As the name suggests, night sweat is excessive sweating during the night. Some individuals may mistake the symptoms for normal sweating. But normal sweating occurs either when the weather is too hot or due to improper night clothes. Excessive sweating is where your bed clothes get wet, despite the conditions being neither too hot nor too searing. This kind of sweating calls for an immediate visit to the doctor to check the symptoms. A person might not realize the sweating during sleep till he/she wakes up and finds the bed linen wet, because it might seem more of a dream. But the condition gains severity when it affects and meddles or even disrupts the sleep pattern with time. Another reason to be worried is if hot flushes are involved and the sufferer’s face turns red like it is flushed. Individuals with night sweats are generally fully fit during the day and experience no extraordinary symptoms. However, at night, they start sweating profusely to the extent of wetting their bed linens and sheets. And the best way to deal with it is to understand the true causes of this condition which are listed as under.
Causes Of Night Sweating
This adds up to most women who are in pre-menopausal state called perimenopause (before reaching menopause). They generally show hot flushes during the night by becoming red in the face. Women during pregnancy also have night sweats, due to hormonal changes in the body.
If your doctor tells you that the problem is genetic, then there is usually no need to worry about it. But sometimes when the night sweats lead to an underlying disease, it needs to be checked.
It is known that tuberculosis is a classic example of why night sweats occur. HIV is also associated with night sweats since it is a syndrome that is caused by various disorders. Bacterial infections such as endocarditis (inflammation of the heart) and osteomylitis (inflammation of bones) can also trigger this condition. Infections such as boils and other abscesses may cause excessive sweats.
One very important sign during night sweats maybe weight loss. During this time, it is essential to get it tested as it could be an early symptom of cancer. The main type likely to occur is lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and intake of insulin is also seen to cause night sweats. What are very rare are neurological disorders that cause this condition such as stroke or autonomic disreflexia.
Based on statistics, it is seen that night sweats occur in adults who are 40 or above due to various genetic and hormonal changes that their bodies go through during this period of time.
If no other symptom is seen in an individual, the only other possible reason for night sweats could be medications. All anti-depressants such as tricyclic antidepressants or serotonin inhibitors cause excessive sweating during the night and around 8-22% of the people are affected. Sometimes even aspirins (lowers body temperature or fever) have side effects. The drugs that cause flushing include: niacin, nitroglycine hydralazine, sildinafil (Viagra) etc
Tips To Deal With Non-Medical Sweating
Avoid spicy food, alcoholic drinks and coffee or tea since it stimulates hot flashes and increases blood pressure.
Avoid exercise close to bedtime, since this increases metabolism and thus sweating.
Wear light clothing and use a fan
Herbs such as violets or chickweek can help regulate body temperature.
Have cold water showers before bedtime instead of a tub bath or Jacuzzi.