Night sweats – why people sweat in their sleep

Why do we sweat at night? What to do if you sweat a lot at night?

We are dealing with the doctor.

Waking up to a clogged summer morning with sweat is unpleasant, but expected. Another thing is when this happens in the non-hot season or it happens constantly. What is the cause of night sweats? Is this the rule?

Julia Dvorkina“title =”Julia Dvorkina“/>

doctor of the highest qualification category, head of the functional diagnostics department

Sweating itself is a normal, vital function. Only babies do not sweat. Sweat is the basis of the cooling mechanism. The nervous system automatically starts working the sweat glands when the body temperature rises. For example, during emotional experiences, physical exertion, illness or reaction to heat.

The brain has a thermoregulatory center that sends a signal to the sweat glands. There are more than a thousand of them in the body. There is relaxation of the glands and, as a result, sweat appears.

Why do we sweat at night?

If night sweats are not related to emotional dreams, the annoying symptom can occur for many other reasons.


Sleeping conditions

Julia: Non-disease-related — temperature and humidity in the bedroom, blankets that are too hot, synthetic clothing, taking certain types of medication (antidepressants, insulin, aspirin, abrupt discontinuation of psychotropic drugs).

The process of sweating is increased by certain foods: fatty, spicy foods, caffeine, tobacco, alcohol.



For example, a disorder of the nervous system that regulates the functions of internal organs. Stress and panic attacks. Apnea (temporary cessation of breathing) during sleep, hypertensive crisis.

Excessive night sweats can be caused by infectious, viral and bacterial diseases – all with fever, tuberculosis, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and certain oncological diseases.

In addition, endocrine pathologies, such as diabetes or obesity, can cause increased sweating. But with natural hormonal changes, excessive sweating is normal: during adolescence, pregnancy, the postpartum period, or the onset of menopause.

Also, increased sweating is associated with hyperhidrosis – a violation of the sweating system.

What is hyperhidrosis

Excessive or uncontrolled sweating, also known as hyperhidrosis, can be very annoying and annoying, but it is quite common. This is a condition where people sweat for no apparent reason, such as not in the heat or during sports.


There are two types of excessive sweating:

  • focal Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating in certain areas of the body (usually the armpits, arms, legs or face).
  • generalized Hyperhidrosis: Excessive sweating, usually due to certain medical conditions.

Julia: The most common form of hyperhidrosis is called primary focal. In this type, the nerves that are responsible for signaling the sweat glands become hyperactive, even if it was not caused by physical activity or fever. When you are anxious or nervous, the problem gets worse. This type is usually manifested by sweating on the palms and soles of the feet and sometimes on the face.

When should you contact a specialist?

Often people suffer from hyperhidrosis for years without asking for help. Excessive sweating can have a negative impact on your life. Cause social embarrassment, increase stress levels. It can also be a sign of a serious health problem.


Contact your doctor if:

  • you seem to sweat a lot more than usual
  • Your sweating is not related to exercise or being in a stuffy room.
  • you inadvertently lose weight.
  • sweating usually occurs or increases at night.

In addition to the unpleasant emotional consequences of hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating can also cause painful skin problems and irritations such as bacterial and fungal overgrowth, inflammation and more.

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