Many people are dealing with night sweats. Regardless of the season and the temperature in the room, there are people who complain about the fact that they sweat at night, the sensation being accompanied by discomfort by cooling the body and the need to change underwear or even bedding.
What are night sweats?
Sweating during the night can be normal. You can sweat a little or a lot, depending on how thick the blanket you cover yourself with is, how warm it is in your room and even what you ate before going to bed.
But what if you sweat enough to wake up regularly with wet pajamas and bedding? In this case there may be a medical problem. Night sweats can happen for several reasons, and most of them are not too serious. In some cases, however, the usual episodes of night sweats may indicate a potentially serious medical condition. To determine them, the doctor will analyze the patient’s medical history in detail and recommend various tests, depending on each case.
What causes night sweats?
Sleep apnea– Sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing while sleeping, usually several times a night. Obstructive sleep apnea usually occurs when something like neck tissue blocks your airways. You may also develop central sleep apnea when certain health conditions affect the function of the central nervous system. It is not uncommon to have night sweats with sleep apnea. In fact, the results of a 2013 study of 822 people with untreated obstructive sleep apnea suggest that excessive sweating at night occurs three times more often in people with untreated sleep apnea.
Stress and anxiety– Anxiety and stress are mental health problems, but often involve physical symptoms. Increased sweating is a common physical sign associated with these conditions. Addressing the underlying cause of stress and anxiety, in general, by working with a therapist, can help you improve all your symptoms.
Idiopathic hyperhidrosis– This is manifested by excessive sweat production, independent of temperature conditions. The exact causes of hyperhidrosis are not known, although in some cases emotions and stress can lead to excessive sweating. However, most affected people sweat profusely almost all the time, regardless of condition or weather.
Hypoglycemia – low blood sugar. People who are treated with insulin or oral antidiabetic drugs may suffer from hypoglycemia and implicitly from night sweats.
Hormonal disorders– A number of hormonal problems and hormonal disorders can cause excessive sweating during the night. These include: Low testosterone, Carcinoid syndrome, Hyperthyroidism.
Infections-The most common infection associated with night sweats is tuberculosis. In addition, bacterial infections such as endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valves), osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone and bone marrow) or abscesses can be the source of sweating.
How can we stop night sweats?
- Avoid triggering sweat triggers. Avoid eating spicy foods, smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol before going to bed.
- Use an ice pack. Try placing an ice pack under the pillow to keep your head cool during sleep.
- Drink cold water. Drinking cold water throughout the night can help you cool down if you wake up sweating and can help you stay hydrated if you end up sweating more than usual.
- Open a window. Sleep in a cooler room. Leave the windows open at night, if possible, or try to use a fan
- Adjust the time of sports training. Physical activity just before bedtime can help increase sweating during the night.
When should we see a doctor?
If you sweat occasionally and this does not significantly affect the quality of sleep, you probably should not worry too much. But if you have trouble sleeping, wake up regularly with sweat or have other symptoms that concern you, it is best to contact your doctor. Your doctor can help you find the cause of night sweats and, if necessary, recommend a treatment plan.