Night sweats are episodes of excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) while asleep, that leave you, your nightwear and your bedding soaking wet.
Night sweats can affect people of all ages – adults and children.
They often go away without the need for treatment but if you’re worried, see your GP.
In some cases, there’s no particular reason for night sweats. However, they can be a symptom of several conditions.
The most common causes of excessive sweating at night are:
Occasionally, night sweats can be a symptom of a serious underlying health condition, such as malaria, Hodgkin’s disease and cancer.
If night sweats are regularly disturbing your sleep and, as a result, you’re suffering from fatigue, see your GP.
You should also make an appointment with your GP if, along with night sweats, you also have:
Your GP will ask about your general health and any family history of excessive sweating or night sweats. They may arrange tests to check for any underlying reasons for your sweating and, if required, will arrange appropriate treatment.
In many cases, medical treatment isn’t required for night sweats. To manage excessive sweating at night, try:
Your GP or consultant may be able to suggest other ways to control excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) at night.
If your night sweats are menopausal, they may discuss treatment to relieve symptoms of the menopause, including HRT.
If your night sweats are a side effect of medication, your doctor may change your medication or alter the dosage.
If anxiety is causing your night sweats, you may be referred for anxiety treatment, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).