Also known as nocturnal hyperhidrosis, night sweats is a condition where a person experiences an unusually high level of perspiration while asleep. Normally, it is not a serious cause for concern, but in a significant number of cases, night sweats can be a sign of an alarming health condition.
The best way to recognize the condition of night sweats is by associating it with your room temperature. For instance, the reason for sweating profusely can be high room temperature or several layers of clothing and sheets. In such a case, you don’t have anything to worry, as you can simply adjust these external factors to sleep comfortably. However, it’s time to see a doctor if external influences are not the causes of night sweats.
What are the different night sweats causes?
To gain an effective solution for nocturnal hyperhidrosis, you must immediately see a general practitioner. This is because there are several causes of night sweats, so each one will have a different treatment approach. To enlighten you a bit more about this condition, here are some common night sweats causes that you must know about.
Menopause – One of the most common night sweats causes in women, menopause significantly affects the hormonal levels in the body. In this condition, the estrogen levels suddenly fall affecting the hypothalamus (a part of the brain that controls the body temperature). The hypothalamus detects the increasing heat in the body, and to reinstate the balance, it prompts the sweat glands. This helps the body to cool off. To minimize the frequency of night sweats during periods, you can use breathing techniques and exercise daily. Doctors can prescribe you with drugs and in extreme cases hormonal therapy.
Infections – Like menopause, infections too are a prevalent cause of night sweats. Mostly, because infections lead to fevers and when it breaks, it’ll cause extreme perspiration. Usually, tuberculosis (TB) is one such infection that is widely associated with night sweats. TB can easily develop in individuals having HIV as well. The only way to deal with this is by seeking immediate medical intervention.
Idiopathic hyperhidrosis – This form of excessive sweating is a health condition in itself and the precise reasons for it are not known. Although it isn’t something you need to fuss over, it can tend to get you a little self-conscious, but the condition can be managed well with good hygiene habits. If you wish, you can consult your general practitioner to gain more clarity about the situation.
Thyroid – Both underactive and overactive thyroid causes night sweats. This because there are erratic fluctuations in the body’s hormonal levels. To correct the way your thyroid gland produces hormones, you will have to start a course of prescription drugs. Apart from medicines, doctors will advise you to make some important dietary and lifestyle modifications.
Low blood sugar – At times when the blood glucose level drops, it can lead to night sweats. This is typically observed among individuals who have to take oral medicines or insulin to control diabetes. The situation can be managed by having some juice or a quick snack. If you have diabetes, ensure that you don’t skip dinner, avoid alcohol in the night, and inspect your blood sugar before sleeping.
Antidepressants – These types of medications are one of the common night sweats causes. It affects almost 20% of the patients. If you experience discomfort because of excessive sweating during night time, then have a word with your doctor to discuss all the possible solutions. Although, refrain from altering or ceasing the medication without your doctor’s permission. Apart from antidepressants, drugs containing acetaminophen and aspirin can also trigger night sweats.
Lymphoma – A form of cancer, night sweats can be an early symptom of lymphoma. These usually arise along with other symptoms such as sudden weight loss and fever. However, they can also occur for other types of cancer such as leukemia, mesothelioma, carcinoid tumors, liver, and bone cancer. Chemotherapy or cancer medication can also be few of the night sweats causes. If you experience such side-effects, then promptly notify your doctor.
Neurological disorders – Certain neurological disorders such as autonomic neuropathy, stroke, posttraumatic syringomyelia, cerebral palsy, autonomic dysreflexia, etc., can be some of the night sweats causes. Although night sweats might not be so common for these medical conditions.
If you are frequently dealing with night sweats, then apart from medical help, you can do some things to help improve your condition.
- Use single or light layers of sheets while sleeping
- Ensure to wear loose clothing, preferably made of cotton or linen
- Avoid having spicy foods
- Have plenty of water throughout the day
- Lower the temperature of the room
- Efficiently manage stress via relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises
- Cut down on caffeine and alcohol consumption, especially during the night
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a balanced body weight
- Always have a bottle filled with cool water by the bedside
- Get a table fan