The heat of the summer can make sleeping miserable, but waking up sweating at night could have a more serious meaning behind it.
The Mayo Clinic defines night sweats as “repeated episodes of extreme perspiration that may soak your nightclothes or bedding and are related to an underlying medical condition or illness.” There are instances where you wake up sweating because your bedroom is too warm or you have too many blankets on. In these situations, it would not be labeled as night sweats and would not be a sign of a medical problem.
When to Be concerned
Night sweats can be a symptom of something more serious. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is strongly associated with night sweats. The Sleep Doctor, Michael J. Breus, PhD discusses in one of his articles how people with untreated sleep apnea are about three times as likely as the general population to experience excessive sweating at night. This information came from a study posted in the BMJ Journal. According to the research, treating sleep apnea with a CPAP reduced the prevalence of night sweats in people with OSA. Those patients with sleep apnea using a CPAP had similar levels of night sweats as the general population.
Some other serious reasons night sweats could be occurring include cancer, infections including tuberculosis or bacterial infections, neurological conditions, and hypoglycemia. WebMD notes that to find the actual cause of your night sweats, a doctor will have to get a detailed medical history and order the appropriate tests.
If you or someone you know is experiencing night sweats, make sure to mention it to your healthcare provider, even if it is only occasional. Your healthcare provider can help you get to the bottom of the issue and come up with treatment plans if needed.
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