Excessive Night Sweats – Surprising Causes, Symptoms and Treatments


If your bedding and sleepwear are usually wet during a sleep, you probably have hyperhidrosis night or night sweats. This condition generally causes discomfort and can have many different causes.


Night sweats or hyperhidrosis during sleep is a condition that happens to people during the night or at any time of the day during sleep, even if the room temperature is not high.

People who suffer from this condition can usually wake from a deep sleep because of the feeling of intense heat or “stickiness” because of excessive sweating. This situation can be very irritating because it threatens the healthy sleep and often leads to insomnia and stress.

Types of night sweats

Hyperhidrosis can be categorized as primary and secondary hyperhidrosis. In the case of primary or focal hyperhidrosis, sweating is localized to one part of the work. On the other hand, the secondary characteristic is hyperhidrosis sweating throughout the body caused by a disease or disorder or the ingestion of certain drugs. Therefore, the doctor must perform certain tests to determine the cause of the disorder.

Night sweats can occur at any age but are most common in early adulthood. This disease can even be idiopathic (idiopathic disease is part of the body, without affecting the other parts). Idiopathic hyperhidrosis is a condition in which the body secretes too much sweat without any apparent medical or external causes. The organism product of more sweat than is considered normal (on the hands, scalp, feet, armpits, etc.). Therefore, if you happen night sweats, do not attempt to self-diagnose. It is always best to consult a doctor.

Why do people sweat at night?

Night sweats can be a result of many factors, and those that have been identified by medical experts as follows:

External factors, from environment

If you sleep in the unclean, uncomfortable bed, with plenty of blankets and in the unventilated room, it can lead to excessive sweating.


Patients suffering from tuberculosis are particularly susceptible to night sweats. If your night sweats you have symptoms such as sudden weight loss, chronic pneumonia, fever, and cough, you should get tested for TB. Other infections that can cause night sweats include:

  • Inflammation of the heart valves (endocarditis), bladder (cystitis) or bone (osteomyelitis) caused by bacterial  *  *  * Infection
  • Histoplasmosis, a fungal infection that often develops in patients with AIDS
  • Boils to the spleen, lungs or liver
  • Any infection that can cause fever
  • Brucellosis (bacterial infection), an infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium avium complex ( “MAC”, a group of infectious bacteria that affect the genes), infectious mononucleosis (a viral disease caused by the type of herpes virus), or fungal infection Coccidioidomycosis:
  • Other disorders and diseases:

Any of these disorders can also be the cause of night sweats:

  • Myelofibrosis (disease of the bone marrow)
  • Diabetes
  • Prinzmetal angina (a type of chronic pain in the chest over the heart)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome, which usually affects women aged between 30 and 50 years
  • Granulomatosis (a group of inherited diseases that attack the immune system)
  • Chronic eosinophilic pneumonia (accumulation of eosinophils in the lung)
  • Hyperplasia lymphatic nodes (accelerated growth of normal cells that resemble lymph cells)
  • Acromegaly (excessive secretion of pituitary hormones)
  • Gastroezofatealna reflux disease – heartburn (can also lead to increased secretion of saliva)
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Pulmonary edema (usually caused by heart failure)
  • Crohn’s disease (a disease characterized by inflammation of the colon)
  • Sarcoidosis (granuloma formation or clusters of immune cells)
  • Hashimoto’s disease (where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland)
  • Wegener’s granulomatosis (inflammation of blood vessels)
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Neurological conditions

People who suffer from neurological disorders such as non-reflection autonomic (reflex disorders) post-traumatic syringomyelia (fluid-filled cysts on the spine), stroke, and dysautonomia (due to autonomic neuropathy, or damage to the nervous system) are also prone to night sweats. Drugs that control this condition can also cause night sweats. Cerebral palsy, epilepsy, stroke, injuries and fractures of the spine, chronic paroxysmal hemicrania (sudden migraine attacks) or any injury to the head can also be the cause of night sweats.

Sleep apnea (sleep apnea)

If you are sleepy during the day, snore and sweating then maybe you should check do you suffer from sleep apnea. This sweating is usually accompanied by heartburn, strong need to urinate during the night, “broke” the chest in children during sleep and dry mouth in the morning. In severe cases, this condition can cause memory loss, arrhythmia, impotence, rapidly growing or heart disease. Make sure there are disturbances during REM sleep. Syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea can result even in death, and it is, therefore, necessary to seek medical attention to determine whether there are these symptoms and properly treated, if any. Phentermine, a drug commonly prescribed anti-obesity is also known to cause night sweats in people who have sleep apnea. It is usually carried out polysomnographic tests to diagnose disorders of breathing during sleep.


Drugs that can cause night sweats as one of the side effects include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Medication for flu and fever
  • Medication for high blood pressure
  • Antihistamine
  • Antipsychotics
  • Hypoglycemic agents
  • Hormonal drugs
  • Cortisone drugs
  • Medication to reduce the temperature (such as aspirin)
  • Medicines containing nitroglycerin, niacin, tamoxifen, phenothiazine, hydrazine and the like.

Menopause or Andropause

In women, menopause is one of the most common causes of night sweats and heart attack. Some men also suffer from night sweats if you go through the “male version” of menopause, called andropause (about 5% of men going through andropause). These conditions cause a gradual increase in testosterone levels and can lead to many changes in the organism and mood.

Hormonal changes 

People who have hormonal disorders such as pheochromocytoma (neuroendocrine tumors), carcinoid syndrome (which is actually a secondary neuroendocrine tumor) or hyperthyroidism are prone to heat waves attacks and night sweats. When hypoglycemia (particularly nocturnal hypoglycemia), people need insulin to control the level of glucose in the body. This may also be the cause of night sweats. PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and pregnancy caused by hormonal changes, so that women are more prone to sweating during sleep. Drugs take anti-nausea during pregnancy also lead to night sweats. Problems with the ovaries and nighttime hypoglycemia are also common causes of night sweats.

Rheumatology causes

Different types of arthritis can cause night sweats.


Night sweats can cause lymphoma (tumor of the lymph cells), and different types of leukemia, and other types of cancer, especially breast cancer.

Postoperative recovery or medical treatment

Chemotherapy or orchiectomy (removal of the testicles) in patients undergoing suffering from prostate cancer are very often the cause of severe night sweats.

Abuse of drugs and alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption and drug use may be an additional factor for excessive night sweats. Some of the drugs that usually cause very night sweats include heroin, marijuana, and some medicines are prescriptions. Night sweats may also be one of the side effects of withdrawal of these substances.


Night sweats

Medium heavy sweating is considered cases when you do not have to change  pajamas and bedding. Bending one blanket or ventilating rooms will ease discomfort. In moderate to moderately severe symptoms, there is heavy sweating on the face or other parts of the body, so the person wakes up and has to wipe or wash those parts of the skin.

In extremely severe cases, the patient usually has to change pajamas and take a bath because of excessive sweating. Excessively sweating usually causes loss of sleep, because the person often wakes up to wash. In some patients, this condition can take a lifetime.

Women and night sweats

8 out of 10 women in menopause have night sweats
Young African-American women are more prone to night sweats than white women
Women with a higher body weight, those who consume a lot of coffee and alcohol, those whose diet rich in processed foods and sugars and those that do not take into account the diet are to riskier group to obtain disorder night sweats
About 15% of women seek medical help when it comes to night sweats.

The difference between normal and night sweats

The more you suffer from night sweats, the less likely that this is a temporary condition that will pass. That’s why first consider how long you last night sweats. If your body temperature is normal around 17-18h, but at night increases and is accompanied by sweating, then you should seek medical attention in order to identify the real cause of the condition. X-ray of the breast or even computerized tomography can be of great help in the diagnosis of tuberculosis or any other infection or abnormalities in the chest. Similar examinations of the abdomen can be used to detect ulcers or malignant tissue. Blood tests reveal the nature of the infection. There are many other tests that need to be done to make a formal diagnosis. See other signs and symptoms that are specific to a particular disease – it will speed up the process of diagnosis.


Treatment depends on the underlying cause.

The use of antiperspirants containing aluminum chloride hexahydrate as the main ingredient to reduce sweating
Iontophoresis, which involves the injection of certain drugs or chemicals into the skin through a small electrode can also be used as a method of treatment for excessive sweating. It is extremely effective in reducing sweating in certain parts of the body.

Using botox
Sympathectomy, there is still a controversial surgical procedure and that is the last alternative when it comes to excessive sweating. One common side effect that occurs after this operation is sweating for a while.
Night sweats, in general, may not be the cause of serious briquettes, but in some cases it really necessary to look for the real cause of this condition in time to avoid possible complications.

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.

Author: K.S

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