Night sweats are up there with hot flashes and mood swings as one of the most common symptoms of menopause. Isolating the cause of night sweats, however, can be quite a bit more difficult. The truth is night sweats are considered symptoms for many, many other conditions. With this in mind, it might not always be wise to brush off the cause of night sweats as one thing or another without a little investigation.
The cause of night sweats, especially in women, is usually associated with menopause. As the body adjusts to some major hormonal changes during this most natural of phases of life, all sorts of things can go haywire. Night sweats and drenching the sheets just seem to go along with it. This, too, can be the cause of night sweats in men who are dealing with andropause.
Although hormonal flux is one of the top causes of night sweats, it’s far from being the only one. There are a variety of reasons this troublesome symptom might appear. Doing some investigation to find the source is generally very wise.
If the cause of night sweats is unknown, there are some less disturbing things that can actually be at the root. It’s worth checking these out to see if any might be the cause of night sweats. Non-medical reasons night sweats develop include a bedroom that’s simply too hot, eating spicy foods at bedtime, drinking hot drinks right before bed and even having too many blankets on a bed or exercising before turning in. It is worth considering these things as potential causes of night sweats since they are very easy to remedy. Other potential causes are not quite so simply to tackle.
If the non-medical options are not to blame, there are a host of conditions that list night sweats as one of their many symptoms. If any of these are suspected, medical attention very likely is necessary, especially in the case of the more serious illnesses.
The other potential cause of night sweats beyond menopause and non-medical culprits include:
- Fever – A host of viral and bacterial infections that present with fevers can cause transient night sweats. These will normally subside when the illness goes away. Even the common cold or flu can cause night sweats.
- Nightmares – Extreme disruptions in sleep can be the cause of night sweats. If they are persistent, medical attention might be worth looking into.
- Sleep apnea – If breathing is interrupted during sleep, night sweats sometimes go along with it. Apnea can be a dangerous condition.
- Stress and emotional problems – This cause of night sweats can often be tackled with help or it will resolve when a particularly rough situation has been handled. Some emotional issues do benefit from medical attention.
- Cancer – Some forms of cancer, such as leukemia, list night sweats as possible symptoms. If concerns are present about cancer, medical attention is very much worth seeking.
- Thyroid disorders – If other symptoms are present, medical attention should be sought out. It is possible to regulate many thyroid disorders to the benefit of a patient.
- Heart disease – Night sweats are not at all uncommon with heart disease, as well.
- Medications – Some medications are known to be the cause of night sweats. If new medications have been introduced, contact a physician about the symptom.
Living with night sweats isn’t fun. Waking up with sheets that are drenched and an overall uncomfortable feeling isn’t something anyone wants to do. If they strike, it’s worth seeking out the cause of night sweats. It is also possible to help prevent them by keeping a bedroom cooler, reducing bedding and by avoiding spicy or hot foods and strenuous activity before bedtime. If the cause of night sweats is unknown, medical advice might be in order.