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June 2022

How to Get Relief from Night Sweats

 

You toss and turn all night long and wake up drenched in sweat. Night sweats, or excessive sweating during sleep, is making you tired during the day, causing sleep problems, and potentially leading to more serious health issues.

So how do you get relief? That depends on what is causing your night sweats.

Here are a few things you can do:

Narrow down the possibilities

Your night sweats could be caused by something as simple as wearing heavy pajamas, sleeping with too many blankets, or sleeping in a stuffy bedroom. They can also be caused by eating spicy foods or exercising right before bedtime.

Start by wearing lighter clothes to bed, sleeping in a cool room with a fan, or using less blankets. Avoid spicy foods and exercise earlier in the day.

See your provider

If you’re still waking up covered in sweat regularly, it’s time to see your healthcare provider. Night sweats could be a sign of a deeper health problem. Yet only a small percentage of people with night sweats tell their provider.

To get relief, you’ll need to talk with your provider to treat the underlying problem. Here are a few conditions that could be behind your night sweats:

  • Sleep apnea. Adults with untreated obstructive sleep apnea may be more likely to experience night sweats. However, when sleep apnea is treated, night sweats usually happen less often.

  • Heart issues. Inflammation of the heart valves, or endocarditis, can cause night sweats, and excessive sweating—no matter the time of day—can be a sign of heart attack. In addition, night sweating in women during menopause has been linked with increased risk for coronary artery disease.

  • Menopause. Hot flashes are a well-known symptom of menopause, and night sweats are related. Hot flashes can be strong enough to wake you from your sleep and can happen at any time. If hot flashes continually interrupt your sleep, your provider may suggest hormone therapy.

  • Hormone disorders. If your body makes too much or too little of a hormone, like serotonin, it could result in night sweats. Excessive sweating at night could mean there’s a problem in the glands that make hormones.

  • Bacterial infections. Certain infections including tuberculosis and osteomyelitis can cause night sweats.  

  • Cancer. Night sweats accompanied by other symptoms, such as weight loss and fever, can be an early sign of some cancers.  

 

 

 

Online Medical Reviewer: Brian McDonough, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Renee Watson, RN, MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2022
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