Most cases of night sweats involve innocuous causes and can be managed with simple and mild treatments. Before you grow too concerned about your sweating at night, learn these common causes and treatments.
Do not Panic: You're Not Alone
If you're concerned about the night sweats, then you first need to appreciate how common they are. According to one study conducted in 2011, excessive perspiration at night is mentioned in nearly half of all doctor visits.
While I do not want you to brush off persistent and profuse night sweats, try not to panic after a couple uncomfortably sticky nights. In a vast majority of cases, the causes are not too serious.
The Most Common Causes
The most common causes of night sweats are your sleeping environment, your diet and side-effects of your medications (both prescription and over-the-counter medications). Yes, these causes are even more common than menopause or hot flashes.
Still, warm air in your bedroom or artificial fabrics in your bedsheets may trigger excess perspiration. Hot, spicy foods and high fat foods can trigger your central nervous system to stimulate your sweat glands. And even otherwise harmless medications may have night sweats as a side effect.
Quick and Simple Treatments
If possible, start by lowering the temperature in your bedroom. In addition, try to create some air movement. A light cross-draft or small fan will do. Many people do not realize we do not like to sleep in still air.
Take a close look at the tags or labels on your sleepwear and your bedsheets. Do they contain artificial fabrics like polyester or are they made from breathable natural fabrics like cotton or linen? Light, breathable fabrics can greatly improve your body's ability to release its heat as you sleep.
While you're trying to relieve your night sweating, you might try eliminating spicy foods and fatty foods. I'm not asking you to go on a diet to stop your sweats, but these foods are common enemies of good sleep, so try to go without them until your perspiration problem subsides.
Look at the labels of any medications you take, especially any you take in the evening. If they mention the night sweats as a side effect, you might consider talking to your doctor to see if you can adjust the dosage or if he or she can offer an alternative.
Most cases of sweating at night are not too serious and can be resolved with simple, inexpensive adjustments to your lifestyle or sleeping environment. While some cases may require more research or treatment, try to cover the simple stuff before you grow too concerned.