Are night sweats giving you sleepless nights? Do you often wake up to find your clothes wet and bed sheets soaked in your sweat? Nigh sweat is a common condition among women going through perimenopause and menopause. It is characterized by excessive sweating during the night.
If you are experiencing night sweats and wish to know more about this condition, you are in the right place. In this post, we introduced what night sweat is, its causes, and effective treatments.
What are Night Sweats?
Sweating at night is normal, especially when sleeping in a poorly ventilated room. However, sweating at night becomes strange when you sleep in a properly ventilated room. Such a condition is widely known as night sweat or (according to medical terms) sleep hyperhidrosis. Sleep hyperhidrosis isn’t a medical condition that should make you panic. Regardless, the discomfort associated with the condition can affect your quality of life.
During a night’s sweat, you may feel a sensation of heat at first, accompanied by severe sweating and eventually a chill. Night sweats are common in menopausal women, and they usually come in the form of hot flashes that happen while they are asleep.
Women experience night sweat in different ways. While some may experience mild sweat, others may wake up to find their bedsheet and clothes soaked in perspiration, leading to sleep disruption. If this continues, it can have a huge effect on your quality of life, and it may lead to:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased fatigue
- Mood disturbance
Causes of night sweats in women
Why do menopausal women experience night sweat? Of course, it can’t be because they overworked themselves during the day or due to excessive sheets or bed cover. So why do they sweat excessively at night?
You see, night sweat in women is mainly due to female hormone imbalance during menopause and perimenopause. If you often sweat excessively at night, you may want to consider a female hormonal imbalance testing panel to determine if your hormone levels are too high or too low. If they are, you can balance it naturally, or contact your doctor on what to do.
Here are other common causes of night sweats in women.
If you sweat excessively at night and it goes on for a long time, it may indicate diabetes as low blood sugar during the night can result in excessive sweating. Also, diabetes medication like insulin or sulfonylureas—both of which lower blood sugar levels—can cause night sweats. Furthermore, excessive sweating can also result from obesity, which is associated with diabetes.
Although this isn’t common, night sweats can also be a warning sign of some cancers. Cancers like leukemia (cancer of blood-forming tissues) and lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system) can cause individuals to sweat excessively at night.
Also, people with undiagnosed cancer may go through other symptoms like unfathomable weight loss and fever. If you sweat a lot at night and are scared that it might be due to a severe medical condition, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. They can assist with the proper diagnosis.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is another likely culprit of night sweats. It is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Research indicates that night sweats are higher in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea. So, if you have this condition, you may want to treat it to stop the night sweats.
Medications are designed to cure diseases and medical conditions, right? What if we told you that some medications are the reason for individuals’ health issues? For instance, night sweats can be a result of the side effects of medications like:
- Niacin: an essential nutrient for the body taken as a dietary supplement
- Aspirin: a common drug for alleviating aches and pains
- Cortisone: a steroid hormone used to treat pain and inflammation
- Hydralazine: a medication effective in treating erectile dysfunction
- Tamoxifen: an anti-estrogen drug
If you discover that a certain medication is responsible for your night sweats, ensure you contact your doctor. You can consider changing the drug, reducing its dosage, or discarding it entirely. Whatever you do, ensure you get your doctor’s approval.
- Psychological Conditions
Stress can cause excessive sweating. It can also be responsible for night sweats. Plus, psychological conditions like anxiety and depression can also be likely culprits of night sweats. In fact, some studies have associated night sweats with social anxiety, which is a constant fear of being judged by others.
Though not life-threatening, failing to tackle your night sweat problem can affect your quality of life. Waking up to a wet bed sheet each night can take a toll on your comfort. So rather than try to ignore the condition thinking it’ll vanish, ensure you try to pinpoint the root cause or visit your doctor for the correct diagnosis.