Many causes of night sweats are found in different people, but most do not show problems. Sweating at night is not uncommon in every age group. The extent of sweating depends on the number of blankets you take at night, the warm nature of your room, and what foods you eat before bed. When you experience more sweat often daily in your clothes and bed, it may indicate a severe medical problem. Read the article completely to understand the causes of night sweats and when to consult a provider. You will also discover the home treatment for night sweats.
What are night sweats?
Night sweats are severe wet sweats that soak through your clothes and bed. It disturbs your sleep. Generally, sweating is a cold process that allows your body to control and maintain your body temperature at a normal range. However, you may not feel comfortable when you experience night sweats. During night sweats, an immediate heat spike develops and spreads in your body. After that, it is followed by sweating, skin coloring turning red, and increased heartbeat. In most cases, night sweats come with menopause. You may receive a signal requiring medical treatment if you have night sweats besides other symptoms.
What causes night sweats?
Every person may experience night sweats. Generally, they are mostly linked with females. Specific hormone changes are connected with reproductive hormones such as estrogen or progesterone may lead you to feel a hot body temperature. High sweating may occur, or your body responds to a flash to cool your body temperature. Several causes of night sweats are possible among people. Following are the known conditions that can lead to night sweat include:
Night sweats may develop due to changes in the hormone levels when you are pregnant. Night sweats that come into your pregnancy develop in the initial three months and the third trimester (which begins from week 27 to childbirth). You may be sweating even after a few weeks when you give birth to a baby. It occurs due to the modification in the hormones before pregnancy.
- Perimenopause and Menopause
Night sweats often develop in females during perimenopause and menopause. Menopause is the duration that starts when you do not have a period for the last twelve months. Perimenopause is the time that comes before menopause. In this condition, female ovaries develop low estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and you may have irregular periods. Generally, women between 40 and 50 have perimenopause.
When you are in perimenopause and menopause, it will affect your hypothalamus (the brain part that manages your body temperature) in regulating your body temperature due to changes in hormone levels. You may experience a feeling of immediate warmness or flu in your neck, chest, and face. Your response to warm body temperature develops to cool down by releasing a high amount of sweat.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is also known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Night sweats may develop due to hormonal variations during the menstrual cycle. A menstrual cycle starts when you have your period. Reduction occurs in estrogen levels, which is often linked with PMS and PMDD. You may have night sweats if you experience symptoms such as cramps and irritability commonly associated with PMS and PMDD.
A few common serious infections may also lead to cause night sweat, such as:
- Osteomyelitis (a type of infection of bones)
- Tuberculosis-a severe transmissible infection that leads to lungs disease
- Endocarditis (infection of heart valves)
- Fungal infections
- Brucellosis (a type of infection that originates from animals with brucellosis
- Infectious mononucleosis
Various types of hormonal changes and hormone disorders may cause a high amount of night sweating, including:
- Low testosterone
- Carcinoid syndrome (a condition in which a carcinoid tumor releases serotonin or chemical substances into the blood vessel)
Hormonal conditions can lead to different symptoms but a few common ones include:
- Pain in the head
- Unexpected or unexplained changes in the weight
- Menstrual changes
- Sexual dysfunction (losing sexual interest)
Medications side effects
Night sweats may develop due to the intake of particular medications. Antidepressant medications are common drugs that can result in night sweats. Some psychiatric drugs are linked with night sweats. Here are some common drugs that lead to night sweats include:
- Pain relief medications, such as aspirin
- Steroids that include cortisone
- Medications for diabetes that reduces blood sugar
- Medications that used for hormone therapy
Stress and anxiety
Depression and anxiety are mental health disorders, but they often possess symptoms. A high amount of sweating is the leading common symptom that is connected with these problems.
You may also experience these conditions, such as
- Having fear, anxiety, or worry about a particular thing.
- Difficulty thinking about things in addition to feelings.
- Sleep disorders
- Stomach or digestive problems
- Unexpected or unexplained pains, aches, or tension in the muscle
- Behavior or mood changes
- Weakness or tiredness
This condition develops when you have low sugar in the blood. It results in sweating at night or during the day. If you are dealing with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you may experience hypoglycemia. You may feel nightmares or confusion when you awake, besides a large amount of sweating during sleep. Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
- Pain in the head
- Irregular heartbeat
- Reduction in hunger
Hyperhidrosis is a condition that may lead to an excessive amount of sweating. You may face difficulty through it in your daily life. This condition may develop without showing causes or also be the symptoms of other health conditions or medication side effects.
These environmental factors, including room, mattress, and clothing, can affect how much you sweat during the night. If your room is warm or your bed is covered with several blankets, it may result in overheating. Your clothes might be heavy, or you have a mattress that is not breathable.
Several external factors that may lead to excessive night sweating other than the sleeping environment are present. These are:
- Use of alcohol at night
- Taking foods that contain spice at dinner or snack at late-night
- Doing physical activity or exercise before sleep
In a few cases, night sweats may develop as a symptom of particular neurological disorders. Many symptoms are possible for neurological disorders, but few of them are listed
- Loss of appetite
- Trembling or shivering
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling or numbness in the arms, legs, feet, and hands
- Lightheaded or dizziness
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Night sweating may also develop sometimes due to GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease), a digestive disease. GERD can occur during the day or at night. Besides night sweats, GERD can lead to:
- Chest pain
- Swallowing issues
- Sleep disorders
- Respiratory disorders, such as coughing or high risk of symptoms of asthma.
You may have unexpected or frequent night sweats that can be signs of cancer. This condition often does not develop. You will experience other symptoms if you are dealing with cancer.
Sleep apnea is one of the sleep disorders that leads to difficulty breathing during sleep, generally occurring at different times of the night. Women who experience menopause with night sweats may lead to a high risk for sleep apnea. You may experience these symptoms of sleep apnea that include:
- Tiredness throughout the day
- Restless sleep in the night
- Difficulty waking up to breath
- Pain in the head
- Difficulty concentrating
When to consult about night sweats with a doctor?
You do not require serious attention if you have infrequent night sweats and do not disturb your sleep quality. You may consult with an online doctor if you experience sleeping difficulty, daily night sweats, or symptoms of it. These are the severe symptoms of night sweats include:
- High fever
- Chronic cough
- Unexpected weight loss
- Stomach pain
- Pain and aches in the body
A provider will understand your symptoms depending on your condition and provide your treatment.
How does a healthcare provider diagnose the cause of night sweats?
Your doctor may use different procedures to find the cause of repeated night sweats. A provider may ask these that include:
- Your symptoms, health history, and medications
- Your family history
- To conduct a physical exam
- To order laboratory or imaging tests depending on your condition
Your provider may recommend a specialist if you have a specific medical condition that needs proper and particular treatment.
How are night sweats related to menopause treated?
The treatment may depend on the cause of the night sweats. Hormone therapy-estrogen or progestin may provide treatment for night sweats menopause. Hormone therapy may also provide benefits if you have symptoms of menopause, such as bone loss and vaginal dryness. You do not require estrogen replacement therapy if you experience a history of breast cancer.
Other treatments to treat night sweats are non-estrogen medications that include:
- Antidepressants – These medicines help to treat hot flashes.
- Megestrol – These help to treat breast and uterine cancers, boost appetite, and gain weight.
- Oxybutynin – These help to treat urinary problems.
- Anticonvulsants – These help to treat and manage seizures.
- Clonidine – These help to treat stress, high blood pressure, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other diseases.
Home Treatment for Night sweats
You may take steps of treatment to get better quality sleep and decrease night sweats.
Following are the preventive things that help to reduce night sweats and feel cooler during bedtime:
- Drink cold water at night.
- Take those pillows and mattresses that fill with cooling gels.
- Take time for daily exercise of at least 30 minutes, including walking, swimming, dancing, etc.
- Avoid wearing heavy clothes at night. Use loose-fitting or lightweight clothes while going to bed.
- Change heavy blankets with breathable or light bed sheets. It will eliminate extra bedding and sleep within the soft layers.
- Take a deep breath and some medications before sleeping time.
- Use a bedroom fan and have open windows throughout the night.
- Put a cold pack on your pillow or mattress. After that, reverse your pillow to cover the rest of the head on the cold surface.
- Do not use night sweats activators, including alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, fatty and spicy foods. Avoid doing exercise just before bedtime.
Different causes of night sweats may show up among people. One of the leading factors is the environment, which includes clothing, room temperature, and bedding. Night sweats are most common in menopause, perimenopause, pregnancy, and at specific intervals during the menstrual period. These may also show the symptoms of another condition that needs medical treatment. You may consult an online professional provider if you have the signs and symptoms of night sweats that lead to poor-quality sleep. Your provider will diagnose you and recommend treatment for the particular cause to get back quality and better sleep.