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Why Do I Sweat So Much In My Sleep? | Sleep Reset

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September 15, 2022

Why Do I Sweat So Much In My Sleep?

Medically reviewed by: 

Do you wake up drenched in a pool of sweat? Does waking up feel more like you’ve been working out in your pajamas than sleeping in them? You may be experiencing a phenomenon known as night sweats. 

Nighttime sweating can be caused by a wide variety of things, including fever or medication side effects, but one of the most common causes is an overheated sleeping environment. 

So, let’s break down how to prevent nighttime sweating and get a good night's sleep!

What causes night sweating? 

“Why do I sweat in my sleep?” is a common question, but it can be difficult to answer. Night sweats, or nocturnal hyperhidrosis, can be caused by many things. Practical reasons include:

  • Fever: If you have a fever, your body works hard to fight off an infection, which can cause you to sweat at night.
  • Menopause:  Night sweats are a common symptom of menopause. This is due to changing hormone levels in the body.
  • Medications: Studies show that some medications, such as antidepressants, can cause night sweats as a side effect.

While these are all valid reasons for night sweats, one of the most common causes is an over-warm sleeping environment. When your bedroom is too hot, your body temperature rises, and you start to sweat. This can happen even if you don't have a fever or a condition requiring medication. 

How night sweating affects sleep

Night sweats can significantly impact your sleep. Because they cause you to wake up covered in sweat, they can disrupt your sleep cycle and leave you feeling exhausted during the day. Night sweats can also lead to insomnia, as you may start to associate your bed with waking up feeling hot and sweaty. 

How to decrease nighttime sweating

There are a few things you can do to decrease nighttime sweating and get a better night's sleep:

  • Use sheets and blankets made from natural fibers. Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, trap heat and worsen night sweats.
  • Keep your bedroom cool. The ideal sleeping temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Use a fan or air conditioner to circulate the air in your room. 
  • Wear light, breathable clothing to bed. 
  • Avoid spicy foods before bedtime, as they can increase body temperature. 
  • Practice relaxation techniques before bedtime to help reduce stress levels. 

Taking simple precautions can greatly increase your chances of getting a good night's sleep.

When to worry about night sweats

Night sweats are common and usually nothing to worry about. But you should speak with your doctor if they're disrupting your sleep or causing you anxiety. Night sweats can signify more serious conditions, including: 

  • Depression: Night sweats are linked to depression. You may also experience other symptoms like fatigue, changes in appetite, or difficulty concentrating.
  • Anxiety can cause night sweats due to the sympathetic nervous system's "fight-or-flight" response. This response is designed to protect us from danger, but it can also lead to sweating and an increased heart rate.
  • Cancer: Night sweats can indicate some types of cancer, such as leukemia or lymphoma. If you have night sweats that accompany fever or weight loss, you must report these symptoms to your primary care physician. 
  • Hypoglycemia: Night sweats are sometimes triggered by hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. This can happen if you take insulin or other medications for diabetes.
  • Hormone disorders: An imbalance in hormones like estrogen or testosterone can increase sweating. The imbalance could be caused by menopause, but it could also be caused by conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or hypogonadism.

If you're concerned about your night sweats, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine the cause and develop a treatment plan.

Learn to sleep better

If you're struggling with night sweats, it's important to find a way to improve your sleep. A poor night's rest can lead to serious and long-term health consequences. That's why, at Sleep Reset, we specialize in helping people get the quality sleep they need.   

Our team of sleep experts has developed a program based on teachings from top-tier sleep clinics. Our strategies include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), the most effective treatment method. CBT-I has been proven to help people reduce their sleep anxiety and improve their nighttime habits. 

The Sleep Reset program is convenient and easy to use. It's an app, so you can take it wherever you go. And because it's personalized, you can be sure that you're getting the most effective treatment for your specific needs. 

Take our sleep quiz to discover how to reset your sleep