It is usually not difficult to find the reason why we sweat more than normal one night or another and thus even wake up, often towards morning. For many, these are hot summer nights under a blanket that is too warm or in winter the radiators in the bedroom are set to maximum. Others celebrated and drank a glass too much, plus the hot chilli at the Mexican. And quite a few cause grief, anger and fears to stir at night. Incidentally, rooms that are too cold also excessively stimulate sweat production. Everyday and sleeping habits therefore play an important role when sweat attacks rob us of sleep.
Suffering from night sweats in the medical sense means sweating regularly over a long period of time in your sleep, sometimes so badly that the pajamas and often the sheets are soaked through. Some people affected wake up as a result, have to change, sometimes even take a shower, even though the bedroom temperature is right, the blanket is not too warm and they have not had a nightmare. Due to this, you feel sleepy and exhausted in the morning, but otherwise do not sweat excessively.
Nocturnal sweating attacks differ from other disorders in sweat production. This includes sweating all over the body or individual parts of the body, such as the hands, which occur in certain situations or just like that and are not tied to a time of day. Doctors then speak of hyperhidrosis. Night sweats are known as nighttime hyperhidrosis.
Often the triggers of night sweats are harmless without further symptoms and can be treated well with changed sleep habits and stress reduction.
Frequent and violent night sweats are always a reason to see your health professional, especially if you have other complaints such as pain, fever, weight loss. In many cases, hormonal fluctuations are responsible. Some women often sweat at night during pregnancy and when menopause increases. A number of drugs are also possible causes.
Night sweats are typical for some infectious diseases. This could be a viral flu or an inflammation of the heart membrane. In addition to other characteristic symptoms, tuberculosis is very often associated with night sweats. Sometimes neurological disorders or sleep disorders such as sleep apnea are an option. Sweats during sleep are also among the first warning signs of certain tumors and cancers.
After a detailed discussion, your health professional will initiate the necessary examination steps depending on the suspicion. If necessary, they will call in a specialist. This can be a specialist in internal medicine (internist) or for hormone and metabolic diseases (endocrinologist). Specialists in nervous diseases (neurologists) or blood and cancer diseases.
HIV infection / AIDS
Bacterial inflammation of the lining of the heart (endocarditis)
Vascular inflammation (Wegener’s granulomatosis,
Temporal arteritis, polymyalgia rheumatica)
Lymphatic Cancer: Hodgkin’s Disease, Non-Hodgkin’s Disease
Leukemia, myelofibrosis or osteomyelofibrosis
Stress, emotional stress, fears
Sleep disorders, nightmares, sleep apnea
Neurological diseases (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, stroke)
Treatment always follows the underlying disease. However, there are also night sweat attacks for which no clear causes can be found. The doctors then speak of idiopathic night sweats. Here the sweat glands are overactive for unexplained reasons. Some sufferers then also suffer from excessive sweating during the day. Changed living and sleeping habits can, among other things, help to reduce the production of sweat at night. Regular colonics reduce discomfort in the belly, promote a healthy microbiome and allow for a more relaxed sleep.
For those of you who just want to be difficult about sleeping! I recommend listening to Nathanial Ratecliff and The Night Sweats track – Howling at Nothing along with a warm spiced nutmeg milk before going to bed. Works every time!
Keep a sleep diary: