While night sweats are often due to a sleeping environment that is too warm, they can also be caused by an underlying medical condition.
If you are one of the many people who suffer from night sweats, classified as excessive sweating at night, then you may be wondering about the potential causes and if you should be concerned.
“True night sweats are defined as severe hot flashes occurring at night that can drench sleepwear and sheets,” explains Laura M. Rosch, DO, an osteopathic internal medicine specialist from Wheaton, Illinois.
If your night sweats occur on a regular basis, interrupt your sleep, or are accompanied by a fever or other symptoms, such as unexplained weight loss, then you should schedule an appointment with your physician.
“Your doctor will take a look at your detailed medical history and may order tests, such as blood counts and virus and thyroid tests, to determine if you have any underlying medical conditions that could be responsible,” says Dr. Rosch.
Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, or DOs, focus on prevention by examining how your lifestyle and environment impact your health, rather than just treating your symptoms. They also complete extensive postgraduate and clinical training before becoming fully licensed physicians. Compare physician training requirements to those required for other types of clinicians.
Practical reasons for why someone may experience night sweats include:
According to Dr. Rosch, the following medical conditions are common causes of night sweats.
Before visiting your doctor, try to eliminate the practical causes of night sweats from your daily routine and sleeping environment. “Make sure your bedroom is at a comfortable temperature for sleeping, remove extra blankets from your bed, and refrain from exercising or eating spicy foods late in the evening,” advises Dr. Rosch. “If your night sweats persist, then make an appointment with your family physician.”