- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Sweating in the Middle of the Night
If you happen to wake up in the middle of the night, to find your nightwear, pillow and blankets soaked with sweat, you don't have to worry. In most cases this is not alarming and does not require any medical treatment. But, if that happens frequently, then it is better to see a doctor. Night sweats are very rarely something that should concern you too much. However, in some cases they are a sign of another condition or even underlying disease. For example, in aging people it can be a sign of menopause or andropause. Chronic night sweats are medically known as sleep hyperhidrosis, and they can occur at any time during sleep. People with sleep hyperhidrosis can wake up in the middle of the night feeling very cold or very hot, sticky and wet from perspiration. This condition can significantly disrupt sleep habits and lead to insomnia or stress. However, do not run to conclusions and self-diagnosis, but consult your doctor instead.
Beside the obvious causes such as bedroom temperature, and emotional stress triggered by nightmares, there are other possible explanations for night sweats, that can't be reached without performing certain medical tests first, like menopause and andropause, idiopathic hyperhidrosis, pregnancy, infectious diseases like tuberculosis, hormone disorders like hyperthyroidism, certain drugs like antidepressants, and genetic factors. And by the way, genetic causes should not scare you, as they are not harmful at all.
There are some very simple things to do before seeing a doctor that may stop or ease the sweating:
1) Try to relax and get rid of the stress before sleeping. Use relaxation methods like yoga, reading an interesting book, or listening to soft music.
2) Adjust the room temperature, and select proper cover and pyjamas.
3) Always keep a cold glass of water beside you. Drinking cold water after excessive sweating will keep you hydrated and help cooling down your body's temperature.
4) avoid spicy food, alcohol, and coffee.
5) Resort to natural remedies like green tea, chamomile, and St Jon's wort.
You may need a few nights of experimentation, but in the end it is worth it. If, despite of all these efforts, you still experience night sweats, talk to your doctor. It could be a symptom of serious condition. Especially if accompanied by other symptoms like fever, swollen lymph nodes, skin rashes or loss of appetite.