Night Sweats

Excessive sweating during sleeping, known as night sweats or by its medical name of sleep hyperhidrosis, is a relatively common condition that can be triggered by many factors and at any age.

The obvious first stage is to ensure that the temperature of the room itself is not too hot and that the heat retention properties of bedclothes are not the root cause.

Women over the age of 40 are more prone to night sweats as a result of the menopause and the changes to the hormonal balance in the body. If caused by this, then although the condition can be frustrating it is likely not the sign of any underlying disease or a sign of danger. Hormonal changes can also cause night sweats during pregnancy.

There are several medications that can cause night sweats as a side effect. The most common are anti-depressants, niacin, hydralazine, sildenafil, tamoxiflen, cortisone and prednisone but this is not an exhaustive list. If you are taking medication it is worth checking the information leaflet supplied with it to see what is listed as potential side effects there.

Without wanting to raise undue alarm, it is always advisable to seek professional advice from a doctor to determine if there are any other factors leading to the night sweats that do require medical attention and/or further investigation as in addition to the relatively harmless causes above, they can be signs of more serious problems.

Diabetics may also experience night sweats as a result of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia). This will likely require an immediate intake of sugar in some form to bring the blood glucose back form dangerous levels.

Night sweats can also be a symptom of some cancers, such as cancers of the lymphoma - there are usually other symptoms such as unexpected weight loss that accompany the night sweats.

Infections such as tuberculosis can also be a cause of night sweats.

Finally it could simply be idiopathic hyperhidrosis, this being where the body overproduces sweat but with no identifiable underlying medical cause.

There are several different herbal remedies that are widely believed to help the symptoms of night sweats - there are a selection of these listed on this site. Click here to view them.