Sweating is a completely natural phenomenon for any healthy human being. It is one of the main ways that our bodies regulate body temperature. Night sweats on the other hand are defined as moments of excessive sweating that occur while one is asleep. The sweating is so excessive the individuals find themselves completely drenched in sweat leading them have to change their clothes and sheets. Nevertheless, you should note that true night sweats are unrelated to the conditions of the environment. Therefore, if you are sweating because the room is warm, you are wearing warm clothes, or are covered up with blankets it does not count as night sweats. Though night sweats are usually nothing to worry about, they may reduce the quality of sleep as they can cause major discomfort to an individual.
Though it is hard to determine the exact cause of night sweats, here are the six main causes linked to night sweats.
Menopause and Perimenopause
This only affects women. Menopause is a point in a woman’s life where she permanently stops having her period. A very common symptom that signals the onset of menopause is hot flashes. It usually starts occurring during perimenopause (the transition phase before menopause). When these hot flashes occur at night and cause excessive sweating, they are considered night sweats.
They are some medications that are known to be linked with night sweats. One of the most known drugs that are responsible for causing night sweats are antidepressants. Antidepressants like tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and bupropion can lead to night sweats. Other drugs, taken to lower fever, like aspirin and acetaminophens like Tylenol have in some cases associated with night sweats.
It comes as no surprise that quite a number of infections have been associated with night sweats. Infection can lead to fever, which in turn causes overheating of the body in turn leading to night sweats. Tuberculosis is the most common infection linked to night sweats. Research has also shown bacterial infections like endocarditis, osteomyelitis and abscesses may cause night sweats.
The viral infection of HIV is also associated with night sweats. About 1 in 10 people infected with the virus reported, having night sweats.
Having any hormonal imbalances in your body can be related to night sweats. Some hormonal conditions that can cause night sweats include pheochromocytoma, carcinoid syndrome and hyperthyroidism .
Anxiety and Stress
When you are anxious or stressed your body’s flight or fight response is triggered. The response can cause changes to your heart rate and body temperature leading to you having night sweats. This is especially common for people who experience night terrors or panic disorder.
Hypoglycemia/Low Blood Sugar
If you suffer from diabetes, your blood sugar levels can lower when you are asleep. This can in turn causes your body to produce adrenaline to trigger the liver to correct the low blood sugar level, which will then lead to night sweats.
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