Five Things to Know: What Causes Night Sweats and How Do You Treat Them?

Massachusetts General Hospital physician-investigators Elizabeth R. Roth, MD, and Leigh Simmons, MD, were recently featured in a CookingLight.com article, 14 Causes of Night Sweats, Plus What to Do About Them. (Cleveland Clinic family medicine physician Amber Tully, MD, also contributed to the story.)

Here are five things to know:

By medical definition, night sweats are episodes of extreme overheating at night that cause your body to perspire so much you need to change your clothes or sheets.

Nights sweats are not driven by external factors such as heat or heavy blankets but by underlying, internal causes including perimenopause/menopause, certain prescription and over-the-counter medications, anxiety and consuming alcohol before bed.

Night sweats can also be a side effect of more serious health conditions, such as infections, type 1 diabetes, HIV, lymphoma and tuberculosis.

If you are regularly sweating while you sleep at night, first make sure that it’s not because your room is too hot or your blankets are too heavy.

If environmental factors are not to blame, consult your doctor to identify the underlying cause. Treatment is typically focused on addressing this cause, rather than on the night sweats themselves.

About the Mass General Research Institute
Massachusetts General Hospital is home to the largest hospital-based research program in the United States. Our researchers work side-by-side with physicians to develop innovative new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease.
Support our research

Tags: , , ,
Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) in front of a white background

Weekend Links: Corn Turns Wild Hamsters into Cannibals, Earth’s Weirdest Creatures, Why Anyone Can Be a Scientist and More

thinking man with fitness tracker in the office through glass window

Fitness Trackers Monitor Our Physical Health, But Could They Monitor Our Mental Health Too?

Let us know what you think!

%d bloggers like this: