Night sweats also called as Nocturnal hyperhidrosis is a condition in which a person excessively sweats during the night. It can disturb your sleeping schedules thereby leading to irritating nature, stress and other problems. There are many causes of the night sweating, and each has different method to handle it. They may be a sign of some medical problem within you.
The most common causes that doctors have recognized till now which night sweats may show are,
Sleep Apnoea -Cause of night sweats
Sleep apnoea is caused due to the blockage of upper airways causing difficulty in normal breathing. This thing may lead to night sweats, snoring, loud breathing noise, morning headache, etc. You may be unaware of this problem as many people don’t have any memory of it while they are awake.
These can be the cause of your night sweats. So, it is better to ask anybody is sleeping around you if you may have sleep apnoea and then carry out further actions.
Using Certain medicines/anti-depressants
Side effects of medicines are written on them but taking any new medicine or have been taking it for long may be the cause of your night sweats. Studies have shown that anti-depressants are one of the common types of drugs which can cause night sweats. 8% to 22% of people experience night sweats who take anti-depressants.
Other medications like hormone therapy drugs, aspirins, fever reducers may also lead to night sweating. These may show other symptoms too like redness of skin, dizziness, itching, irritation, along with night sweats. So, if you have any of these symptoms, it is better to consult your doctor and change your medicines.
One of the causes of night sweats among women is the menopause as menstruation process becomes less frequent with age. This process occurs specifically after the 50s. It causes a change in the hormones level thereby leading to night sweats and hot flushes. Furthermore, it is experienced by almost 75% women in the world. It is worth talking to your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms related to night sweats.
Night sweats can be but not always an early symptom of cancer. It may occur when your body is fighting against a certain type of cancer which may include,
- Carcinoid tumors
- Bone cancer
- Liver cancer
The most common type of cancer is the lymphoma and leukemia. Cancer of the body causes fever. Therefore, night sweats occur excessively to cool down your body temperature and in fighting cancer.
However, you don’t need to worry as only night sweats are not the symptoms of any cancer. They may be accompanied along with other symptoms as well as unintentional weight loss, fever, dizziness, fatigue, red spots, shortness of breath, etc.
In the case of diagnosed cancer, night sweats happen due to the treatments of cancer like chemotherapy, drugs, and morphine. It is always better to see your doctor for further tests and treatment if you experience any of these.
Night sweats are also a symptom of an infection in your body. The most common type of infection of which night sweat is the result is tuberculosis which affects your lungs and their system. Endocarditis is an infection of the valves of the heart may also be the cause of night sweat. Many bacterial infections such as osteomyelitis (infection of the bones), abscesses (accumulation of pus), HIV/AIDS may also be the causes. You need to see your doctor immediately if there is any sign of drenching night sweats, weight loss, cough as these may become critical afterward.
Disorder of hormones
Changes or disorders in the level of hormones are also one of the causes of night sweats among men and women. Menopause may be one of the reasons which come under this cause. Increase in the hormones level, pheochromocytoma (too much release of epinephrine and norepinephrine which control heart rate), carcinoid syndrome (tumor releasing chemicals in your bloodstream), and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid thus producing too much of hormones) are the causes as well.
You will feel nervous, tired, weak, shaking hands along with night sweat if you have any disorder in hormones. Certain medicines and drugs can overcome disorder of hormones. However, you should always consult your doctor first before taking any medications.
Usage of drug/alcohol- Will surely lead to lead to night sweating
The wrong use of drugs and alcohol in the recent years has created a rift in being one of the causes of night sweats. These are the life factors which need to get corrected. Alcohols are sometimes used for medicinal purposes, but the usage of it excessively and unnecessarily can cause many problems like stress, tiredness and night sweats. It increases the body’s internal temperature and causes sweating.
Also, opposite scenario can be dangerous as well. If you are heavily and physically dependent on alcohol, sudden stopping of alcohol may be the problem and can cause night sweats. It is advised to ask your doctor and tell him about your drinking habits. This way he will suggest the best remedy for you.
From the word “idiopathic’’, means “unknown cause.” Some night sweats occur without any medical cause. Idiopathic hyperhidrosis is a condition in which person’s body produces an excessive amount of sweat with any medical cause unknown.
This problem can be very disturbing for some people and remains for a lifetime degrading their confidence and exposure to people. However, this can be minimized by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and confidence level.
Disease of gastro-oesophageal reflux
Although not very common, night sweats can be the symptoms of this disease. It is a condition in which the stomach acid gets out of the stomach into the esophagus. Other symptoms include heartburn, unpleasant taste in the mouth and regurgitation.
If having any one of these symptoms, better to consult your doctor. Also, avoiding spices and maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle is the key to happy living.
Many people suffer from low glucose level which is a medical problem known as hypoglycemia. It is commonly the side effects of diabetes’ medications and use of insulin. Nighttime hypoglycemia causes night sweats which may be drenching, restless sleep, and nightmares.
People suffering from hypoglycemia have sweaty nights followed by low sugar levels. Low blood sugar level is typically below 50mg/dL. Therefore, proper precautions and medications are necessary to avoid any mishap. Other symptoms are shown in this figure.
Neurological disorders are the neurological conditions that are related to brain, nerves, and spine. Many neuro diseases are reported till now which are also the cause of night sweating. Most common neurologic conditions which include are autonomic dysreflexia (a condition in which blood pressure rises suddenly), posttraumatic syringomyelia (a condition in which the nerve tissues surrounding the spinal cord get affected). Also, stroke (blockage of a blood vessel or bleeding in the brain) and autonomic neuropathy (damage to the nerves which control functions like blood pressure, digestion, urination, sweating) are the causes as well.
These are the causes of many side effects which may include dizziness, fatigue, and tiredness along with the night sweating. Delay in finding out the cause of any symptom can be dangerous. So, proper steps must be taken to ensure a healthy living.
Other factors of sweating so much while asleep
Other factors in your lifestyle which may be the cause of night sweats are;
- Exercising before going to bed can cause night sweats. Exercise increases the body temperature and makes you warm. So, high level of blood circulation can cause drenching night sweats. This thing may be avoided by doing exercise in the evening or the morning. Just try to avoid exercising before your bedtime.
- Eating something which has warm efficacy or hot beverages can also make your body warm thereby causing night sweats. Eating dry fruits like nuts and dried figs can warm-up your body which creates heat within the body and causes night sweating.
- Also eating spicy food items when you are just about to sleep increases blood flow and can cause gastro-oesophageal reflux temporarily which can lead to night sweats. So, avoid spicy food items and eat healthily.
- Unavailability of proper air and high thermostat setting can make your room very warm. So, high temperature can lead to drenching night sweats making your night uncomfortable. Also, you may be wearing too many bedclothes. Try to avoid wearing socks and too many sweaters while sleeping.
- It may sound funny, but nightmares and horrific dreams are also the cause. It is sometimes reported that people have woken up from their sleep while watching any nightmare and they were all drenched in the night sweat.
These are the conditions which are the causes of night sweats as discussed above. All night sweats are not a serious issue. It is sometimes a common phenomenon that a person experience once a month or year.
However, persistent night sweats are a matter of concern. There can be different reasons for it and must be treated according to the advice of the doctor. If there is cancer behind the reason, it may stop once the cancer is treated.
You should never start any treatment just by relying on symptoms and their stated conditions rather, consultation with an experienced doctor or routine maintainer is necessary.