and bedding, interrupting your sleep. This is usually a healthy way to cool your body down and keep it at a safe temperature.

One night, you may wake up in the middle of the night with a sudden feeling of heat and cold sweat between your sheets. You'll experience an increased heart rate with reddened skin followed by sweating. You'll wonder what is causing these unsettling changes in your sleep, as they aren't comfortable at all.

Night sweats are a common symptom of menopause. If you experience night sweats in tandem with other symptoms, this may indicate the presence of an underlying condition that warrants medical attention.

Types of Night Sweats

There are two types of night sweats: true night sweats and false night sweats.

  • True night sweats are caused by an underlying medical condition, such as an infection or hormone imbalance.
  • False night sweats, on the other hand, are not caused by a medical condition and are usually the result of overheating due to too many blankets or clothing.

Causes of Night Sweats

There are many potential causes of night sweats. One common cause is menopause. During menopause, hormonal changes can cause hot flashes and night sweats. Other potential causes include infection, anxiety, low blood sugar, thyroid problems, and certain medications. If you're experiencing night sweats, talk to your doctor to determine the underlying cause.

Symptoms of Night Sweats

There are a number of different symptoms that can be associated with night sweats. These can include wakefulness during the night due to sweating, drenching night sweats, and waking up in the morning with damp sheets or clothes. Night sweats can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as hot flashes, chills, headache, and heart palpitations. In some cases, night sweats may be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition such as infection, hormone imbalance, or cancer. 

  • Wakefulness during the Night: If you've ever been awakened in the middle of the night by drenching sweat, you know how uncomfortable night sweats can be. You may feel hot all over or just in one small area. Your sheets and clothing may be drenched, and you may even feel chilled from the evaporation of your sweat.
  • Drenching Night Sweats: Most people experience night sweats at some point in their lives. They’re usually nothing to worry about and can be caused by a number of things, such as anxiety, menopause, or warm weather. However, if you regularly wake up drenched in sweat, it could be a sign of a more serious health condition.
  • Chills: Chills are often one of the first symptoms of night sweats. You may feel a sudden coldness, followed by a wave of heat. These chills can be accompanied by a fever, which is why they’re often mistaken for the flu.
  • Heart Palpitations: One of the most common symptoms of night sweats is heart palpitations. This can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as anxiety or menopause. Heart palpitations can also be caused by medications, including some antidepressants and beta blockers. If you experience heart palpitations at night, it's important to see your doctor to rule out any serious medical conditions.

Night sweats are not as common in women as they are in men, but they can occur at any age. 

If you experience any of these symptoms on a regular basis, it is important to speak to your doctor to rule out any potential causes.

How to Prevent Night Sweats?

To prevent night sweats, it is important to: 

  • Keep cool in general by avoiding hot drinks, spicy foods, and overheated rooms
  • Dress in light, breathable clothing
  • Sleep on breathable sheets and use a light blanket or sheet
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bedtime
  • Exercise regularly
  • Manage stress levels

Treatment for Night Sweats

There are many potential treatments for night sweats, and the best approach depends on the underlying cause. If night sweats are due to hot flashes associated with menopause, hormone therapy may be effective. Other potential treatments include anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications. If night sweats are caused by an infection, treating the infection will usually resolve the problem. Night sweats can also be a side effect of some medications, so changing medications may be necessary. In some cases, making lifestyle changes such as sleeping in a cool room or wearing loose-fitting clothing can help to reduce night sweats.

Conclusion

Night sweats can be a symptom of many different conditions, so it's important to speak to your doctor if you're experiencing them. However, there are some things you can do at home to help manage night sweats and get a better night's sleep. Try wearing loose-fitting clothing to bed and keeping a cool environment in your bedroom. You might also want to avoid spicy foods or alcohol before bedtime. If night sweats are disrupting your sleep and affecting your quality of life, talk to your doctor about possible treatment options.

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