People tell us that everything has a reason and that tomorrow is going to be better. For those who experience night sweats, tomorrow is enduring hours of perspiring, tossing, and turning.
Falling back asleep only to wake up shortly after because you are sweating like crazy! The question that is always in your head is why do you get night sweats and what can you do about it.
You’re not alone in this excessive sweating problem. My co-writer Oscar started this blog because he has been living with hyperhidrosis for more than half of his life. Check out his story and how he successfully managed this condition here.
If you find yourself waking up drenched in sweat during the night, you are most likely to be suffering from night sweats. Sleep hyperhidrosis, or night sweats, is a condition where a person repeatedly has episodes of extreme sweating that can leave the sheets drenched.
Night sweats or sleep hyperhidrosis is not the same as when you wake up in the middle of your sleep sweating because your blanket is too heavy or the sudden change in the room’s temperature. Furthermore, both men and women can experience night sweats.
However, if you are the type who likes keeping your bedroom temperature hot or you are wearing more layers of clothes, then, waking up drenched in sweat is completely normal and should not be considered as something to be worried about.
Symptoms of night sweats
Depending on the cause of your night sweats, other symptoms may occur. There are tell-tale symptoms for sleep hyperhidrosis or night sweats which can help in confirming the condition:
- 1. Shaking and chills that happens when you have a fever.
- 2. Unexplained weight loss due to a case of lymphoma.
- 3. Episodes of night sweats due to menopausal transition are completely normal but are typically joined by other symptoms such as vaginal dryness, daytime hot flashes, and more frequent mood changes.
- 4. Some medical conditions like diabetes cause increased sweating, in general, will result in increased sweating at different hours of the day but are not confined to hyperhidrosis.
Given that some different causes and symptoms could easily confuse us, the real question is: When should I start worrying and go see my general physician?
Please watch the video below on the common causes of night sweats:
Less concerning causes of night sweats
Most of the time, whatever is causing your episodes of night sweats could not be identified. However, there are some symptoms that we may experience on top of nighttime sweating that could help identify underlying medical issues that are going on in your body.
1. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Together with night sweats, GERD can cause: heartburn that can come after meals, chest pain or esophageal spasms, regurgitation (when liquid or food you just tried to ingest comes back up), sleep issues, respiratory problems (including coughing, wheezing, or increased symptoms of asthma)
2. Stress and anxiety
Anxiety and stress affect us mentally but we tend to look past the physical manifestations that should be considered as warning levels.
If you are having episodes of night sweats due to stress and anxiety, you might be having these as well
- constant feeling of worry, dread, and fear
- a hard time to think about other things because of these feelings
- sleep issues and nightmares
- stomach pains and digestive problems
- unexplained pains and tensions in different areas of the body
- irritable feeling and other kinds of mood changes
- feeling weak, tired, or generally unstable
Addressing these issues with the help of a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, may take a while but will surely be worth it…for the night sweats and other issues.
3. Hormonal issues
There is a wide spectrum of night sweating issues that involve a hormonal change, the most common of these are:
- low levels of testosterone
- carcinoid syndrome
- If you are having a hard time finding out about the drastic changes involving your hormones, watch out for these signs:
- sudden and out of the blue weight changes
- shifts in energy levels
- decreased libido
- changes in menstrual cycles
Although some of these are completely normal and a part of life, hormonal changes can be properly managed. However, even if you are already taking the steps to manage your hormone levels and you still see no improvement, seeing your general physician is recommended.
Certain drugs cause hyperhidrosis as a side effect. If you have started taking a new medication and notice that you are having episodes of night sweats, ask your general physician.
Here are some medications that are known to have night sweats:
- tricyclic and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants
- pain relief medications
- medication for diabetes patients intended to lower blood pressure
- hormone therapy medications
- phenothiazine antipsychotics
Some healthcare providers might tell you that it is just your body adjusting to the new medication which could be true. However, if you are experiencing negative impacts on your sleeping pattern, you may consult with your healthcare provider and ask him or her for a different type of medication.
More concerning causes
There are certain situations where night sweats should not be taken lightly and should be brought to the attention of a licensed healthcare provider. Always remember that self-medicating can be harmful and for certain conditions, we do have to trust our doctors. After all, they went through a lot of training and hard work to get their medical licenses.
Here are some of the more concerning causes of sleep hyperhidrosis:
1. Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder wherein a person’s breathing repeatedly stops.
There are different types of sleep apnea. One is called obstructive sleep apnea which generally occurs when something like throat tissue blocks your airway. There is also a possibility of developing central sleep apnea when some health conditions affect your central nervous system.
Sleep apnea, itself, is already a hassle to live with but it also comes with other symptoms such as:
- feel tired during the day even if you have had enough rest
- sleep restlessly or wake often in the night
- wake up in the middle of the night struggling to breathe
- find it challenging to focus
- wake up with a sore throat
- have symptoms of anxiety and/or depression
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to more severe complications like having an increased risk for asthma and cardiovascular diseases. I suggest that you speak with your healthcare provider about night sweats that happen with your symptoms of sleep apnea.
There is a possibility that unexplained episodes of night sweats to be a symptom of cancer. Although it does not happen often, the thought of it is enough to put anyone – including me – on edge. I guess, the more alarming issue is that these symptoms are similar to those of less-serious health issues, like simple flu.
If you have been experiencing night sweats for more than two weeks while feeling fatigued, I suggest getting checked by a licensed physician.
Some types of cancer like Hodgkin’s lymphoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and leukemia are the most common ones where night sweats commonly occur.
3. Serious Infections
Some infections that are more serious and need immediate help from a medical professional can include night sweats in their symptoms too. Some are:
- Tuberculosis – a very contagious disease that affects the lungs
- Endocarditis – an infection that affects your heart’s valves
- Osteomyelitis – a type of bone infection
I guess the key takeaway from all this is that night sweat is not something that should be ignored as it is your body telling you something could be wrong. Things as simple as sleeping is of great importance and anything affecting it can bring about a spectrum of “could be” infections or diseases.
What to Do About Night Sweats
1. Wear Sweat Wicking Clothes
If you have idiopathic hyperhidrosis that can’t be solved by any medication, I’d suggest that you wear sweat-wicking clothing, starting with underwear as sweating at night can be very uncomfortable, especially down there. Aside from that, you can wear cooling pajamas that also wick sweat and also change your sheets more often.
2. Change Your Room Temperature
Changing your room temperature can help. If you’re a person that sets the temperature too warm then you may have to lower it down a bit to make sure that the likelihood of you sweating in the middle of the night is very low.
3. See a Doctor
If you are doing the necessary steps I shared above and it still doesn’t help with your night sweats, you may (and I highly suggest) that you see a doctor for a good treatment plan that can involve botox or even anticholinergics to help with the sweating episodes. If it is about menopause, the doctor can help out by giving specific medications like hormone treatment to help with the sweating.
Night sweats can be pretty bothersome when you first experience it. However, if you are equipped with the knowledge of what it is and how to treat it, it wouldn’t be so bad for you as it would if you had not known anything at all.
You may have come across this article in search of a solution for something you have been experiencing, or you may have read this because someone you know may be needing help on treating night sweats.
Don’t worry, now that you know all this information it will be easier for you to approach this condition. You can now go to your doctor knowing that everything will be alright.
If you have any questions on night sweats, please leave a comment below. although I am not a doctor, I will do my best to provide well-researched answers for everything you want to know about.
Don’t forget to click the social media buttons below to share this article with friends or family (or anyone you know of) who needs to know more about this type of hyperhidrosis.
Thank you for taking the time to read, I can’t wait to share more stories, products, and facts with you on my next article.
Until the next review,
Ready to Make a Change Now?
My name is Oscar and I am the founder and director of Stop-Sweating-Now.com and have been researching and writing about hyperhidrosis for many years.
I have been sweating excessively for the better part of my life. I looked for solutions for well over a decade, but I never found anything that lasted.
It all started when I was around 14 years of age, when I suddenly found out that I was sweating more in my armpits than I should. At first I thought it was something that would go away soon, but I was wrong.
I had given up hope and accepted to live the rest of my life being embarrassed with ugly sweat stains in my armpits.
However, after a few years of not searching for any solutions anymore, I gave it another shot. And I found what finally gave me the freedom I had longed for so many years.
After finding a solution to my problem, I decided it was important to shout out my message to those that are suffering from what I had lived with so many years.
My goal is to help people find their freedom from sweating by sharing my expertise because hyperhidrosis is an underdiagnosed condition.
People don’t know that it is a medical term and can be treated effectively.
That is why I am here: Sharing with you what I know, what works and what does not work.
Want to learn more about what I did? Click below!