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Learn about your night sweats, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your night sweats from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Night Sweats Checker

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Your Night Sweats May Also be Known as:
Night perspiration
Night sweating
Night time sweating
Nightime sweats
Persipiration at night
Sweating at night
Wake up sweating
Wake up sweaty

Night Sweats Symptoms

Night sweats refers to excessive perspiration at night. People with night sweats often wake up with their clothes and bedding soaked with sweat. It is important to be able to differentiate night sweats related to underlying medical conditions versus night sweats related to environment.

Nights sweats occur despite removing heavy bedding or blankets or sleeping with a fan or air conditioning.

Night sweats can be associated with other symptoms such as:

Because night sweats often signal underlying medical conditions, it is important to follow up with your physician promptly in order to receive appropriate care and treatment. Seek medical attention especially if your night sweats occur frequently, disturb your sleep, or are associated with other symptoms such as weight loss or fever.

Night Sweats Causes Overview

Systemic causes:

  • Infectious: Various infectious diseases can cause night sweats. Bacterial infections that result in night sweats include tuberculosis (a contagious disease that affects the lungs), endocarditis (an infection of the lining of the heart), and brucellosis (an infection that spreads from animals to people via foods and or through the air). HIV and resultant AIDS is a viral infection that can cause night sweats.
  • Cancerous: Cancer is always of concern if you are experiencing night sweats. In addition to night sweats, you may also experience symptoms of weight loss and fever. Cancers that involve the lymph nodes and lymphatic system (lymphoma) and cancers that affect the blood and marrow (leukemia) are often principal causes of night sweats.

Aging-related causes:

  • Night sweats are often related to menopause. Menopause refers to the natural cessation of a woman's menstrual cycle for at least 12 months. Night sweats are common symptom of menopause and can also include symptoms such as hot flashes, irregular periods, thinning hair and dry skin, weight gain and mood changes.

Medications that cause night sweats:

  • Medications for depression
  • Drugs for treating diabetes
  • Hormone therapy for conditions such as cancer

Environmental causes:

  • Overconsumption of caffeine

Alcohol intake: Alcohol consumption is an especially potent contributor to night sweats. Because alcohol affects the nervous system and circulatory system, drinking can increase your heart rate and dilate the blood vessels. These phenomena trigger perspiration. However, if you are a regular drinker and have not consumed alcohol recently, you may experience night sweats as a sign of withdrawal.

  • Use of tobacco or illegal drugs

Top 10 Night Sweats Causes

  1. 1.Symptoms of Menopause

    Menopause is the point in life where your period stops. This happens when the ovaries stop making hormones that keep your cycle going.

    Diagnosis doesn't require a blood test and completed menopause is defined as not having a period for the last 12 months. Treatment of symptoms includes diet and exercise, hormonal and non-hormonal therapies, and OTC medications as symptoms occur.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, vaginal discharge, trouble sleeping, muscle aches, anxiety
    Symptoms that always occur with symptoms of menopause:
    hidden: menarche status: perimenopausal or postmenopausal
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the upper airway is obstructed during sleep, which causes poor sleep quality and frequent awakening.

    You should visit your primary care physician within a few weeks to discuss your symptoms. The physician will likely order a sleep test to confirm the diagnosis.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, irritability, daytime sleepiness, trouble sleeping, sore throat
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Bacterial Pneumonia

    Bacterial pneumonia is the infection of the lungs with bacteria (as opposed to a fungus or a virus).

    You should go see a doctor within the next day since this diagnosis requires a chest X-ray in addition to a doctor's assessment. Treatment with antibiotics is important to keeping the infection under control, which can become dangerous if it spreads or worsens within the lungs.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, cough, headache, loss of appetite, shortness of breath
    Symptoms that always occur with bacterial pneumonia:
    cough
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  4. 4.Premature Ovarian Failure

    "Premature ovarian failure" (POF), also called "primary ovarian insufficiency" and "early menopause" happens when the ovaries stop working well too early in life. Naturally menopause occurs between the ages 45 and 55. Symptoms of menopause are changes in menstrual period, missing periods, hot flashes, mood changes and vaginal dryness.

    You should discuss your symptoms with your physician, who might take a blood test.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, irritability, anxiety, vaginal itch or burning, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Non - Hodgkin Lymphoma

    Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. Cells in the lymph nodes or bone marrow grow abnormally and may spread beyond the lymphatic system.

    You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis. Afterwards, a referral to a specialist will explain treatment options.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, shortness of breath
    Symptoms that never occur with non-hodgkin lymphoma:
    groin lump that comes and goes, shrinking groin lump, armpit lump that comes and goes, shrinking armpit lump, neck lump that comes and goes, shrinking neck bump
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Night Sweats Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having night sweats.

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  6. 6.Overactive Thyroid

    The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid glands control how fast one burns calories and how fast the heart beats. If the thyroid is too active, it makes more thyroid hormones than the body needs. This is called hyperthyroidism.

    You should visit your primary care physician, who might take a blood test to measure your levels of thyroid hormone. The test will tell the doctor whether a referral to an endocrinologist is useful. Treatment plans would likely be set by the specialist and include drugs to reduce your thyroid activation.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, anxiety, depressed mood, irritability, trouble sleeping
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Sarcoidosis

    Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that most often affects the lungs and skin, but can als affect the joints.

    You should visit your physician to discuss your symptoms when convenient.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, joint pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Infective Endocarditis

    The endocardium is the tissue that lines the inside of the heart chambers and the valves of the heart. This lining can become infected with bacteria. If so, small clumps of infectious material can prevent the valves from opening and closing properly, and when the clumps break off they may travel to other parts of the body, potentially causing serious problems.

    Proceed to the ER immediately. If an infection of the heart is suspected, you will be admitted to the hospital where several blood samples will be taken to test for bacteria and fungi. Antibiotics or anti-fungal medications will be used right away to treat the infection. In rare cases, a valve replacement surgery is needed to change out the infected valve.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), loss of appetite, being severely ill, headache
    Symptoms that always occur with infective endocarditis:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  9. 9.Lung Abscess

    An abscess is a collection of pus which results from an infection. A lung abscess may form following an infection such as pneumonia.

    You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours. Your doctor will confirm the diagnosis with an X-Ray. Treatment for a lung abscess involves prescription antibiotics.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    coughing up green or yellow phlegm, rib pain that gets worse when breathing, coughing, sneezing, or laughing, night sweats, unintentional weight loss, severe fever
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  10. 10.Non - Hodgkin Lymphoma

    Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. Cells in the lymph nodes or bone marrow grow abnormally and may spread beyond the lymphatic system.

    You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis. Afterwards, a referral to a specialist will explain treatment options.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, shortness of breath
    Symptoms that never occur with non-hodgkin lymphoma:
    groin lump that comes and goes, shrinking groin lump, armpit lump that comes and goes, shrinking armpit lump, neck lump that comes and goes, shrinking neck bump
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Night Sweats Treatments and Relief

Treating night sweats is about treating and addressing the underlying cause.

Your physician will treat you depending on your specific diagnosis and may suggest the following:

  • Age-related: If your night sweats are caused by menopause, your doctor may suggest hormone therapy to reduce your night sweats and related symptoms such as hot flashes.
  • Antibiotics/antivirals: Depending on the type of infection that is contributing to your night sweats, your physician will prescribe the proper antibiotics or antiviral medications in order to relieve your symptoms and treat the disease.
  • Cancer treatment: Your doctor will discuss treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.
  • Medication changes: If your night sweat symptoms are related to your current medication regimen, your physician may make changes to your regimen or provide alternatives.

Sometimes night sweats can be prevented before they get worse. You may be able to reduce or relieve night sweats by identifying any triggers in your life that may be the cause and avoiding them.

See the list below for simple home remedies and lifestyle changes that may help relieve your symptoms.

  • Limit consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
  • Avoid the use of tobacco and illegal drugs.
  • Keep your bedroom at a comfortable but cooler temperature during the day
  • Avoid eating spicy foods before bedtime.

FAQs About Night Sweats

Here are some frequently asked questions about night sweats.

Why do I have night sweats after drinking alcohol?

When you drink large amounts of alcohol, it may cause your blood vessels — especially the blood vessels near your skin — to dilate. This causes reddening or the flushing effect that we see when individuals drink large amounts of alcohol or when individuals are intolerant of alcohol. The dilation of blood vessels near the skin can cause profuse sweating.

Can stress and anxiety cause night sweats?

Yes, stress and anxiety can cause sweating at any time if it is severe enough. It usually does not cause sweating, however, while an individual is sleeping. A night terror or nightmare can cause increased stress hormones and sweating, but the most common cause of night sweats is a warm sleep environment, menopause, infection or blood disorder illness.

How long do menopause-related night sweats last?

Menopause-related night sweats may last for years, though they may decrease in frequency over that time. There is significant research on the presence of hot flashes, which persist up to four years after menopause.

Why do I suddenly have night sweats?

Sudden night sweats are most often a sign of a change in bedding or atmosphere at night. it can be unsettling to wake up with night sweats. One should check if a bed partner is experiencing the same symptoms. If so, it is likely due to some element of the local environment. It may still be due to the local environment even if a bed partner is not experiencing the same symptoms if you sleep in a hotter environment (e.g. no fan, heavier bed clothes/blanket). However, persistent night sweats with no explanation can be a sign of serious physical disease and should be evaluated if accompanied by back pain, change in vision or mental status, or weight loss.

Why do my night sweats come and go?

Night sweats most often come and go with bed habits. For example, the heat of the room or the amount of bedding used may influence night sweats. Latent, low-grade infections may also cause night sweats. Night sweats may not signify anything serious, and most often are due to environmental changes and not bodily changes. They are usually only worrisome if they persist for a prolonged period of time or accompained by other new symptoms.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Night Sweats

  • Q.Have you lost your appetite recently?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Do you currently smoke?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our night sweats symptom checker.

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Night Sweats Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced night sweats have also experienced:

    • 9% Fatigue
    • 6% Muscle Aches
    • 5% Cough
  • People who have experienced night sweats were most often matched with:

    • 11% Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    • 7% Bacterial Pneumonia
    • 3% Symptoms of Menopause
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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    Night Sweats Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having night sweats.

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