Sweating while sleeping or ‘night sweats’ is a problem that is common to millions of people all over the world irrespective of their age. People suffering from it sweat in the night over a long period of time so it should not be confused with those occasional nights when people wake up from a bad dream and realize that they are sweating profusely.
You might also be sweating because the room temperature’s too high or you sleep under a thick quilt so make sure that your night sweats are not caused by such factors before you go to your doctor. Excessive sweating during sleep over a number of days can be caused by many illnesses so it’s important to get it diagnosed as early as possible. Some causes of night sweats are:
Women over 40 are at a higher chance of undergoing menopause which basically creates a lot of hormonal imbalance in them. As the result of this, they tend to get hot flashes at night which leads to excessive sweating at night. You might be a perimenopausal woman which is why you are experiencing night sweats. The important point to keep in mind is that perimenopause can happen years before the actual menopause.
Some medications trigger sweating as a side effect so when you start with a new set of medications, it is advised to discuss the possible side effects with your doctor. Many prescribed drugs and anti-depressants in particular have night sweating as one of primary side effects. Even when you take medicines such as paracetamol, you will have a tendency to sweat. So, if you talk about the side effects of your medicines with your doctor, then you can rule out sweating in your sleep as a side effect of the medication and not any underlying medical condition.
Sweating and hot flashes can also be the result of hormonal imbalances that happen especially during situations like pregnancy. Several hormone disorders such as pheochromocytoma and hyperthyroidism also include night sweating as one of the symptoms. If you are under medication for the hormone disorder, the night sweats can be justified but if the excessive sweating continues even when the hormone imbalance has been dealt with as in the case of a pregnancy, you should consult a doctor.
It is a medical term used for low blood sugar. This is most common in diabetic patients and can happen right after they take insulin or any anti-diabetic medicine. People suffering from Hypoglycemia also have a tendency to sweat excessively at night. It can also be the result of heavy physical exhaustion. So, if you are not suffering from high blood sugar, start including more sugar in your diet.
At times, night sweating can be triggered off by any neurological conditions such as a stroke or autonomic dysreflexia. These illnesses increase the amount of sweat the body produces and affects people’s tendency to sweat while they sleep.
Whenever your body is attacked by bacteria and other harmful microbes, the body tries to remove it from your system by sweating. Night sweating is one of the most common symptoms of Tuberculosis. Some of the other diseases that involve night sweating as one of the symptoms are Abscesses, Endocarditis and AIDS virus. It is normal to sweat in your sleep when you are suffering from these infections or illnesses but if the sweating persists even after the illness has been cured, you should consult a doctor.
It is a medical term used to describe a situation where the body produces excessive sweat without any medically identifiable cause. The causes of Idiopathic Hyperhidrosis can be broadly classified into two categories- primary and secondary. Primary Hyperhidrosis is sweating whose cause cannot be medically determined and is not associated with any medical history. The sweating may be because of situations that make the person very anxious. Secondary Hyperhidrosis is sweating due to underlying health issues. Believe it or not, Hyperhidrosis affects 1% of the American population and can affect people who lead otherwise healthy lives so if you sweat when you sleep without any logical reason, you should visit a doctor immediately.
At times, sweating while sleeping can indicate a bigger health issue than the side effects of drugs. In cancer patients, specially people suffering from lymphoma, night sweating is a very common occurrence. Undiagnosed cancer can also lead to weight loss and fever along with night sweating. Night sweats primarily happen in the early stages of cancer so if you have any of these symptoms, you should go and see your doctor immediately.