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You go to bed at a comfortable temperature (not too hot or too cold) only to wake up drenched in sweat a few hours later. Sometimes your pajamas are soaked and you may even feel the need to change the sheets before going back to sleep. You’re wet, uncomfortable, and maybe a little worried. What’s happening?
Why Do We Sweat When We Sleep
Night sweats are “a weird symptom because most of the time it’s harmless and sometimes it’s not, so it’s definitely something we always take seriously,” said Dr. Kate Rowland, Associate Professor of Family Medicine. at Rush University School of Medicine in Chicago.
Why You Sweat So Much When You Work Out
Sweating during sleep is a relatively common problem that can affect people of all ages and genders, said Dr. Rowland. Surveys of adults who visited their primary care physicians for unrelated reasons found that between 10 and 40 percent reported experiencing night sweats at least occasionally.
There are many possible causes of night sweats, so you’ll want to learn more when a patient tells Dr. Rowland to wake up drenched in the night.
“One of the first things we ask is, what’s the temperature in your room?” she said. “If you wake up and say, ‘Oh my God, it’s hot in this room,’ then we say, ‘Well, adjust the temperature accordingly.’
The National Sleep Foundation recommends a bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees for comfortable sleep. If you can’t keep your bedroom that cool, you can try strategically adding a fan, said Dr. Rowland. It may also be helpful to change to lighter bedding or sleepwear.
Night Sweats: Symptoms And Causes
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Unusual and excessive sweating at night, commonly known as night sweats, is not only unpleasant. Over time, night sweats can become a source of embarrassment and impair quality of life if left untreated. While we often focus on night sweats in women as a very common and problematic symptom of hormonal changes in women, night sweats can also occur in men due to hormonal changes, as well as many other issues.
The discomfort of night sweats can often be alleviated by making changes to the sleeping environment, such as changing the room temperature in the bedroom and directly cooling the sleeping environment with an air conditioning comfort system. But men who experience unusually excessive night sweats may also have a potentially serious medical condition. If you experience changes in your sleep due to heavy night sweats, consult your doctor immediately. Read on to find out what are some common reasons for night sweats in men.
Night sweats due to stress and anxiety: In both men and women, stress or anxiety are often cited causes of sleep disturbances. Stress can manifest in different ways in every body, and men and women can manifest in very different ways. Extreme stress can cause some people to sweat more at any time of the day, not just at night. Stress or anxiety can cause tension in the body, as well as nausea, fatigue, rapid breathing and disturbed dreams. Going through a stressful life change or milestone? You may not have consciously recognized your stress, but it is one of the main reasons why men wake up sweating at night.
Night Sweats: 4 Common Culprits And Solutions For Quality Sleep
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Sleep Sweating: This condition, more commonly known as heartburn or indigestion, can also cause men to sweat excessively during sleep. Chest pain, heartburn, and difficulty swallowing can be symptoms of GERD, especially if it lasts every week. The burning sensation can cause a natural increase in body temperature, which can contribute to night sweats and chest sweats.
Hyperhidrosis and profuse night sweats in men: Hyperhidrosis is a less common medical condition characterized by excessive sweating that is not caused by temperature or physical activity, but is the result of grossly overactive sweat glands. Sweating is often concentrated in certain parts of the body, such as the armpits, palms and feet. The experience of excessive sweating in the groin area is particularly unpleasant. Men who suffer from nocturnal hyperhidrosis may find relief with looser-fitting pajamas and lighter bedding, but it’s best to talk to your doctor about the best medical treatments available.
Medical conditions aren’t the only culprits behind excessive night sweats. Night sweats in men are usually a side effect of medications prescribed for other problems. Antidepressants, steroids, hormone therapy, and diabetes medications have been linked to night sweats. These are common medications for American men. If you have excessive night sweats and lose sleep, you can use version 2 or 3 for cold relief, but it may be time to ask your doctor about alternatives to your medications.
Low testosterone and overheating during sleep: Hormonal changes and overheating in bed are often associated with women going through perimenopause. However, men also experience changes in hormone levels that can cause the body to overheat at night. Later in a man’s life (sometimes called “menopause”), the male body produces less and less testosterone, and one of the hallmark symptoms of “low T” is trouble sleeping.
Why Am I Sweating In My Sleep?
Sleep apnea and night sweats in men: It is estimated that about 25% of men suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is characterized by periods during the night when breathing actually stops. This can happen once or several times a night. Sleep apnea can cause snoring, difficulty breathing, and waking up with difficulty breathing. Waking up and sweating at night can be one of the signs of sleep apnea.
Heat and cold sweats during sleep: bacteria, viruses and other foreign “invaders” can cause night sweats. Bacterial and viral infections are often accompanied by fever, which is our body’s natural response to infection. A fever, also called pyrexia, can raise the body’s internal temperature to kill bacteria or viruses that may be causing the infection itself. If you’re lying in bed and experiencing drastic changes in body temperature, such as chills and cold sweats, there’s a good chance you have a fever, so you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Cancer and night sweats in men: Night sweats have been found to be an early symptom of some forms of cancer. Types of cancer commonly associated with night sweats include leukemia and lymphoma. It is important to note that in cases of this type of cancer, night sweats are one of many other symptoms. Other changes include unexplained weight loss, fever, and enlarged lymph nodes. Although excessive night sweats are not necessarily a sign of cancer, it is important to recognize and monitor such symptoms and report them to your doctor.
Did you know that intense exercise can change your hormones? If you’ve recently started a new, more intense exercise routine and are wondering, “Why do I sweat so much when I sleep now?” Maybe it’s because your body is a bit in shock. To support higher-intensity exercise, the thyroid gland may release more hormones, which can cause night sweats. You may want to change your routine or consult with a professional about how you can start slowly with high-intensity training and make sure you have an adequate cool-down period after your workout.
Why Do I Get So Hot When I Sleep?
Any of the above scenarios could be the root cause of your night sweats, but you can’t be sure until you consult with your healthcare provider. Night sweats are not always a sign of a serious health problem, but you should always tell your doctor about unusual changes in your body. Controlling night sweats to get a good night’s sleep is important for overall health and well-being. To read more about finding your optimal sleeping temperature and getting comfortable at night, keep exploring our sleep blog, which has a section entirely dedicated to healthy sleep tips for men and women.
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I have watched my wife suffer from menopausal hot flashes for years. I finally started looking for something to buy to help me get through the night. This system is so awesome I will be ordering one for my side of the bed. It works very well in cold climates and now that we are in winter the heating works
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