Night sweats, why they occur and what happens in the body

For many of us, sweating is normal when we are exercising, stressed, nervous or on a very hot day, but have you ever wondered why some people get sweaty at night, without apparent cause?

To learn more about this topic, Dr. Aarthi Ram, a neurologist and sleep medicine expert at Houston Methodist Hospital explained that, “It is normal to experience variations in body temperature while you sleep and, sometimes, this can cause sweating. While this can be annoying, there are some solutions that can be taken to reduce the amount of perspiration. “

Then we share with you seven possible reasons What can cause night sweats and how to fix them.

Drinking alcohol before bed

Having a drink or two in the evening may seem like a relaxing thing to do, but it also causes your body temperature to rise and therefore cause sweating.

“Alcohol relaxes the airways, which can make breathing difficult. In addition, it also acts as a stimulant, as it increases the heart rate and these two factors can increase body temperature. “

Stress level

If you are feeling anxious or stressed, you have probably experienced the anguish that comes with trying to fall asleep (or trying to fall asleep after waking up at night). “An overactive mind speeds up the brain and body, which can lead to sweating. The Recurring or long-lasting stress and anxiety could be a sign of a more serious mental health problemlike an anxiety disorder or depression, ”explained Dr. Ram.

Therefore, it is recommended, create a relaxing atmosphere and make sure the lights in your room are low, the sound is limited or soft and the room is cool.

Sleepwear and the right environment

We all like a cozy environment to sleep in, but sometimes there is a fine line between being comfortable and overheating. In this regard, Dr. Ram explained that the most common reasons for night sweats are from the type of bedding, pajamas or even a mattress that does not “breathe” and a sleeping environment that is too warm.

For this, the sleep medicine specialist recommends keep the bedroom always fresh, dress lightly to sleep and choose lighter fabrics to cover ourselves, instead of heavy down comforters.

Medicines

“Some medications can affect the parts of the brain that control body temperature or the sweat glands. This means that these medications can also induce night sweats. “

The types of medications associated with night sweats include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Antiretrovirals
  • Hormone therapy drugs
  • Medications for hypertension
  • Medications for hypoglycemia

If you take any of these medications, talk to your doctor about see if this is a potential cause and to learn about alternative treatment options.

Menopause

One of the signs of menopause is night sweats, “about 75 percent of perimenopausal women report having night sweats. Frequency normally peaks in the first few years after menopause and then it decreases over time, ”said the Houston Methodist Hospital specialist.

Sweating disorders

While incredibly rare, you may suffer from hyperhidrosis, a condition in which your body produces excessive sweating for unknown reasons, for which Dr. Ram recommended the use of quality antiperspirants, Opt for loose-fitting clothing that is more breathable, such as open-knit or loose-woven clothing, made of thin materials, with moisture-wicking or quick-drying properties, or that contain mesh panels and air vents.

Underlying medical problem

In some cases, night sweats occur as a result of a pre-existing disease, such as: autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, cancers, depression, heart disease, HIV, hyperthyroidism (also known as an overactive thyroid), obesity, serious infections, such as endocarditis, tuberculosis, and sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea, among others.

“Sleeping and sweating are very complex processes that respond to many signals and can definitely interact with each other. So if you regularly wake up drenched in sweat, experience sudden night sweats accompanied by weight loss, or if your night sweats prevent you from sleeping well, it’s time to talk to your doctor, ”concluded the Houston Methodist Hospital expert.


Located in the Texas Medical Center, Houston Methodist Hospital has been ranked number one in the state of Texas and in the city of Houston for 10 consecutive years by the prestigious US News & World Report magazine. In 2021, Newsweek magazine included the Houston Methodist in the list of the 100 best hospitals worldwide.

Houston Methodist Hospital is recognized in the world for its cutting-edge medical research, for the care and care of its patients and for its areas of high specialty in: Oncology, Cardiology and Heart Surgery; Diabetes and Endocrinology; Gastroenterology and Gastrointestinal Surgery; Geriatrics; Nephrology; Neurology and Neurosurgery; Orthopedics and Sports Medicine; Pulmonology and Transplants; Otolaryngology and Gynecology. Additionally, Houston Methodist Hospital is recognized worldwide for its leadership in covid-19 research.

Houston Methodist Hospital has a renowned Wellness area where first-rate studies and check-ups are carried out. In this way, a complete and comprehensive picture of the physical and health status of each individual is obtained and, through a multidisciplinary group of experts, a precise and personalized health program for the future can be built.

More information for patients:

Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services | Houston Methodist

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