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Why Do I Sweat When I Sleep?

May 16, 2023
· 9 mins read

Sweating is normal for humans. When you are running, working out, or when it is extremely hot outside, it is normal to sweat—sometimes a lot. However, when your body is completely relaxed, and you are sleeping soundly in your bed, waking up drenched in sweat can be a cause of concern. 

If you have been dealing with persistent night sweats for a while, getting in touch with your doctor might be the best option. But before that, it is important to update yourself with some relevant information and tips on how to deal with this issue.

In this blog post we will discuss night sweats in detail. From what causes them to the best treatment options, we’ll tell you everything you need to know. Read on! 

What Are Night Sweats?

Simply put, night sweats are episodes of excessive sweating while a person is asleep. It can cause you to rouse, feeling all hot and uncomfortable. 

Both men and women can experience night sweats. There are a variety of underlying health conditions and diseases that can lead to excessive sweating at night or hot flashes

However, remember that night sweats can often be harmless. It is normal to experience slight variations in body temperature while you sleep, especially if you keep your bedroom temperature high or sleep in too many clothes. 

But if that is not the case, or you are experiencing repeated episodes of extremely heavy sweating during sleep, it could indicate an underlying condition or illness. The situation can be concerning if your night sweats are heavy enough to drench your clothes and bedding. 

Common Signs and Symptoms of Night Sweats in Men and Women

A person can experience different signs and symptoms of night sweats, depending on its cause. The most common signs and symptoms are:
  •  1. Chills, sudden mood changes, and extreme shaking with fever.

  •  2. Unexplained weight loss. This might be a symptom of a more serious and rare condition like lymphoma.

  •  3. Night sweats caused by hormonal imbalances in women can include irregular periods or hot flashes.

  •  4. Menopause is also one of the most common reasons for night sweats in women. It can also include symptoms like daytime hot flashes, sudden mood changes, vaginal dryness, and fatigue. 


    •  5. Certain infections can also cause severe night sweats at night. Other symptoms include fatigue, fever, coughing, etc. 

    What Causes Night Sweats?

    There are many potential causes of night sweats. Some are more common than others. Similarly, some people can experience them because of no health conditions, while in others they are an indication of some underlying issues. 

    While dealing with night sweats can be daunting, it is important to remember that it could happen to anyone. With the right treatment and lifestyle changes, you will be able to control the condition and sleep more peacefully at night. 

    Most Common Causes of Night Sweats 

    There are various common causes for night sweats or hot flashes that are not related to any health condition but to your habits, sleeping environment, or body changes. Let’s have a look at the most common ones:

    Drinking before bedtime

    If you prefer drinking alcoholic beverages before bedtime, it can be one of the leading causes of your night sweats. This is because alcohol can raise your body temperature, increase your heart rate, and disrupt your sleeping patterns. This, in turn, can lead to more frequent awakenings and heavy sweating.
    If you are struggling with night sweats, try to avoid or limit your alcohol consumption before bedtime. 

    Very high stress levels

    If you are under extreme stress, it can also lead to hot flashes and night sweats. Stress and anxiety release hormones that prevent you from falling asleep, increase your body temperature and cause night sweats.

    Your sleep environment 

    The sleep environment, including the temperature and humidity in your bedroom, as well as your bedding, affect the quality of your sleep. They can all affect your body's ability to regulate temperature and lead to night sweats. You will likely experience excessive sweating if your sleep environment is too warm and uncomfortable or if your sleepwear and bedding don’t let you breathe.

    Some Medications

    There are certain medications or supplements that can cause night sweats as a side effect. These include antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy, and medicines that lower fever or treat infections.

    So, if you have started experiencing night sweats after you have started taking a particular medicine, it is best to get in touch with your healthcare provider. 

    Sweating disorder 

    Sweating disorders, also known as hyperhidrosis, are extremely rare but quite possible. It is a condition that causes excessive sweating throughout the day and night. This can be caused by overactive sweat glands or some unknown conditions. It can lead to night sweats and uncomfortable sleep. 

    sleep apnea sweats

    Consuming spicy foods right before bedtime 

    Lastly, if you enjoy eating hot and spicy food at dinner or close to your bedtime, this can also cause night sweats

    Medical Conditions Leading to Night Sweats 

    Apart from the above-mentioned common reasons, night sweats can also be caused by a variety of underlying medical conditions, some of which are more serious than others.

    Hormone disorders and issues

    Hormonal imbalance is one of the most common medical conditions that lead to hot flashes, night sweats, and uncomfortable sleep. Disruptions in hormone levels can disturb your body’s natural temperature-regulating ability, leading to excessive sweating at night. This is more common in women than men, since women experience more hormonal changes throughout their lives, and night sweats can be a side effect of birth control.


    Menopause decreases estrogen levels in women. Estrogen is a vital hormone that controls a lot of important physical functions and helps in maintaining women‘s health.

    So, a drop in it often leads to heavy sweating and hot flashes at night. Apart from women going through menopause, 75% of women experiencing symptoms of perimenopause also experience night sweats

    Underlying infection

    Serious infections like tuberculosis or endocarditis can also cause night sweats


    Excessive sweating at night can be one of the early symptoms of cancers like leukemia and Hodgkin lymphoma. However, this often comes as a triad of excessive night sweating, unexplained weight loss and fever. Further, if you are undergoing cancer treatments, like chemotherapy drugs, other medications, or surgery, it can also lead to night sweats


    Hyperthyroidism—an overactive thyroid gland—can cause night sweats and other symptoms such as weight loss, tremors, and rapid heartbeat.

    Other medical conditions 

    Apart from all the above-mentioned health issues, night sweats can also be caused by other medical conditions. These can include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), autoimmune disorders, hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, and neurological disorders. 
    The best way to understand the underlying cause behind your night sweats is by reaching out to your healthcare provider. They will be able to perform a thorough diagnosis and guide you with the best treatment options. 

    How to Stop Night Sweats

    Dealing with night sweats is not easy in any way. They disrupt your sleep and prevent you from getting a complete and uninterrupted nighttime rest. But don’t worry. With the help of some lifestyle changes and some effective treatment options, you can reduce excessive sweating at night and improve the quality of your sleep. 

    Here are some tips and treatment options to reduce the occurrences of night sweats and help you have a night of better sleep:

    Sleep in a Cooler Bedroom

    Your bedroom environment affects the quality of your sleep significantly. Thus, if you want to get rid of night sweats and have an uninterrupted and comfortable sleep, making some healthy changes to your sleeping environment is a must. 

    A cool room temperature can regulate your body’s internal temperature, thereby reducing the likelihood of sweating. We recommend that you keep your bedroom temperature between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    Also, you can consider investing in good-quality sleeping essentials. You can purchase a cooling mattress, pillow cooling cases and sleep masks to help you sleep better. If you are looking for excellent pillow cooling cases or sleep masks, Sleeplay has some fantastic options! 

    air conditioner bedroom

    Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, and Spicy Foods

    Caffeine, alcoholic drinks, and spicy food are known to raise your body’s temperature. So, as much as possible, avoid consuming such beverages and food items before hitting the sack. Avoiding tobacco and drugs can also be beneficial. 

    Utilize Meditation & Relaxation Techniques

    Several relaxation techniques can help you sleep better. They are especially helpful if you are dealing with stress, chronic anxiety, or other conditions related to your nervous system. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and light yoga can help reduce stress levels, make your body calmer, and prevent night sweats.

    Also, before bedtime, try to engage yourself in calming activities like reading a good book, a warm bath, or listening to soothing music. Stop using electronic devices at least an hour before your sleeping time to improve your mental health.

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

    If stress and anxiety are the reason behind your night sweats, then you should consider cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is an excellent therapy that can help people change their negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to anxiety and stress.

    In CBT, a therapist works with you to identify triggers and develop coping strategies to manage stress and anxiety. With these tools, you will be able to manage your emotions in a better way and reduce night sweats.

    Maintain a Healthy Diet

    Excess body weight usually leads to increased sweating, especially during the night when your body temperature naturally fluctuates. Thus, maintaining a healthy weight through a healthy diet can help regulate your body temperature, reduce nighttime sweating, and improve your overall health. 

    Visit a doctor 

    Even after trying all the treatment options and making lifestyle changes, severe night sweats can still persist sometimes. In such a case, it is best to consult a healthcare professional. 

    The doctor will evaluate your symptoms, analyze your medical history, and perform a complete physical examination and blood tests. Depending on the results, they  will recommend the best medicines, hormone therapy, or other treatments to reduce your night sweats effectively.

    Does Sleep Apnea Cause Night Sweats?

    Sometimes, night sweats can occur because of another sleep-related condition like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that affects your breathing while you are asleep. 

    In this condition, your breathing can stop and start repeatedly while you are sleeping. The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat block your airway. If left untreated, it could lead to serious health problems like high blood pressure or strokes.

    Common symptoms of sleep apnea include the following: 

    • 1. Infrequent breathing pattern while sleeping 
    • 2. Frequent headaches 
    • 3. Daytime sleepiness 
    • 4. Snoring 
    • 5. Trouble concentrating 
    • 6. Daytime drowsiness
    • 7. Fatigue and irritability.
    Sleep apnea is usually accompanied by night sweats. According to the National University Hospital in Iceland, people who suffer from sleep apnea experience night sweats 30 percent more often than those who do not have this condition. 

    If you are struggling with sleep apnea, good-quality CPAP machines can be a lifesaver for you. A CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is a device specially built to help sleep apnea patients sleep comfortably and lead a normal life.

    These machines provide a steady stream of oxygen to the patient’s mouth and/or nose. This helps their airway stay open while they sleep. 
    With the help of a CPAP machine, you can manage your sleep apnea condition, which in turn, will help in reducing night sweats and enable you to have a peaceful sleep at night. 

    If you are looking for a top-notch, user-friendly, and advanced CPAP machine, Sleeplay has a wide range of options for the best CPAP machines of 2023. We also offer best quality CPAP cleaners to help you keep your device in the best condition. 

    Sleeplay is a modern CPAP destination dedicated to connecting the next generation with experts and products, from CPAP machines and cleaners to masks and humidifiers, for the deepest, best sleep possible.  Sleeplay offers hassle-free purchase experience. Save time dealing with insurance companies and buy straight from us. 

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