If you're concerned about sweating while sleeping, it will help you understand why your body perspires when it does. Once you understand what's happening when you perspire at night, you will have a better idea what steps to take to stop the sweat.
Your Internal Thermostat
We all have an internal thermostat. It is almond-sized and it sits at the top of your brain stem. It is called the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus processes vital functions in the autonomous nervous system. It controls your sense of hunger and thirst, your sleep cycle and most relevant to this discussion, your body temperature.
This internal thermostat processes thermoregulation by receiving signals from thermosensitive neurons in your brain and temperature receptors in your skin.
Confusing Your Hypothalamus
Unfortunately, the hypothalamus can be susceptible to a number of external effects, most often unusual hormonal fluctuations and medications (both over-the-counter and prescription). When your hypothalamus receives mixed signals from these sources, it sends out mixed signals to the rest of your nervous system.
This is why menopause causes hot flashes and why so many medications have sweating while sleeping as a side-effect.
Common targets of these mixed signals from your hypothalamus are your sweat glands.
The human body features eccrine sweat glands all over the body in its skin. While these glands excrete water, electrolytes and toxins, their primary function is to perform thermoregulation – in other words, to regulate your body temperature. So when you are perspiring, your hypothalamus is telling your sweat glands to create an evaporative cooler on your skin.
Human sweat glands are pretty simple body parts. They only do as their told by your hypothalamus. So it is important to realize that when you perspire, you are doing so because your brain has told your sweat glands to activate.
Negotiating With Your Hypothalamus
So if you really want to stop sweating while sleeping, you have to figure out why your brain is telling your sweat glands to activate at night while you are sleep.
If your hormones are to blame, research what foods and supplements might mediate your hormonal fluctuations. If you are taking a medication with night sweats as a side-effect, you might consult your doctor about adjusting or changing your medications.
If it is just your skin sensors telling your brain you're hot, then you need to take steps to better control variables like your sleep environment and your diet to keep yourself cool at night.