Ever wondered why you wake up in the middle of the night feeling hot and sweaty, even when it's bitterly cold outside?
If you do, then you're experiencing night sweats and there could be a number of reasons why.
Although night sweats are fairly common and aren't always something to worry about, excessive sweating at night can be due to an underlying cause.
According to Woman & Home, night sweats aren't always associated with the menopause. Although changes in hormones, especially during the menopause and perimenopause, can play their part and trigger hot flushes and night sweats, they're not the only reason.
Other reasons for nightly sweats can include certain medications, such as antidepressants and, ironically, medication you might take to lower a fever, such as aspirin. Other medications that are used to treat diabetes can also cause hot flushes at night.
Meanwhile, infections can also be at the root of your night sweats and, if so, can sometimes be a sign of something more sinister. More worrying infections, such as tuberculosis, endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valves), abscesses in any part of your body, or a HIV infection can sometimes also trigger night sweats, so it's important to get checked out if you suspect any of these causes.
Meanwhile, people with anxiety may find that they experience sweating at night, since the condition can manifest in physical symptoms.
While rarer, night sweats accompanied by things like unexplained weight gain can sometimes be a sign of cancer such as lymphoma, so again it's important to check out any night sweats that come with other symptoms such as localised pain or a temperature.
Other causes for night sweats include hyperhidrosis, a condition in which you sweat excessively for no obvious reason, as well as lifestyle factors such as increased alcohol consumption, eating too much spicy food, drinking a lot of caffeine, or wearing pyjamas that are too thick.
Whatever the cause, if you're worried about your night sweats, always get checked out by a doctor.
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