Excessive sweating during the night is an uncomfortable fact of life for many people-over 40% of the population, by some estimates. While many people sweat at night due to environmental factors such overheated rooms or excess bedclothes, sweating at night as a medical condition is associated with hot flashes and will happen even in cool conditions. Finding a solution to this nuisance understands understanding the causes, which vary from person to person. In some cases, hot flashes and night sweats are certainly a discomfort, but in other cases they may be an indicator of a more serious condition.
Who Is At Risk?
Night sweats and hot flashes are most commonly associated with women going through menopause. However, people of all ages and genders suffer from them. This is even common among young children.
Environmental causes for this type of sweating typically include overheated rooms, excessive humidity, and too many or too heavy blankets or bedclothes. Major medical causes include the following:
- Stress or anxiety
- Hypoglycemia (low blood-sugar)
- Medications: Check any medications being taken, as night sweats are a common side effect of many medications.
- Cancer, especially lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease.
- Inflammations, such as osteomyelitis (bone inflammation), appendicitis, and tonsillitis.
- HIV / AIDS
- Hormone disorders
- Neurological conditions, such as automatic dysreflexia.
- Idiopathic hyperhidrosis: this is a medical condition causing the person to suffer from excessive sweating with no discernible cause.
What Can You Do?
Obviously, the key to treating hot flashes and night sweats is understanding why they occur. The first step should be to rule out any environmental causes such as those listed above. In some cases, an obvious solution may present itself. For example, if a person has clear causes of stress or anxiety, then the probable solution for the night sweats lies in addressing those causes. Some simple steps to take include eliminating or cutting down on acidic or spicy foods, caffeine and alcoholic drinks, and tobacco, and avoiding sources of anger or stress. There are also numerous naturopathic remedies, most of which address menopausal hot flashes. Keep in mind that you should always notify your health care professional if you begin to take supplements or use other natural remedies.
Most importantly, anyone suffering from hot flashes and night sweats should contact a health care professional to find a proper treatment and to determine whether or not this sweating is an indication of a more serious condition. For most sufferers, night sweats are merely a harmless annoyance. But finding the right solution and ruling out more dangerous causes will help anyone sleep better at night.