Sweating is a natural body cooling mechanism which kicks in when you feel hot, perspiration helps to exert a cooling effect on the skin,, but when it becomes excessive it usually calls for concern especially during sleep. Everyone has an average of 2-4million sweat glands in their body, however, heightened vasodilation of the sweat pores may cause excessive production of sweat in the glands thus leading to excessive sweating.

Sweating while sleeping (also known as hyperhidrosis) may be considered normal if you have a room with above normal room temperature. Patients who are just recovering from ailments may often complain of sweating during sleep, this might actually be due to drug interactions, vasodilation of the skin and its sweat pores, however, there are many other reasons why you may have excessive sweating during sleep.

Sweating While Sleeping
Sweating While Sleeping

Why do I sweat so much when I sleep? You may be having several medical conditions which is not so obvious to you at the moment, some of them are skin cancers, infections, hormonal syndromes etc.

Another medical condition that may cause excessive sweating during sleep is endocarditis, and that will be after excluding other factors such as sodium levels in the body fluids, rate of table salt consumption, hyperactive sweat glands, and room-temperature during sleep.

Causes of sweating while sleeping

Aside from idiopathic cases of ‘sweating in sleep’, the following conditions may cause sweating while sleeping:

1. Medications

Antimalarial and antidepressant drugs are two common medications that may cause sweating while sleeping. They make skin pores to dilate (vasodilation) due to slight increase in body temperature and increase in the amount of blood supply to the skin vasculature. According to several studies, about 9-20% of patients who take antidepressants experience sweating while they sleep. Antipyretics and heart-rate elevating drugs may also cause your body to slip into heightened metabolic state during sleep in order to compensate for fast dissipation of oxygen by the body and the brain.

2. Cancers and skin infections

Cancers such as lymphoma and skin infections such as dermatitis may cause sweating in sleep. Also, prostate cancer may trigger disruption in the hypothalamus as a result of changes in the production of testosterone deficiencies and androgen-blocking drugs.

3. Other infections

Infections such tuberculosis (highly associated with body sweats during night sleep), HIV infection also cause profuse night sweats.

4. Hypoglycemia

Low blood sugar levels may also cause increase in rate of metabolism.

5. Hyperthyroidism and hormonal issues such as carcinoid syndrome and pheochromocytoma

Hormonal inadequacies and hyperactive thyroid gland may cause excessive sweats in the night due to increase in the rate of metabolism.

6. Neurologic conditions

Conditions such as dysreflexia, posttraumatic syringomelia stroke and autonomic neuropathy, may all cause excessive night time sweats.

7. Menopause

Premenopausal women and those in their menopause stage do have hot flashes which may predispose them to sweating excessively especially in the night.An estimated 85% of women have reported excessive night time sweating.

8. Flu

Flu and fever symptoms may trigger excessive sweating.

9. Diet changes

Did you just changed your diet, probably trying to burn some few calories, you may experience night time sweat. If you consume spicy foods in the night, you may experience night time sweating.

10. Tight fitting clothes

Tight fitting clothes such as sweaters and pajamas may also cause night time sweats.

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