Excessive sweating while sleeping due to warm room temperature or heavy clothing may not necessarily indicate night sweats. Night sweats or sleep hyperhydrosis is a condition characterized by excessive sweating that can drench the bed sheets and night clothes while sleeping. They are usually caused due to certain medical factors rather than a warm environment.
They are usually a symptom caused due to a wide-range of diseases or disorders. It can occur in both women and men. Night sweats are occasionally accompanied by nausea, headaches, flushing, chills, irregular heartbeats, etc. It is prudent to identify the causes of night sweats in order to carry out effective treatments. Read on to find the common causes of night sweats.
Six Possible Causes Of Night Sweats
Menopause is the most common cause of night sweats in women. Hypothalamus (present in the brain) is responsible for regulating the body temperature. Estrogen level is altered in women entering menopause. This rise in estrogen level is misinterpreted as an increase in body temperature by the hypothalamus. It initiates a series of events which include activating the sweat glands and dilating the blood vessels to bring down the body temperature. This leads to night sweats and hot flashes in menopausal women.
Night sweats can be a symptom of many types of cancer. It is commonly associated with lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic cells). However, having night sweats does not increase the susceptibility to cancer.
Infections like tuberculosis, AIDS are usually associated with night sweats. Inflammation of the heart valves (endocarditis) and swelling of the bones (osteomyelitis) due to bacterial infections can cause night sweats. Other bacterial and fungal infections can also cause excessive sweating in the night. It is advisable to consult a doctor for a quick diagnosis to identify the possible cause.
Usually low blood sugar levels are associated with excessive perspiration. Hypoglycemic patients have an increased probability of experiencing night sweats. Taking anti-diabetic medication or insulin to bring down the glucose level can also lead to hypoglycemia. When identified at the earliest, hypoglycemia can be treated or managed successfully.
This is another common cause of night sweats. It is not a symptom of any underlying disease but caused due to excessive production of perspiration by the sweat glands because of unidentified reasons. It can be managed effectively using simple remedies that aim to reduce the perspiration. Although it is a relatively harmless cause, it is irksome as it disturbs the normal sleep pattern in most cases.
Night sweats can also be caused due to intake of certain medications. Excessive sweating is one of the most familiar side effects of anti-depressant medicines and other psychiatric drugs. Therapies that alter the hormonal balance in the body can also cause night sweats. Over the counter medications like aspirin can also lead to excessive sweating.
If you are having night sweats do not ignore it. Visit your doctor to identify the underlying cause after a thorough medical examination. If it has not been caused due to a medical condition, you can follow a few simple tips to treat night sweats. Avoid possible triggers like caffeine, spicy foods, fatty foods, alcohol, etc. before going to bed to reduce night sweats. Herbs like licorice roots, black cohosh, sage, etc. can also be used to provide respite from night sweats.