5th December 2019

Why Do I Sweat so Much While I Sleep?

Last Modified: August 3, 2022

Are you afraid to sleep at night because you'll be saturated with sweat in the morning? Sweating is a normal bodily function. But when it interrupts your daily life that's a clear sign something is amiss.

Why are you sweating while sleeping, anyway? It could be the result of your bedroom environment or a symptom of a medical condition. For the sake of your health, you should know the cause of profuse sweating.

It's time to beat the heat and say goodbye to night sweats. Read on to discover the causes -- and solutions -- of nighttime sweating.

Why Am I Sweating While Sleeping?

Normally, sweat plays an important role in maintaining a comfortable body temperature. When you are exercising or outside on a hot summer day, your body starts to heat up.

It releases sweat in response. When the sweat evaporates, it takes some of the body heat along for the ride and cools you down.

This can happen when you are under the covers as well. The thing is, there isn't enough ventilation to allow evaporation to occur. You'll stay hot all night long.

That's why it's normal to sweat -- and keep sweating -- while in bed.

But excessive sweating is unnatural. This is known as sleep hyperhidrosis, which is a legitimate medical condition. It's more commonly known as night sweats.

However, one study discovered "night sweats" is an unspecific term. Since it encompasses varying amounts of sweat and symptoms, plenty of factors could be to blame.

Still, health professionals know enough about nighttime sweating to propose some potential causes.

The Causes of Excessive Sweating

It's difficult to quantify how much sweating at night is too much. But it's likely excessive if it's waking you up at night or disgusting you in the morning.

Still not sure? Knowing the causes of night sweats can help you determine if you have a medical condition. Here are some of the most common causes of hyperhidrosis.

1. Menopause

Night sweats are most commonly associated with menopause. If you are a woman in your 40s or 50s, this is likely the cause of your excessive sweating at night. You will also experience hot flashes, or sudden warmth, In addition to increased sweat output.

This occurs because of a hormone imbalance. Menopause comes with a decrease in estrogen, which throws off your normal hormone levels.

Hormone changes can affect the hypothalamus, the part of your brain that regulates your body temperature. It also dilates the blood vessels, sending more blood and warmth to the skin.

Thankfully, sweating caused by menopause does not require medical attention. As menopause comes to an end, your hormone levels will balance out and put this discomfort to bed.

Until then, use a light blanket, keep the room temperature low, and turn on a fan to increase ventilation. If your night sweating is still unbearable, hormone replacement therapy can provide relief.

2. Infection

Have you ever wondered what causes a fever? When your body is inflicted with a serious bacterial infection, it raises its core temperature. This can help you combat the invaders since some are vulnerable to temperature changes.

Of course, this comes at a cost. Even if you don't have a full-blown fever, the additional heat can lead to night sweats when you're confined under the covers.

Remember that you can acquire an infection without a nasty wound. For example, tuberculosis is notorious for causing night sweats, but it infects the lungs.

If you are experiencing signs of a bacterial infection such as pain or coughing, you should see your doctor immediately.

3. Metabolism

As your body prepares for sleep, it cools down. But some bad practices can disrupt this component of your circadian rhythm.

Exercising will not only heat up your core temperature, but it can wake up your metabolism, too. The same goes for eating right before bedtime.

Give yourself at least two hours to digest before hitting the hay. And preferably, do your workout in the morning to promote a good night's sleep.

4. Medication

Night sweats are a side effect for many different types of medication. Antidepressants and psychiatrists are some of the most well-known causes of excessive sweating. Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, lower fevers but can still leave you sweating while sleeping.

If you continue to suffer from side effects even after improving your sleeping environment, ask your doctor about changing your medication.

5. Idiopathic Hyperhidrosis

Do you sweat throughout the day as well as night? You may not have night sweats at all. Some people simply sweat more than others.

In fact, this is a medical condition known as idiopathic hyperhidrosis. There is often no malicious cause. Instead, your sweat glands may simply be more active than those in other people.

If you think you suffer from hyperhidrosis, be sure to talk to your doctor. They can prescribe powerful antiperspirants that may be able to help.

Of course, antiperspirants can only do so much and require constant applications. A hyperhidrosis botox treatment can be more convenient and effective in the long run.

Don't Break a Sweat

Sweating while sleeping can be a medical symptom, but few causes are life-threatening. For your first treatment plan, start by lowering your AC, turning on a fan, and using a lighter blanket. If you continue waking up in a cold sweat, that's when you should discover the root cause.

But maybe you don't have to.

If you've experienced excessive sweating throughout your life, you likely have idiopathic hyperhidrosis. A botox treatment can reduce your underarm sweating by as much as 95%. Contact us today for more information.

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 5th December 2019
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

"We want to empower everyone who walks through our clinic doors, to be able to look in the mirror and see a happier, brighter version of themselves."

For everyone that walks through our clinic doors, you may think you are alone, but you are not. Our patients all have a different story to tell but all come from a similar place.
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