Night sweats is another term for excessive perspiration or sweating at night. They’re an uncomfortable part of life for many people.
While night sweats are a common symptom of menopause, they can also be caused by some medical conditions and certain medications. In most cases, night sweats aren’t a serious symptom.
Night sweats can also be caused by other medical conditions, such as:
Consuming too much caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, or certain illicit drugs can also cause night sweats.
Night sweats aren’t usually a cause for concern. But in some cases, they may be a sign of an underlying medical condition that requires treatment.
Seek medical attention if you develop night sweats that occur frequently, disturb your sleep, or are accompanied by other symptoms. Night sweats that are accompanied by a high fever, cough, or unexplained weight loss may be a sign of a serious medical condition.
To treat night sweats, your doctor will take steps to address their underlying cause. Your recommended treatment plan will depend on your specific diagnosis.
If you experience night sweats as a result of menopause, your doctor may recommend hormone therapy. This treatment may help reduce the number of hot flashes you experience and alleviate other symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe other medications, such as gabapentin, clonidine, or venlafaxine, which are used off-label for night sweats.
If an underlying infection is the cause of your night sweats, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, antiviral drugs, or other medications to help treat it.
If your night sweats are caused by cancer, your doctor may recommend a combination of chemotherapy drugs, surgery, or other treatments.
If your night sweats are linked to medications that you’re taking, your doctor may adjust your dosage or recommend an alternative drug.
If alcohol consumption, caffeine consumption, or drug use is at the root of your night sweats, your doctor may advise you to limit or avoid these substances. In some cases, they may prescribe medications or recommend therapy to help you quit.
Your doctor may also advise you to adjust your sleeping habits. Removing blankets from your bed, wearing lighter pajamas, or opening a window in your bedroom may help prevent and alleviate night sweats. It may also help to use air conditioning or a fan, or find a cooler place to sleep.
Some causes of night sweats can be prevented. To lower your risk of experiencing night sweats:
- limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine
- avoid using tobacco and illegal drugs
- keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, cooler at night than during the day
- don’t exercise, eat spicy foods, or consume warm drinks too close to bedtime
- get prompt medical attention if you suspect you have an infection or other illness
Ask your doctor for more information about your specific condition, treatment options, and strategies to prevent night sweats.
Night sweats can be uncomfortable and disrupt your sleep. In most cases, they’re not a cause for serious concern. But sometimes, they may be caused by an underlying condition that requires treatment.
Your doctor can help diagnose the cause of your night sweats. They can also recommend strategies to prevent or treat night sweats. Depending on the underlying cause, they might recommend lifestyle changes, medications, or other treatments.