Night Sweats in Women:17 Causes with Treatment

If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, you may have experienced night sweats. The good news is – sweating at night is usually nothing to worry about.

Your night sweats may be a result of you sleeping in a sweltering room. However, night sweats could signal a serious medical condition in some rare cases. Sweat is completely normal, but excessive perspiration can be uncomfortable for many people.

For some women, night sweats may be uncommon and manageable. In other women, these hot flashes can be extreme and affect sleep quality. While night sweats may be worrisome, most of the time, they can be easily treated. This article discusses common causes of night sweats in women with treatment.

night sweats in women
Night sweats in women symptoms, causes, and treatment

1. Night sweats during the menopause

Menopause is a natural phenomenon that happens in the life of every woman. During menopause and perimenopause, women often experience drastic hormonal shifts that could trigger sweating at night.

The hormones in your body, such as estrogen and progesterone, regulate your body temperature. During the hormonal changes that come with menopause, the hormone imbalances in your body could affect your body’s ability to regulate temperature.

As a result, your body sweats excessively at night and experiences hot flashes. Other symptoms that could accompany the night sweats include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • A sensation of heat in the face, chest, and head
  • Chills

Menopause is the most common cause of night sweats in women. While night sweats are minimal in some women, they can be frequent and affect their quality of life in others—as many as 80% of women going through menopause experience night sweats.

Treatment for Night sweats caused by menopause

Menopause is the sign a woman’s body is reaching the end of its fertility. If you’re experiencing night sweats, you can make lifestyle changes to help manage the discomfort.

  • Take a cold shower before bed.
  • Keep a fan close to your bed
  • Run cool water over your wrists
  • Wear light clothes to bed
  • Open the window before bed

If your night sweating is excessive, your doctor may recommend hormone therapy.

2. Drinking before bedtime

Although having a glass of wine before bedtime may sound relaxing, it can trigger night sweats. Alcohol may have sedative properties, but taking alcohol before bed can also increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature.

Alcohol affects the nervous system and your body’s ability to regulate temperature, leading to excessive sweating at night. In addition, alcohol withdrawal and alcohol intolerance can also lead to night sweats.

If you’re already experiencing night sweats, taking alcohol before bed can worsen your sweating.

Treatment for Night sweats caused by alcohol

If alcohol is the primary cause of night sweats, I recommend limiting your alcohol consumption before bedtime. If you have alcohol intolerance, make sure you avoid alcohol altogether.

Other home remedies you can use to control the night sweats include

  • Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and replace fluids lost through sweat
  • Showering to remove excess salt and sweat from the skin
  • Keeping the bedroom at a cool temperature to prevent sweating
  • Pulling thick blankets and wearing light nightwear

3. Your sleepwear and sleep environment

Sometimes your night sweats may be a result of your sleeping environment. Everyone likes a warm, cozy environment. But, sometimes, your room may be overheated.

If you’re sweating at night for these reasons, you can prevent your night sweats by:

  • Keeping your bedroom cool.
  • Lower your thermostat and use a fan.
  • Wear light and breathable clothing. Avoid overdressing and choose clothes that absorb moisture.
  • Use lightweight bedding.
  • Change your mattress. Foam beds can restrict airflow.

4. Idiopathic hyperhidrosis

Idiopathic hyperhidrosis is when your body produces an abnormal amount of sweat without any identifiable medical cause. Sweating can affect a particular area of your body, or it can affect your whole body.

The sweating is most noticeable in the hands, feet, armpits, and groin. Although idiopathic hyperhidrosis isn’t life-threatening, it can make sleeping at night extremely uncomfortable.

Symptoms of idiopathic hyperhidrosis may include:

  • Frequent sweating
  • Sweaty, wet palms
  • Sweaty, wet soles of the feet
  • Noticeable sweating that soaks through clothing

5. Infections

Night sweats in women can also be caused by Infections diseases such as bladder Infection, tuberculosis, or HIV. Your body can signal you through night sweats when you have an infection. Tuberculosis is the most common infection responsible for night sweats.

Other bacterial infections that can cause night sweats include:

  • Endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valves)
  • Osteomyelitis (inflammation in the bones)

Your night sweats could also be a symptom of abscesses or an HIV infection.

Treating Night sweats caused by an infection

To treat your night sweats, you must first deal with the responsible infection.

6. Medications

Over the Counter Medications

Taking certain medications can have side effects, which could include night sweats. For example, many antidepressant drugs cause night sweats.

Other psychiatric drugs that have also been associated with night sweats include:

  • Steroids, including prednisone and cortisone
  • Pain relief medications, such as aspirin and acetaminophen
  • Medicines for diabetes that help lower blood sugar
  • Hormone therapy medications
  • Both tricyclic and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants
  • Phenothiazine antipsychotics

Treating night sweats caused by Medication

If a certain medication is causing your night sweats, your doctor may recommend an alternative.

7. Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a condition where your blood sugar is lower than average. When you have low blood sugar, one common symptom is sweating at night. Diabetic patients that use insulin also experience night sweats.

Treating night sweats caused by Hypoglycemia

To manage the night sweats caused by low blood sugar, make sure you:

  • Check and maintain your blood sugar before going to bed.
  • Avoid hot and spicy meals before bedtime
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before sleeping

8. Hormone disorders

Your night sweats can be a result of hormone disorders. If you are producing or underproducing a particular hormone, such as serotonin, your may experience hot flashes.

Other hormone disorders that can cause night sweats include:

  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Carcinoid syndrome

9. Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a serious sleeping condition that restricts breathing during sleep. One primary symptom of untreated sleep apnea is night sweats. Men, overweight people, and over 40 are at greater risk for sleep apnea.

Other symptoms of sleep apnea are:

  • Wake up struggling to breathe
  • Feeling tired during the day
  • Wake up with a sore throat
  • Have difficulty focusing during the day
  • Wake often in the night or sleep restlessly
  • Have headaches
  • Have symptoms of anxiety or depression

Treating night sweats caused by sleep apnea

You need to treat the underlying condition to treat night sweats caused by sleep apnea. Treatment for sleep apnea includes:

  • Nasal Decongestants
  • Positive therapy,
  • and surgery.

10. Autoimmune disease

Certain autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and giant cell arteritis, can cause night sweats.

Treatment for night sweats caused by Autoimmune diseases

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, your doctor may prescribe pain-relieving drugs to soothe the pain and inflammation, along with slowing the progression of the illness.

11. Surgery that affects hormone levels

Certain surgeries like labiaplasty and other intimate female surgeries that remove female reproductive organs can cause night sweats.

12. You’re having nightmares

Sometimes, if you have a frightening dream, you may experience night sweats. You may wake up drenched in sweat if you’re running in your dream.  Although nightmares are more common in children, they can happen to anyone of any age.

If your nightmares are recurring, you may require treatment for stress and anxiety.

13. More severe illnesses such as cancer

In rare conditions, night sweats can be a symptom of some cancers. Sometimes, night sweats accompanied by unexplained weight loss can be a cancer symptom, such as lymphoma.

While many types of cancer can cause night sweats, lymphoma is the most common—about a quarter of people with lymphoma experience night sweats.

You must visit your doctor if you’re experiencing night sweats alongside other bothersome symptoms such as extreme pain or a temperature.

14. Neurologic conditions

Some neurologic conditions, such as spinal cord injury, autonomic dysreflexia, and syringomyelia, can cause night sweats in women. Damage to the spinal cord can stimulate sweat glands and lead to episodes of increased sweating.

Neurological disorders including:

  • Autonomic dysreflexia
  • Stroke
  • Posttraumatic syringomyelia,
  • and autonomic neuropathy

These neurological disorders can cause excessive sweating during the day and night sweats.

Other symptoms of Neurological disorders include:

  • Losing consciousness
  • Muscular weakness
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Appetite loss or other GI or urinary symptoms
  • Trembling
  • Numbness and tingling in your arms, hands, legs, and feet

15. Anxiety and Stress

If you’re having a stressful day, you may have noticed you tend to sweat more. Stress, anxiety, and worry can also have the same effect at night.

Although stress is a mental issue, it can leave you soaked in sweat and affect the quality of your life.

Treatment for night sweats caused by anxiety

If you notice the anxiety is causing a problem with your sleep, you should seek a counselor, therapist, or doctor. Your doctor may recommend counseling, stress-reduction techniques, or therapy with a mental health professional. Once the cause of your anxiety is dealt with, your night sweats will stop.

16. Pheochromocytoma

Pheochromocytoma is a rare tumor that grows in the adrenal medulla (the inner part of the adrenal glands). Although the tumor isn’t cancerous, it can cause your body to produce too many hormones.  This can increase your blood pressure, and blood pulse, cause headaches, and lead to night sweats.

Other symptoms of Pheochromocytoma include:

  • Painful headaches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nervous shaking
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Pain in the lower chest or upper belly area
  • Feeling overheated
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Paleness
  • Anxiety and worry
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight loss
  • Vision problems

17. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

GERD is a digestive disorder when stomach acid or bile flows into the food pipe and irritates your esophagus lining. Although you can experience GERD any time of the day, it can sometimes cause night sweats.

Other symptoms of GERD include:

  • Heartburn, often after meals
  • Excessive sweating
  • problems with swallowing
  • chest pain or esophageal spasms
  • regurgitation (when liquid or food comes back up after eating)
  • sleep problems
  • respiratory problems, including coughing or increased symptoms of asthma
Home Remedies for night sweats in women
Home Remedies for night sweats in women

Home Remedies for night sweats in women

To get rid of night sweats, you must first find the causes. If the problem is the environment, you can use an air conditioner to lower the room temperature or wear thin clothes while sleeping.

You should avoid eating things that may cause sweating during dinners, such as caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods. In addition, minimizing stress and anxiety can help you fall asleep quickly, which can help relieve the symptoms of night sweats in women.

If your symptoms are related to menopause, you can take some medications to relieve symptoms. Menopausal hormone therapy can help eliminate menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes.

However, this therapy has side effects because it can be risky for patients with a history of coronary heart disease or breast cancer. Therefore, you must consult your doctor carefully to find the best treatment plan.

When should you see a doctor about your night sweats?

In most cases, your night sweats shouldn’t be a cause for concern. However, in some rare cases, they can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

You should see a doctor if you’re experiencing persistent night sweats that affect your sleep. If your night sweats are accompanied by other symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, high fever, or cough, it may be a sign of severe medical disease.

In people with HIV or lymphoma, night sweats may indicate the disease is progressing.

Can I prevent night sweats?

You can prevent some cases of night sweats.  To minimize your risk of experiencing night sweats, some effective home remedies you can follow include:

  • Reducing your intake of alcohol and caffeine.”
  • Avoid using tobacco and illegal drugs.
  • Sleep in a comfortable environment with a cool temperature
  • Avoid exercising before bed.
  • Avoid eating spicy foods or consuming warm drinks too close to bedtime.

If the cause of your night sweats is a medical condition, the most effective way to manage your night sweats is by treating the underlying disease.