Why Do I Sweat In My Sleep?
Find out what night sweats are, what causes night sweats, and how to stop sweating at night to get better sleep.
If you’re asking yourself, “Why do I sweat in my sleep?”, then you’re about to find out. Sweating is a normal process of the body. It helps us regulate our body temperature to keep us cool. When we’re exposed to high temperatures or we do something like exercise, we can expect to sweat a lot, but some of us are still wondering, “Why am I sweating in my sleep”?
Night sweats can happen when you sleep without high temperatures or exercise. You most likely don’t sweat at night because your room is too hot, although sometimes that can be an issue. Many times there are underlying health issues that contribute to sweating in your sleep.
Night sweats don’t just reduce your quality of sleep. If they are a result of an undiagnosed health condition, they could be a sign for you to seek medical attention. This is why it’s so important for you to find out what causes night sweats, and figure out exactly why you sweat in your sleep.
What Are Night Sweats?
This is easy enough. Night sweats are what they sound like. It’s the term used to describe excessive sweating that happens when you sleep. Sweating at night from night sweats is different than sweating at night just because it’s too hot in the room.
Many people who experience excessive perspiration while sleeping will have episodes where they wake up soaked or drenched in sweat. It can be so bad for some people that a change of clothes or sheets is needed just to go back to bed.
Are Night Sweats The Same as Hot Flashes?
Hot flashes are a sudden rush of intense warmth. A hot flat can happen at any time, including during the day. They may occur at night, which can cause night sweating. When this happens at night, they start to fall into the night sweat category.
Because of these similarities, night sweats are sometimes referred to as hot flushes. However, flushing is a term used to describe when increased blood flow causes the skin to redden. Flushing can be a symptom of night sweats, but flushing alone does not cause excessive perspiration.
Are Night Sweats Normal?
Sweating is normal, but is it normal to sweat in your sleep? That’s a great question and the answer is yes. Night sweats are fairly common. One study looked at the prevalence of night sweats in primary care patients. It found that 41% of the 2000 patients reported having night sweats during the past 30 days.
In the same study, night sweats were most common for people between the ages of 41 and 55. Being in this age range can make it more likely for you to experience the symptoms of night sweats.
What Causes Night Sweats?
We’ve already established that sweating is normal and night sweats are fairly common. As for what is causing you to sweat at night, there could be many reasons. Regulating our temperature is a complex task that involves many different factors.
Common Causes of Night Sweats to Answer,
“Why Do I Sweat in My Sleep?”
Finding out why you sweat in your sleep starts with knowing what can cause night sweats.
Menopause is when women stop going through their menstrual cycle. Women go through many changes during this time, including sweating at night. Menopause is a leading cause of night sweating. In fact, hot flashes caused by menopause are one of the most common causes of night sweating.
85% of common in the United States report being affected by hot flashes. 64% of those women report higher rates of insomnia and other issues sleeping, including excessive perspiration.
Some medications can cause you to sweat in your sleep. Medications like antidepressants, steroids, aspirin, and acetaminophen can all make you sweat in your sleep. This seems to happen with these types of drugs for a couple of reasons.
One of which is that some of these medications directly affect areas of the brain that control our body temperature. Taking these kinds of medications can cause night sweating, or can make sweating at night worse if you’re already experiencing night sweats.
Infection is not one of the most common causes of night sweats, but it can happen. There are certain infections that are linked to causing excessive sweatiness at night. This is because infections often cause a fever, which leads to overheating, which turns into night sweats. If you think your night sweats are caused by an infection, see a doctor right away.
Hormone problems can be a cause of night sweats. Changes in hormone levels are often associated with menopause, but there are many reasons your hormones can change or be thrown off balance. When this happens it can directly affect whether or not you sweat in your sleep.
The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that regulates body temperature. Sweating at night could be a sign that you have a hormone imbalance. It can be our body’s way of telling us something is up, and we need to get it checked out.
Other Causes Of Night Sweating
We’ve covered the four most common causes of night sweats. Now let’s look at some of the less common causes of night sweating.
Drinking Before Bed
Drinking alcohol before bed can cause a lot of different sleep issues, including sweating too much when you sleep. The effects of alcohol make it harder to breathe and increase the heart rate. Both of these effects can cause night sweatiness.
Too Much Stress
Believe it or not, being too stressed can also contribute to you waking up all sweaty. Being anxious or stressed about something going on in your life can make it hard to fall asleep, and hard to stay asleep, especially if you’re waking up sweating.
What You Sleep In
Although night sweats aren’t usually caused by our sleeping environment, it can still be a factor. Sleeping in breathable clothing materials that don’t hold your heat in will help reduce your chances of waking up sweaty. Having a mattress that doesn’t breathe well can also make night sweating worse.
How To Stop Night Sweats For Better Sleep
Night sweats can be quite a burden. Many times, sweating in your sleep happens as a result of an underlying health condition. Naturally, this makes stopping night sweats from happening a big deal for those of us who experience them.
As we’ve discovered, there are many reasons you may sweat in your sleep. Because of this, there is no way to stop night sweats for everyone. However, there are a few tips to stop night sweats that everyone can use.
Ways to Stop Night Sweating
The first thing to do to stop night sweating is to talk to your doctor. Because night sweats are often linked to other health conditions, you should talk to your doctor if you find yourself repeatedly waking up in pools of sweat. Once you and your doctor identify why you’re seating in your sleep, you can work on the solution.
Lower the Bedroom Temperature
Sleeping in a bedroom at a cooler temperature can help stop night sweats. It doesn’t directly affect any potential medical conditions, but cooler temps can reduce episodes from occurring. Try turning your thermostat down between 65 and 68 degrees F for optimum sleeping temperatures. You can also program your thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when it gets close to your bedtime.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Taking your health seriously and maintaining a healthy weight can go a long way to reduce your chances of night sweating. Higher body weights have been linked to higher cases of night sweats. This is mostly due to the increased risk of other medical conditions that are associated with being overweight.
Get a Cooling Mattress
Getting a cooling mattress won’t fix your night sweats if they’re caused by a medical condition, but they can help reduce sweating at night. Cooling mattresses have different cooling technology and features. Some have breathable vents to allow for air to flow through the mattress, while others have cooling gel packs that absorb heat. Some come with moisture-wicking fabric that can help wick moisture off you while you sleep to help keep you cool.
If you find that you’re in need of a cooling mattress, check out this list of Best Mattresses for Hot Sleepers. It has our top cooling mattresses that are sure to help keep things nice and cool, so you can rest easy, sleep well, and hopefully not have to worry about any night sweats.
FAQs Answered in This Blog
Why Do I Sweat In My Sleep?
Why Do We Sweat While Sleeping?
Is it Normal to Sweat a Lot in Your Sleep?
Why Do I Sweat in My Sleep Without Being Hot?
When Should I be Worried About Night Sweats?
What Does it Mean When You Randomly Sweat in Your Sleep?