Night sweats: causes & treatment of night sweats

Anyone who sweats a lot at night can find their sleep seriously disturbed. Night sweats can often lead to sleep problems. Men usually suffer more from excessive sweating during the night, but it is also common in menopausal women. The use of alcohol and the side effects of certain medications also often play a role in heavy sweating at night. To treat the problem, it is important to look at possible causes such as nutrition, environmental factors, sleeping comfort and any (physical or psychological) disorders. Antiperspirant remedies can limit the unpleasant effects of night sweats, while a nutritional supplement with melatonin can give you a deeper sleep. This may make you less restless and sweat less. What can you do against excessive night sweats?

Heavy sweating at night

Sleep problems can be caused by many conditions and night sweats are one of them. Some people who suffer from this phenomenon wake up several times during the night because their entire body is sweaty. If you have to get up every time to change pajamas or change wet, sweaty sheets, this can be very disruptive to your sleep. With night sweats you suffer extremely much from excessive perspiration , spread over the entire body. The forehead, neck and back are particularly affected by night sweats. Neck and shoulders are also places where you can sweat a lot at night.

Bad sleeping

When determining the causes of night sweats, the doctor will determine whether it is an external circumstance or a physical, medical problem. External circumstances have to do with the sleeping environment and can, for example, consist of sleeping in a room that is too warm, or sleeping under a duvet that is too warm. Remember that your body needs to be able to cool down in order to fall asleep. That is also why it is important not to go to bed immediately after exercise, as your body has not yet been able to cool down. Heavy night sweats can also be associated with nightmares and very intense dreams. To avoid this, try to relax as much as possible before hitting the sheets, both mentally and physically.

Causes of night sweats


Sweating a lot and often at night can be due to certain medications such as antidepressants , cortisone and painkillers. Certain medicines can cause you to sweat abnormally during your sleep. Excessive sweating as a side effect may be stated in the package leaflet of the medicine you are taking.

Food and alcohol

Eating spicy and spicy foods can also increase the risk of night sweats, as can consuming extensive meals, for example during the Christmas period. In addition, drinking a lot of alcohol before going to sleep can be a culprit. By drinking a lot of alcohol you force your body to be very active during your sleep, since the stomach, liver and intestines have to process the alcohol.


In addition, the following diseases or conditions can also cause intense sweating at night :

  • diabetes
  • sleep apnea
  • tuberculosis
  • fever (e.g. flu)
  • neurological disorders
  • chronic intestinal diseases
  • psychological disorders (including chronic stress, depression, burnout)

Night sweats in men

Typically, more men suffer from excessive sweating during sleep. One of the possible causes is undergoing anti-testosterone treatment for prostate cancer. Hormones such as testosterone and estrogen protect the body against night sweats and if they are deficient you may sweat more. In addition, men generally abuse alcohol more often than women, which can be a trigger for excessive sweating at night. After all, the body must process and remove the alcohol and this is done, among other things, through perspiration. Obesity is also more common in men, which increases the risk of sleep problems such as snoring and sleep apnea.

Night sweats in women

Night sweats can also occur in women during chemotherapy for cancer, such as breast cancer. Precisely because there is a shortage of estrogen, night sweats can occur. In addition, many women going through menopause also suffer from sweating during sleep.

Night sweats treatment

Solve cause

Treatment for night sweats primarily consists of removing the cause. If the cause lies in the environment (too warm room, too much nightwear), you can quickly change this. Sleep with a window open or wear less warm sleeping clothes. As far as nutrition is concerned, it is best to avoid too much alcohol and too many spices in your dinner. If the cause is physical or medical, consult a doctor. If necessary, your medication treatment can be adjusted to limit side effects such as sweating.

Calming tea with honey

In addition, there are also natural remedies that can be good for combating night sweats. For example, taking two teaspoons of honey can provide relief from symptoms for some people. This grandmother’s remedy can be combined with a cup of calming tea, which relaxes the body and increases the chance of a better night’s sleep. A warm cup of tea also warms your body, causing the skin to perspire. By sweating before you go to sleep, your body rids itself of unnecessary heat in advance. This may cause you to sweat less during the night. An example of soothing tea that is useful for better sleep is chamomile tea .

Antiperspirant remedies

Antiperspirant products such as sprays and deodorants can limit the unwanted consequences of night sweats (such as an irritating sweat odor). If you apply an anti-sweat lotion or cream to places where you often sweat (e.g. armpits, neck, chest), the sweat will be better absorbed and you will have a more pleasant general feeling. You may also sleep more peacefully as a result.

Talcum powder

Talcum powder is also an effective remedy against night sweats because it neutralizes sweat and keeps the skin drier. In countries with a humid and warm climate, talcum powder is used by young and old to combat persistent perspiration. By applying talcum powder before you go to sleep, you are less likely to wake up sweating. Some talc powders also contain ingredients (e.g. menthol) that provide a fresh feeling on the skin, which is recommended if you often feel warm at night.

Tip: melatonin

If you suffer from nightmares that are accompanied by heavy sweating, you can try to improve your sleep quality. This means that you mainly focus on making it easier to fall asleep, which also improves the quality of your sleep . Removing stress can play an important role in this, since worrying is an obstacle to falling asleep. A remedy to help you sleep better is melatonin . Melatonin is a hormone that signals the body to rest. Getting to sleep better and sleeping deeper can ensure a quieter night, which greatly reduces the chance of night sweats.

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