Night sweats are recurrent episodes of excess perspiration or sweating that may wet your nightclothes or bedding. The night sweats are an unpleasant part of life for many people and are linked to an underlying health condition or ailment. Sometimes you may wake up in the middle of the night as you perspire extremely, especially if you are sleeping under blankets or if your room is very hot. However, these conditions are not labelled as night sweats and are not a sign of any health issue. Also Read: Hyperhidrosis: Causes And Treatment Options
Sweat is the body’s natural cooling aid that prevents the body from overheating. The hypothalamus in the brain functions to control body temperature which results in the stimulation of millions of sweat glands in the body that assists in keeping the system cool. The watery sweat evaporates from the skin which releases heat energy and cools the body. Also Read: How To Reduce Excessive Facial Sweating?
Night sweats and hot flashes are quite among women during menopause.
Some of the other health conditions which cause night sweats include:
- Any infectious diseases like tuberculosis or HIV, febrile illness
- Anxiety disorder
- Certain type of cancers like lymphoma or leukemia
- Cardiovascular ailments
- Thyroid disorder
- Obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (i.e. GERD or Water Brash)
- Drug addiction or withdrawal symptoms and excessive intake of caffeinated beverages
- In a few cases, night sweats may be due to side effects of medications such as antidepressants, hormone-blocking drugs and certain diabetic medications.
When To See A Doctor
Night sweats are not a cause of concern in most of the cases, seek medical help if you have frequent night sweats that may disturb your sleep or associated with other symptoms. If night sweats are related to fever, weight loss, pain, cough, loose stools or any other symptoms it may be a sign of serious health disorder.
The doctors will treat the patients based on the underlying disease conditions.
If night sweats are due to menopause, then hormone therapy is the choice of treatment which may lessen the hot flashes and other symptoms.
Antibiotics and antiviral drugs are prescribed to treat infections if any infections are the cause of night sweats.
If night sweats are caused due to cancer, then doctors recommend chemotherapy and other treatment options for treating cancer.
If any medications or drugs that you are taking are the reason for night sweat then the doctor may modify or alter the medicine.
Quitting alcohol and restricting the intake of caffeinated beverages are also recommended.
Doctors may also ask the patients to correct their sleeping patterns and habits.
- Quit smoking and use of illegal drugs.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Make your bedroom pleasant, cooler and breathable.
- Use cotton nightwear and bedspreads.
- Refrain from eating spicy foods, warm water with 2 hours before going to bed
- Be regular with workout and don’t exercise close to your bed-time.
- Maintain ideal body weight.
- Stay well hydrated and drink enough fluids during the day.