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Night Sweats

Sweating while sleeping can have many causes; from stress to menopause; to serious illnesses such as AIDS or tuberculosis. Night sweats are not natural and you should therefore seek out the cause.

Out-of-control night sweating is called hyperhidrosis. It is not a widespread complaint but it does cause problems for those who suffer from it. There can be excessive sweating from palms (palmar), feet (plantar), armpits (axillary) or face (facial), or just a general sweating all over the body.

Nocturnal hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating that occurs during the night. The more common term is night sweats. These sweats can vary from mild, that requires nothing more than turning over your pillow and shedding a few blankets, to moderate, to severe.

If the condition is moderate, then you may have to get up and wash your face and/or underarms in cold water and have a cold drink of water.

However, often the disorder becomes severe, in which case you may have to get up and bathe, change your clothing and even strip the bed and put on fresh bedding.

Excessive night time sweating is most often the result of some underlying cause including :-

  • Menopause or Andropause - At one time night sweats was thought to be caused by the hormonal changes of menopause, manifested as hot flashes; and this is indeed one possible cause.

    But anyone can suffer from night sweats; from children to men. Male night sweats is a common occurrence sometimes brought on by the male menopause, but can also be the result of some other underlying problem.

  • HIV, tuberculosis - In fact, any infectious disease or condition that brings on a fever can cause night sweats.
  • Diabetes - Diabetes can also cause night sweats. If you develop low blood sugar levels during the night, you may wake up in a cold sweat and feel weak.
  • Sleep apnea - Night sweats can also be a sign of sleep apnea. If you also suffer from severe snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness, it might be time to consult a physician.
  • Alcohol - Some drugs and spicy foods can cause night sweats. Some prescription drugs can cause night sweats.
Treatment

Determine the cause of your night sweats. Night sweats are not a sleep disorder but a symptom of some underlying condition. Talk to your doctor. Possible other solutions are :-

  • Change of lifestyle -Avoid alcohol and spicy foods.
  • Talk to your doctor about medications you're taking to see if they could be the cause.
  • Keep your bedroom cool - If weather permits, keep a window open, or try using a fan.
  • Take a shower - A cold shower before bed might prevent an attack of night sweats.

    04/27/04







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