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How to Stop Sweating While Sleeping

We all know that sweating is a natural, albeit sometimes embarrassing bodily function, but for those who experience excessive sweating while sleeping, the condition can be more than just embarrassing.

Most of us have experienced waking up in the middle of the night or in the morning absolutely drenched in sweat when being ill, so we all know just how uncomfortable and unpleasant it can be. This condition, also known as night sweats, can be related to a number of different factors or medical conditions, so the first step towards waking up in the morning with dry sheets is to know exactly what is causing the problem. 

Causes of Excessive Sweating While Sleeping

In order to understand the causes of night sweats, it is first necessary to understand how and why we sweat in the first place. For starters, the body actually has two different types of sweat glands, both of which could be contributing to your sweaty sleep. 

The first type of sweat glands is known as eccrine glands, and these are the glands that are responsible for cooling down our body temperature. Most of us know that the body regulates its temperature by releasing sweat which evaporates and cools the skin and thus the whole body. 

The actual process of regulating the body’s temperature is performed by the hypothalamus, which is basically a thermostat inside the body that sends signals to the eccrine glands to help cool us down. 

The second type of sweat glands is known as apocrine glands, and these sweat glands are actually controlled by our emotions. 

If you have ever experienced the feeling of having sweaty hands when you are nervous, then you know all about how these glands work. 


Typically, it is the eccrine glands that are responsible for most of our sweating while sleeping, but the actual cause of the problem could be due to many different medical conditions which can send signals to the hypothalamus telling it to raise the body’s temperature. 


sweating while sleepingOf course, the most common reason that most people experience night sweats is due to an illness, like a virus or a bacterial infection.

These illnesses typically result in a fever, and this increased body temperature will cause a person to sweat profusely, both while awake and while sleeping. 

Luckily though, the sweaty nights will go away again as soon as the person fully recovers from the virus or infection. 

Women are known to sweat much less than men and some people believe this is because they have fewer sweat glands in their bodies.

However, this is not true, as everyone has a different amount of sweat glands, and the actual reason that women sweat less than men is because they are better at regulating the level of water in their body. 

Of course, there is one time when women are known to sweat profusely and that is when they are going through menopause. The hormonal changes that occur during menopause often cause women to experience hot flashes, when their body temperature almost instantly rises as much as 5 or 6 degrees Fahrenheit. This is caused by a sudden drop in estrogen levels which can confuse the hypothalamus and cause it to raise the body temperature. 

Still, as much as most men don’t want to hear it, hot flashes are not only reserved for the fairer sex. Men with prostate trouble are typically prescribed medications which can also cause the same hormonal changes and result in excessive sweating. In addition, there are also many other types of medicine that can cause night sweats. 

Typically one has night sweats because these drugs will cause the heart rate to increase, resulting in increased sweating. One of the most common types of drugs to cause this problem is antipyretics, which are drugs prescribed to reduce a fever. 

sweating while sleepingThis group of drugs includes both aspirin and acetaminophen, both of which are commonly taken when a person has a fever. While the fever may be lowered, these drugs still result in increased sweating. Antidepressants are another group of medications that can often result in night sweats. 

There are also certain lifestyle factors that can result in increased sweating while sleeping. Drinking alcohol within a few hours of sleeping is known to result in a lowered quality of sleep and is often accompanied by sweaty sleep as well as excessive snoring

If you often eat spicy foods for dinner, this could also be the culprit behind your sweaty nights, as chilies and other spicy foods can raise the external body temperature. Even if you eat them several hours before bedtime, you may still sweat while sleeping, as it takes the body hours to process and digest food. 

Finally, some people just sweat excessively, both during the day and at night. A small percentage of the population suffers from a condition known as hyperhidrosis, where they have overactive sweat glands. 

Solutions to Excessive Sweating While Sleeping

sweating while sleepingThe first step towards treating this problem is to know what is causing it. Your doctor should be able to tell if you are suffering from a medical condition which is causing you to sweat more than normal, so that should be the first step.

If you have visited with your doctor and ruled out any medication or medical condition as the cause, there are still a few other things you can do which might help. You could try using an antiperspirant while sleeping, or lower the thermostat to keep your bedroom a few degrees cooler. 

Your sweating could also be caused by stress or anxiety, so try to lower your stress levels and eliminate any stressful activities before bedtime. You may also want to try drinking chamomile tea which is known to promote a more restful sleep.

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