Night Sweats – Common Causes and How to Remedy Them

Night sweats are a common sleep disruption, so common in fact, that doctors often see patients for night sweats. Night sweats are repeated episodes of severe hot flashes, often causing those who experience night sweats to sweat through their clothes and sheets. Keep in mind, this extreme perspiration has nothing to do with an overheated environment. In this blog, we highlight some of the most common causes behind night sweats and a number of ways in which they can be treated.

Night sweats have many different causes so they usually cannot be classified as a condition in the traditional sense.

Underlying Causes of Night Sweats

Night sweats have many different causes so they usually cannot be classified as a condition in the traditional sense. Night sweats are typically a side effect of an underlying condition that will usually fall under one of two categories: medical conditions or medications.

Medical Conditions:

There are a variety of diseases and conditions that can cause night sweats, such as:


Women typically experience hot flashes when going through menopause. Such hot flashes can occur at night.

Idiopathic Hyperhidrosis:

Differing from Idiopathic Hypersomnia, This is a condition in which the body generally produces an overwhelming amount of sweat.


Bacterial infections such as endocarditis and osteomyelitis are often the source of night sweats. Night sweats can, also, be a symptom of a progressing HIV infection.


Night sweats can be an early symptom of some cancers such as lymphoma.


Low blood sugar can cause sweating.

Hormone Disorders:

Sweating can accompany several hormone disorders such as carcinoid syndrome and hyperthyroidism.


Night sweats can also be a common side effect of medications, including:


8% to 22% of people taking antidepressant drugs experience night sweats.

Drugs used to treat diabetes:

Night sweats can be caused by low blood glucose, which can occur in people taking insulin or diabetes medications.

Hormone treatment:

Hormone-blocking drugs used to treat certain cancers have also been known to cause night sweats.

In addition to these correlations, consuming too much caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, or other illicit drugs can cause night sweats. If you see that you have an ongoing issue with night sweats that is compromising your sleep quality, then you should consult with a doctor. This is especially important if you are experiencing other serious symptoms such as fever, weight loss, localized pain, cough, and diarrhea.

How to Treat Night Sweats

Before seeking any treatment for night sweats, you should consult with your doctor. After consulting a doctor, they will most likely take steps to treat the underlying cause of  your night sweats. With that said, treatment varies depending on individual diagnoses.


If your night sweats are a result of menopause, a doctor may suggest hormone therapy or medications such as gabapentin, clonidine, or venlafaxine, which are used off-label for night sweats. If infection appears to be the cause of your night sweats, your doctor will more than likely prescribe some antibiotics or antiviral drugs. If your night sweats are a cancerous symptom, then your doctor may develop a treatment plan that includes a combination of chemotherapy drugs, surgery, or other cancer treatments. If your night sweats are connected to the medication(s) you may be taking, your doctor may adjust the dosage or have you switch to an alternative drug. If your sweats are simply a result of too much caffeine consumption, alcohol consumption, or illicit drug use, then you should limit or avoid these substances.


Clearly, night sweats are a legitimate issue that many people contend with. What makes a diagnosis for night sweats tricky is that they are typically linked to a larger issue. However, these issues can be managed and dealt with. There are plenty of remedies available to which a consultation with your doctor should guide you. After making appropriate adjustments, your night sweats should become a thing of the past and before you know it, you will be getting the quality of sleep you deserve!