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10 Reasons Why You Are Sweating At Night

By Padmapreetham Mahalingam

Everybody sweats; yet there is always a difference in the way people sweat, as it can't be the same for everyone. Are you dripping in sweat every night? There are a few people who experience sweating while at sleep.

Sometimes, people do wake up with a flushed look on their face and are completely covered in perspiration either due to a haunting nightmare or terrified from a bad dream. Yet there are certain causes that result in excessive sweating, especially during the night time.

If you wake up sopping in sweat, then you will have to do some serious sleuthing to find out what impelled your perspiration. Night sweats are excessive sweating that usually occur only at night. It is more prevalent in women who may experience menopausal transitions.

It predominately exists in a person who is having medical conditions or is taking certain medications. Remember that night sweating is not a result of an overheated room or a hot environment always. Some of the symptoms which are associated with night sweating are flushing, fever or chills.

A total of 70 to 80 percent of the women usually undergo menopausal night sweats. Noradrenaline and serotonin are the substances acknowledged as neurotransmitters. They are also involved in the physiology of hot flushes and night sweats.

Higher levels of brain noradrenaline and lower levels of serotonin found in women will cause hot flushes and night sweats than in those without these indications. Usually, nights sweats are considered to be hot flashes that occur at night and this is evident when you drench your wearable sleep clothes as well your sheets.

However, this is not related to an overheated sleeping environment. Sweating at night may also arise even when your room is snugly cool. Even hormone disorders, neurological problems and hypoglycaemia can also be the reasons for night sweats.

There are different causes for night sweats. So, here are 10 reasons why you may be sweating at night, take a look.


Fighting Some Infection

Sometimes, your body would tend to increase the temperature mechanically when it has to fight an infection.

Sweating a lot at night is a sign that your body is fighting some infection, such as a lung infection (pneumonia or tuberculosis) or malaria.

Night sweats are most frequently a symptom of an underlying illness. If your sweating is excessive, then you need to check with your doctor to find out whether you have a fever.



Some women experience the heat and hot flashes without sweating. On the other hand, others sweat excessively, leaving their clothes and sheets drenched, this is called night sweats.

More than 70 percent of women have hot flashes and night sweats during their perimenopause and menopause stages.

Nearly 35 percent women do face severe hot flashes and night sweats regularly that it does interfere with their quality of life.



It is also an indication of early symptom of liver cancer and bone cancer. The most common type of cancer that is associated with night sweats (usually drenching) is lymphoma.

Even leukaemia causes night sweats. However, excessive sweating is associated with carcinoid tumours and adrenal tumours.

Sweating is our body's normal method to normalize its temperature. Yet when night sweat occurs, the body's thermostat would get inexplicable messages.

Heavy night sweating can also be a signal of lymphoma - a tumour that develops in the lymph cells. Many patients with lymphoma have usually witnessed their night clothes and sheets getting drenched. On the other hand, people who have undiagnosed cancer will also experience recurrent symptoms like weight loss and fever



Night sweats can also happen to healthy individuals, especially in people whose workout causes sweat at lower temperatures than normal. Healthy people do get night sweats, as it is also a sign of over-training.


Idiopathic Hyperhidrosis

Idiopathic hyperhidrosis is a condition in which the body profusely produces sweat without any identifiable medical cause.

The person will complain of extreme sweating during sleep. There may or may not be excessive sweating during the waking hours.

Sleep hyperhidrosis can occur at any age, but it is mostly common during early adulthood. Hyperhidrosis can happen to people who sweat liberally without any reason, while in the case of secondary hyperhidrosis, the person would experience too much sweating due to some underlying illness.


Hormone Disorders

Sweating at night can be the result of hormone disorders such as pheochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome (tumours that cause the body to excessively produce hormones).

Much like hot flashes, even low oestrogen can have an effect on the hypothalamus, which causes night sweats in women. The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that manages to control appetite, sleep, body temperature as well as sex hormones.

Sometimes, the reduced natural oestrogen levels try to mislead the hypothalamus into believing that the body is getting too hot. Consequently, a night sweat happens in order to flush out the body from the illusory excess heat



Hypoglycaemia or blood sugar can cause sweating. If you have hypoglycaemia, then there are chances that you wake up tired or with a bad headache.

Sometimes, you may sweat so much during the night that even your bed clothes or sheets may turn damp when you wake up.


Low Testosterone Level In Men

Even men experience hot flashes and night sweats. Night sweats in men are sometimes linked to low levels of testosterone. Testosterone is the main sex hormone in men.

This stimulates the sperm production as well as supports sex drive. It even builds bone and muscle mass. If you are facing night sweats and symptoms of low Testosterone level, then take an appointment with your doctor to diagnose the cause of this symptom.

Only a doctor would be able to recommend the appropriate therapy. However, night sweats can also be caused by other conditions.



If you don't receive any treatment for HIV infection, the disease will progress to AIDS in about 10 years. When AIDS develops, your immune system would be completely damaged, which can make you vulnerable to opportunistic infections. Some of the symptoms of the infection include drenched night sweats, chronic diarrhoea, skin rashes, unexplained fatigue and abnormal lesions on your tongue.


Neurological Conditions

Neurological disorders would have an effect on the brain as well as the nervous system, which does set off excessive sweating in a person.

If there is an injury in the spinal cord, nervous system injuries or encephalitis and brain disorders, then it would result in hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating.

Neurological conditions like stroke, autonomic dysreflexia and autonomic neuropathy can cause night sweats.

Read more about: sweat night reason cancer menopause
Story first published: Monday, May 29, 2017, 14:01 [IST]
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