Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Reasons For Night Sweats

Many of my customers have asked...what are the reasons for night sweats. In doing research on the subject of hyperhidrosis otherwise known as night sweats, I found Wikipedia to have a very good explanation of night sweats as well as the most common reasons for this problem.

According to Wikipedia, sleep hyperhidrosis, more commonly known as the night sweats, is the occurrence of excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) during sleep. The sufferer may or may not also suffer from excessive perspiration while awake.

Night Sweats may occur for genetic reasons and may be relatively harmless. However, they can be distressing and disrupt sleep patterns if severe; the patient may be frequently awakened due to the discomfort of damp sleepwear.

One of the most common causes of night sweats in women over 40 is the hormonal changes related to menopause and perimenopause. This is a very common occurrence during the menopause transition years and while annoying, it is not necessarily dangerous or a sign of underlying disease. Some women experience night sweats during pregnancy due to hormonal changes.

It should be noted that while some causes of night sweats may be relatively harmless, others may not and can be a sign of a serious underlying disease. While there can be several possible causes of excessive sweating at night, it is important to distinguish night sweats due to medical causes from those that occur simply because the sleep environment is too warm, either because the bedroom is unusually hot or because there are too many covers on the bed. A simple solution would be to utilize moisture wicking sleepwear.

A night sweat caused by a medical condition or infection can be described as ‘severe hot flashes occurring at night that can drench sleepwear and sheets, which are not related to an overheated environment’.[1]

True night sweats with medical causes should be properly investigated by a medical physician.

Wikipedia also lists the following causes of Night Sweats
* Steinerosis
* Brucellosis
* Cancer, Leukaemia or Lymphoma
* Cerebral palsy
* Cerebral and brain stem strokes
* Epilepsy
* Familial dysautonomia
* Head injury
* Hypoglycaemia (Chromium deficiency)
* Hypothalamic lesions
* Menopause
* Obstructive Sleep Apnea
* Pneumonia
* Pulmonary histoplasmosis
* Subacute endocarditis
* Tuberculosis
* Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Certain medications, including anti-depressants (such as sertraline) have also been known to cause night sweats in some individuals. Another cause could be withdrawal from various drugs (mdma, opiates, benzodiazepines, etc.).
I've included the link for additional info.

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