Night Sweats Causes – The 3 Most Common Causes Of Night Sweats

Author: Chris Bryce

“Night sweats” refers to the physiological phenomenon of sweating in your sleep. Of course, it is natural to sweat when you are sleeping, but the term refers to excessive amount sweat. After all, your body is at rest, and you are using air conditioning or fans, so what is up with the unwarranted sweat? Though it is not harmful to the body, it can stain your sheets, and also cause a stink when bacteria have the time to digest your sweat. So what are the most common causes for night sweats?

The first among night sweats causes is dreaming. Dreams are powerful things, and they can cause physiological reactions as if they were real. It is entirely possible to sweat as a result of dreams. If you experience some nightmare, a rip-roaring adventure, or a sexually-charged fantasy, your body can experience the same symptoms as you would if it were real. Your heart pumps faster, your breath gets fast and short, and your body sweats to compensate for the heat produced from energy production in preparation for possible succeeding intense physical activity. You might say “But I don’t dream a lot (or at all)!” You would be wrong. Everyone dreams, and most of us can have a dozen or more dreams overnight. It is just that we forget most if not all of them upon waking.

The second among night sweats causes is the transition into menopause. Of course, this does not apply to men. For women, the hormonal changes that occur during the menopause transition phase can produce intense periods of feelings of heat, which results in the activation of the sweat glands. This is hormonal, and will pass as the transition is completed.

Lastly, night sweats are caused by infections and fevers. You might experience quick fevers that pass in the morning, or you may have some disease that causes you to sweat when you are asleep. Common diseases that cause this are: tuberculosis, HIV infection, endocarditis or inflammation of the valves of the heart, some cancers, obstructive sleep apnea, urinary tract infection, hypoglycemia, and head injuries. In these cases, paying a visit to your doctor may shed some light on your problem.

So there you have it. The three most common night sweats causes, in no particular order, are dreams, menopause, and long-term illnesses. Each can be approached and dealt with in different ways, so there is hope for everyone.

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  1. what causes me to wake up every couple hours while i sleep? what causes my night sweats?
    i am a 22 yr old male, who’s in fairly good health. i do exercise, just not like i should. i do not have health insurance (otherwise i would go to a dr.) and am in search for answers? i have read about several causes of the night sweats, things like hormone imbalances, as well as others. does anybody have any good, or professional opinions?


    • You would need a complete workup to be diagnosed since there is a lot of diseases that present itself with night sweats (AIDS, cancer, etc.). Do you take any medications regularly?

      By the way, I am not suggesting you have either AIDS or cancer but just making you aware of the countless possibilities.


  2. What causes night sweats in a male?
    My bf has terrible night sweats. He will wake up totally drenched and the bed will be completly wet on his side. What causes this? We turn the heater down to 65 when we go to bed and I never sweat like that. Sometimes we even have to change the sheets in the middle of the night. Any idea what is causing this?


  3. Lucie Teichmann

    What causes excessive night sweats around neck and shoulders?
    I have had some intermitten neck and between shoulder blades night sweats. I am wondering what is the cause and if it could be an indication of something more serious. I am never hot I am always cold so sweating is a concern for me unless I am having a fever and or arent in a very hot environment. And since its solely in these areas even moreso.


    • See your Dr. for a blood test to see if there’s any underlying cause.a few comes to mind ( menopause,if you’re old enough,thyroid,diabetes,medication if you take any ) checkit out it might be nothing better to be safe than sorry.Hope it helps.Good Luck.


  4. what causes night sweats during menapause and how long will they last?
    have recently stopped having periods. been having night sweats for at least 3 years now am 45 years old when will this end?


    • Have you tried such things as changing your diet? Try to incorporate some soy, or take some soy tablets. It can take a while for your body to settle down – but I suggest trying all the possible natural alternatives you can, rather than hormone replacement therapy (HRT).


  5. What causes night sweats and how can you stop them?
    I am 27 yrs old and healthy so it’s not hot flashes. But for the past few months I have been waking up throughout the night soaked and freezing. This keeps happening and i don’t know what to do about it! It’s very frustrating and uncomfortable to deal with every time i go to bed or take a nap. What could be my problem????


    • See your health care provider as soon as possible. Several things besides the temperature of your bedroom can spark night sweats. Make sure your doctor has ruled out the most common causes: chronic infections such as tuberculosis, an infected heart valve, or AIDS; and tumors such as lymphomas and kidney or liver cancer. But not all causes are that serious. Using alcohol, aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen before bedtime can trigger sweating. (In women, night sweats are a common symptom of menopause.) I hope this helps you. And good luck.


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