Sweating is a normal physiological phenomenon to keep our body cool. Whenever we are exposed to warm environment, the sweat glands in our body become active and produce sweat. This is intended to cool down the body temperature. As the temperature normalizes, the body stops perspiring.
Normally people sweat more during the daytime as they are active as well as due to daytime heat. But many people do complain of cold sweats while they are sleeping. Sleep hyperhidrosis is a medical term for cold sweats while sleeping. Some people also refer it as night sweats.
Most of the time, night sweats are harmless and people should not panic. It can be due to excess of warmth in the bedroom, surplus of bed sheet or extra blanket or a nightmare during sleep. However, if these common problems are excluded, than a person should consider other health issues as the triggering factor to produce cold sweats at night.
What Causes Cold Sweats While Sleeping?
As said earlier, in vast majority cases of nocturnal cold sweats the cause is not serious. Covering your body with an extra blanket, or a dreadful nightmare or lack of air circulation in your room may be the reason.
There are people who perspire excessively day and night. The reason behind their problem remains unclear. Though not harmful, the condition is clinically significant. In medical parlance excessive sweating without any cause is called idiopathic hyperhidrosis.
- Cold sweats while sleeping is a symptom of many infectious diseases. Tuberculosis ranks on top of the list. Other diseases include osteomyelitis (infection and inflammation in the bone), hyperthyroidism, endocarditis (disease related to heart valve), AIDS etc.
- Cold night sweat can be a side effect of many medicines. This includes antidepressants, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic, birth control pills etc. Men may experience increased sweating at night soon after the intake of sildenafil.
- Many cases of hypoglycemia have been noted in diabetics after taking insulin at night time. A larger dose than required of insulin can cause sudden low blood sugar level. It results in excessive perspiration, confusion and so on.
- Women in their 40’s and 50’s who are near their menopause may experience sudden cold sweats at night. It is caused as a result of changing equilibrium of hormones, especially the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Symptoms Of Cold Sweats While Sleeping
It is very difficult for distinguishing between cold sweats at night from that of excess of perspiration at night. However, cold sweat while sleeping is known to occur suddenly and may drench the whole body at times. Many times the person may perspire even if the room is not so warm while he is in sleep.
Before assuming idiopathic hyperhidrosis or a serious underlying problem, first look on to some common problems such as excess of blankets, room temperature etc. The skin becomes cold and clammy as a result of cold sweat. When you touch your body, the skin feels moist. Some people may have other symptoms of underlying disease such as nausea, giddiness etc.
Natural Remedies For Night Sweats
Many times change in the bedroom temperature or lack of air flow may be triggering cold sweat while sleeping. This may not need any treatment. A slight modification in the room such as reducing the temperature by air conditioning or good ventilation by opening the doors and windows may be enough.
If cold sweat while sleeping is a constant disturbing factor, then you need to consult your doctor who may take a detailed medical history to find the cause. If there is a health problem which is responsible for cold sweats at night, he will start the treatment for the disease. He may change or reduce the dosage of drugs if they are responsible for the same.
If it is related to idiopathic hyperhidrosis, the doctor may advise antiperspirants. If the symptoms are extreme, surgical enervation option may be thought of, but this is very rare.
Few tips may help a person who has night time cold sweats:
- Wear cotton fabric nightwear which enables good air circulation.
- Sleep in a cool room which has good ventilation.
- Take cold shower before sleeping.
- Drink cold milk before retiring to bed.
- Meditate before sleeping. It keeps your mind free from stress and anxiety, which may be the cause of sweating.
- Avoid cigarette, alcohol and spicy food during night.
- Eat vegetables, greens, fruits, milk and other dairy products as they help the body to remain cool.