Night sweats and nocturnal hyperhidrosis
We know: Nocturnal hyperhidrosis (night sweats) can be a huge problem.
To some degree all humans sweat. It’s a natural biological process that the body uses to control its core temperature when exercising or during hot weather. It can also occur when we feel anxious or nervous.
Unfortunately in some people, the sweat their body produces is excessive and can occur at the most inopportune times. When this happens it is known as hyperhidrosis.
Sweating can occur in many parts of the body including armpits, hands, feet, the groin area and the face. Hyperhidrosis is generally a long-term condition, but thankfully, there are ways to treat it.
Hyperhidrosis doesn’t just occur during the day when you’re wide awake. For people who live with excessive sweating whilst they sleep too, these night sweats, known as nocturnal hyperhidrosis, can be a huge problem. Nocturnal hyperhidrosis occurs even if the room temperature is cool or during the winter months.
It’s not just in Hollywood horror movies where people will wake up in the night covered in sweat and surrounded by wet bed sheets. Night sweats can prove to be a real problem for many people, but also they can be symptomatic of other underlying medical conditions.
If not, it is known as idiopathic hyperhidrosis.
Don’t worry. Nocturnal hyperhidrosis may well be frustrating or annoying, but it’s generally harmless in nature.
Hyperhidrosis while sleeping
If you suffer with hyperhidrosis while you are sleeping there can be a number of potential causes. Sadly, there isn’t a conclusive diagnosis, but any of the following causes of hyperhidrosis may apply to you.
For many women, hyperhidrosis is triggered by them entering the menopause. Women at this stage in their life may be given hormone treatments which can initiate night sweats.
For others, certain types of medication can have excessive sweating as a common side-effect. These can include certain antidepressants, aspirin, prednisolone (a steroid) and treatments for other hormone disorders.
Hyperhidrosis whilst sleeping can also be a symptom of other non-sweat related illnesses including thyroid problems, diabetes, early stages of some cancers and certain infections so, if you are in any doubt, please contact your doctor immediately.
What to do for excessive sweating
When you first seek treatment for your excessive sweating your doctor may start with less invasive solutions such as prescribing some powerful antiperspirants to limit the sweating.
If that doesn’t work, then there are some more intrusive treatments available. One of the most popular is iontophoresis, where a weak electric current is passed through water or a wet pad and applied to the affected areas. Another option is botox injections to temporarily paralyze muscular activity to stop the sweating and in extreme cases you may be offered surgery.