It’s not only caused by “night terrors”…
Read any novel or work of fiction, and you’ll often find the characters wake in the dead of night, covered in sweat, and terrified from some dream or vision. Night sweats are often used in fiction as a means of conveying fear, worry, or sorrow, but in real life, it’s very rarely the case! Here are a few reasons why you get night sweats:
- Idiopathic hyperhidrosis — If you’ve ever thought, “Man, I sweat a lot more than normal!”, it’s very likely you suffer from idiopathic hyperhidrosis. This is a condition in which your body produces excess sweat, but there is no real medical cause behind the problem.
- Cancer –– It may sound odd, but it’s true: cancer can cause you to sweat at night! Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) is the cancer most commonly associated with night sweats, but it’s not the only type. Night sweats, when accompanied by unexplained fevers and/or weight loss may be a sign you have an undiagnosed form of cancer. Best get to your oncologist and get checked out!
- Menopause –– Sweating and hot flashes are a very common side effect of menopause. If you get a hot flash at night, you may find yourself sweating through your sheets and waking up covered in perspiration. For women in their late 40s and 50s, menopause is probably the most likely cause of your night sweats.
- Infections –– A wide range of infections can cause you to sweat at night. Tuberculosis is probably the most common infection, but infections in your bones, in your heart valves, and abscesses can all cause the problem. Even HIV infection has been known to cause night sweats.
READ MORE: Sweaty Pits? No Sweat!
- Neurologic conditions –– Night sweats can be caused by neurologic conditions such as autonomic neuropathy, stroke, autonomic dysreflexia, and posttraumatic syringomyelia. These disorders are often accompanied by other side effects, and night sweats is just one of the symptoms of these conditions.
- Hypoglycemia –– If your blood sugar drops too low, your body may perspire excessively. Those on oral diabetes medications or receiving insulin injections may discover that they have a problem with sweating a lot at night.
- Medications –– You’d be surprised by how many different types of medication have been linked to excessive sweating at night. Antidepressant medications may be the cause of your night sweats. It’s estimated that up to 22% of people on antidepressants suffer from excess sweating at night. Some fever-lowering drugs–such as aspirin or Tylenol–can also cause you to sweat at night, though this may be your body’s attempt to reduce the fever. There are a number of other medications that can cause night sweats. If you are taking medication and experience night sweats, talk to your doctor. He may be able to switch out your medications for another that will not cause night sweats.
- Hormone disorders –– Your hormones control your perspiration rate, so it’s no surprise that hormone disorders play a role in your sweating problems. Disorders like hyperthyroidism, pheochromocytoma, and carcinoid syndrome can all cause you to sweat or feel flushed throughout the day or night.
See, night sweats aren’t the result of a nightmare or anxiety, but they are more likely the result of some medical condition or disorder. If you experience night sweats more than once or twice per week, it’s definitely in your best interest to get to the doctor for a checkup. It’s vital to find the cause of your night sweats and get it treated!