Night Sweat

Night sweat is a phenomena experienced by men and women alike.  The cause, however, may be different in each case and the treatment must be adjusted accordingly.

Before reading further, learn how to stop sweating, once and for all!

A friend of mine, Sid, was plagued with night sweats and he shared his experience with me so that I could help others.  Sid would wake up about 4-5 times per month completely drenched in sweat.  It was so bad that sometimes his episodes would be accompanied by dreams where he was swimming in a pond or lake.  Waking up startled and covered in perspiration, he got a hold of me for some expert advice.  The topic became of high interest to me so I then went on to do some thorough research and here is what I found.

Causes of Night Sweat

Although the causes of night sweats vary from case to case, one thing that all night sweats have in common is a sudden increase in body temperature.  For most people, sweating at night is not an indication of any serious medical condition.  Men and Women seem to sweat for different reasons.

Causes of Night Sweats in Men:

Males go through a cyclical temperature oscillation daily.  The warmest temperature is typically right before bed, while the coldest temperature is just prior to waking up.  When your body is at a high temperature, even warm conditions can make you feel cool.  Recall a time where you were in intense summer heat and getting under a tree made a significant difference.  It very well may be 100 degrees in the sun and 92 degrees under the tree, but you still feel cold.  Reversely, imagine being out in the snow for an hour or so and then coming back inside to 72 degree room temperature.  You feel rather warm, right?

That is exactly what happens when the natural male temperature cycle is approaching the lowest point during sleep.  The blankets feel like a relatively warmer environment than they did when you just started nodding off to sleep, and as a result you will sweat.

Another male specific cause of night sweats is andropause, the male version of menopause.  As men in their 40’s go through the transformation, their body has to compensate for the decreased amount of testosterone.  The hormone imbalance can contribute to night sweats.

Causes of Night Sweats in Women:

Women are notorious for suffering from hot flashes accompanied by sweating at night as they go through perimenopause and menopause.  Estrogen levels decrease at a steady and permanent rate, resulting in several physical reactions.  One of the most noted is the impact of estrogen on the portion of the brain responsible for regulating body temperature.

Instant Access: Stop Sweat NOW eCourse
Learn How To Stop Sweat in 2 Weeks!
Get the Free eCourse Instantly

Universal Causes of Night Sweat

Many causes of night sweat symptoms apply to both genders.

Here is a list of them:

  • Anxiety (relationship, work, or finance related)
  • Eating hot or spicy foods before bed
  • Drinking alcohol before bed
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages before bed
  • Infections (tuberculosis in particular)
  • Endocarditis (heart valve inflammation)
  • Osteomyelitis (bone inflammation)
  • Cancers (most often lymphoma)
  • Neurological conditions
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose)
  • Acid reflux
  • All types of antidepressants
  • Antipyrectics
  • Corticosteroids (Cortisone, prednisone, etc.)
  • Niacin supplements (vitamin B3)

Remedies for Night Sweats

As previously mentioned, the common characteristic of all night sweats is a sudden increase in body temperature.  The ability to compensate for the swings will play strongly to your advantage.  Layer your bed with sheets and light blankets rather than having one heavy comforter allowing for easy adjustment throughout the night.  Dressing in layers is an alternative to purchasing several light blankets.  A fan that you can operate with a remote control is another strategy to offset temperature fluctuations.

When night sweats seem to be connected with anxiety of some sort, it is best to adopt a relaxation strategy.  Writing in a journal, taking a relaxing walk, meditation, or hypnosis before bed may be good things to try.

What you eat just before bed may be the problem, and curbing your appetite could be the solution.  Avoiding the consumption of spicy or hot foods and steering clear of drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages is recommended prior to seeking out a medical professional.  If you suffer from acid reflux, curing that symptom could alleviate sweating at night as well.

For those who experience hypoglycemia, there are a few strategies that can minimize the negative consequences.  Avoid anything that contains elemental sugar.  We’re talking desserts and junk foods.  Another tactic is to eat small portions throughout the day rather than three main meals.  This is particularly effective when you eat things that digest slowly such as protein and complex carbohydrates.  Keep away from anything with the suffix –ose (dextrose, glucose, maltose, sucrose, fructose etc).

Be mindful of your medications and supplements.  If you ingest any of those listed above, it may be a good idea to go without them for a period to see if your night sweating improves.

Go to the Sweating Disease Types page

Go from Night Sweat back to the homepage