The Causes of Night Sweats
Every now and again we all feel a bit too hot when we are trying to sleep. In most cases this is due to the environment that we are trying to sleep in. Cases such as this, however, are not night sweats – experiencing a night sweat is unfortunately a lot more than slightly sweating at night. Night sweats are described as severe hot flashes that occur at night and can drench your sheets. So what exactly causes this to happen?
There are many different causes of night sweats, which is why it is important for a doctor to determine the cause for individuals rather than looking at what causes this as a whole. To determine the cause, a doctor should look into your medical history as well as undertake any tests to look for any underlying conditions that could be causing night sweats to occur.
Certain conditions, such as some cancers, can cause the onset of these flashes at night. Another example of what can cause them is medications, including anti-depressants, niacin, hydralazine, sildenafil, tamoxiflen, cortisone, and prednisone. This doesn’t mean that just because you are on these medications you will suffer night sweats but it does increase your chances. Basically, if you are on a course of medication, it is important to check and see if this condition is listed in the side effects.
One of the biggest causes of night sweats affecting women is menopause. Women who are over the age of 40 are considered to be more prone to night sweats as a result of menopause and the hormonal changes that come with it. This can be highly frustrating but rules out the possibility of underlying disease.
Women are more likely to suffer from night sweats than men as the condition is a common side effect of not only menopause but also pregnancy (again due to hormonal changes). If, however, you do find that you are suffering from flashes at night due to menopause then there are certain steps that you can take to help, which include:
- Only sleep with cotton sheets and keep spare sheets near the bed in case you need to change them in the night.
- Wear lightweight cotton or silk garments to bed or don’t wear anything at all.
- Try to drink less coffee and alcohol, especially late at night, as these will make flashes and sweats worse.
If your night sweats are the result of menopause then, as well as following the above, you may also want to look into some remedies that will help you cope with the symptoms, such as natural hormone replacement therapy. A prime example of this is black cohosh, which is a menopause treatment designed to tackle menopause symptoms, including night sweats.
Waking up in the middle of the night drenched, with dripping wet sheets is not a pleasant experience and is made worse if you have suffered hot flashes throughout the day. It can disrupt your sleep, which can lead to insomnia. It can also disrupt your partner.
If you are waking up constantly in the night because of this problem, then now is the time to take action. Get help, get treatment, and get those causes of night sweats under control before it overtakes your life anymore.