ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Causes of cold sweats at night

Updated on October 5, 2011
Cold sweating at night may be the result of conditions, hyperhidrosis or more serious causes.
Cold sweating at night may be the result of conditions, hyperhidrosis or more serious causes.

At one point in time or another, a majority of persons has woken up with damp sheets or pillows as a result of perspiration.

In some cases, this is normal and typically infrequent. Sometimes, the causes of cold sweats at night are far more serious – the result of conditions, infections or disorders.

Before taking overactive sweat glands at night seriously, you should rule out obvious causes. High temperature at night is an obvious cause of cold sweats. If not temperature, excessive insulation (clothes, blankets) might be another reason.

Another obvious cause of cold sweats at night is stress and anxiety, which can produce hormones that increase perspiration. Migraines and spicy foods before bedtime are also causes of cold sweats at night that should not cause undue concern.

Night sweating is a common side effect of medications like fever drugs, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs. Fever drugs such as aspirin and acetaminophen are typically responsible. Other drugs with cold sweats as common side effects are sildenafil (Viagra), niacin, nitroglycerin, cortisone, hydralazine and tamoxifen.

Once the causes of night perspiration are not minor factors like temperature, excessive insulation, diet, medications, or stress/anxiety, other culprits are involved. In rare cases, cold sweats at night are a symptom of idiopathic hyperhidrosis – a condition where the body perspires excessively without any identifiable medical cause.

For women, the onset of menopause usually precipitates hot flashes, accompanied by cold sweats. This is normal, since the cause is the reduction in estrogen. It commonly affects women in the perimenopausal stage as well as during the actual menopause.

Psychological disorders that affect hormonal balance can precipitate cold sweats at nights. One example of a psychological disorder that causes night sweating is “nightmare disorder.” This disorder increases adrenaline in the body, which opens up the sweat glands.

Medical disorders or conditions can also cause night perspiration. Hyperthyroidism, pheochromocytoma and carcinoid syndrome are hormone disorders with cold this as one of their symptoms. Diabetic persons can also suffer from cold sweats because taking insulin and other medications might lead to low blood pressure. Neurologic conditions that affect blood circulation (stroke and autonomic dysreflexia, for example) can also be responsible for sweating.

Cold sweats at night can also be symptoms of viruses and infections. Influenza and tubercolosis are usual suspects. In addition, bacterial infections are likely reasons. These include endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valves); osteomyelitis (inflammation within the bones); and abscesses. Even more seriously, cold night sweats may be an early symptom of HIV infections, cancer (especially lymphoma) and ruptured blood vessels.

While cold sweats at night can result from normal hormone-affecting circumstances, sometimes they are symptomatic of serious conditions like diabetes; infections like HIV; or disorders like carcinoid syndrome. If night perspiration is frequent, especially when obvious causes are eliminated, you should seek medical advice.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • Sinea Pies profile image

    Sinea Pies 

    7 years ago from Northeastern United States

    OMG...I thought it was menopause but now that I read this I believe it may be that I need to cut back on acetominophen! Thanks! Voted up and useful.

  • Credence2 profile image

    Credence2 

    7 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

    Your information and the education it provides is most appreciated, Cred2

  • lyns profile image

    lyns 

    7 years ago from USA

    Very interesting article, I graded it up and interesting

  • 2besure profile image

    Pamela Lipscomb 

    7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

    The two time I experienced cold sweats were after having a child and when in menopause, which was hormonal. Great information! Voted up,

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)