Sometimes it is common to wake up drenched in sweat, as may be due to some horrible nightmare or if your air conditioner gave up. Technically this thing can be called night sweats as you are sweating at night. But in terms of medical diagnosis, it is completely a different phenomenon. Night sweats are the episodes of severe and too much sweating that can leave you drenched, all over. These sweating episodes can be a symptom of some underlying health ailment that you are unaware of. Medically, the cause is always internal not the external environmental condition.

If you want a solution to these hot flushes and night sweats than you must know the cause behind it. In order to treat this night perspiration, you must need to get to the bottom of the cause.

There can be various causes of these night sweats, however some of them are common and you must need to know about them.

1. Menopause

Night sweats in a lady around in mid-‘40s is usually caused due to the menopause. This is due to the fluctuation in the hormones. There is are duction in the estrogen and progesterone levels which results in symptoms of the menopause like hot flushes, changes in mood, irritability, night sweats, slow metabolism, dryness of the vagina and thinning of hair. Menopause can be one of the main cause of night sweats in the women and should be suspected first of all when a middle aged lady visits the physician complaining about night sweats.

2. Hyperhidrosis

It is a condition which results in an excessive sweating without any external causes like heat or physical exercise. Hyperhidrosis is of two types, Primary and Secondary. Primary Hyperhidrosis is the condition when the exact cause cannot be evaluated behind the excessive sweating, like medication or a health condition. While in Secondary Hyperhidrosis there is a certain cause like specific medication or any underlying health ailment. There are some differences as well in primary and secondary type of hyperhidrosis like in the primary type, sweating can be seen on only some specific areas like armpits, forehead, palms and soles. While in secondary type, sweating is experienced in larger areas of the body or may be on the whole body. Primary can happen even when you are awake while secondary is also experienced in the night time.

3. Anxiety disorders

Anxiety is not only about experiencing out of proportion anxiety and fear but these abnormal emotional experiences can also trigger the physical symptoms like excessive sweating. There can also be other symptoms associated with it like worry, fatigue, difficulty in breathing, nausea, and problem in the digestion. Under the anxiety disorders, the three main names are a panic disorder, generalized disorder, and social anxiety disorder. All of them can lead to excessive sweating at night.

4. Hyperthyroidism

Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck. There can be two types of disorders associated with it like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. In the case of hyperthyroidism, i.e. over activity of the thyroid gland, a person may experience night sweats. In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland releases too much thyroxine hormone in the body system that results in overstimulation of the body functions causing many signs and symptoms, excessive sweating in the night is one of them. To check the level of thyroid hormones, you should go for a blood test, measuring the hormones like TSH, T3, and T4.

5. Medications

There are many medicines that can cause excessive sweating or night sweats, some of them are drugs for diabetes, drugs to treat depression, and cancer drugs. If these episodes of severe sweating in the night have started after you started to have certain medications, then you should see your doctor on an urgent basis. Sudden withdrawal of antidepressants decrease the level of neurotransmitters in the body that results in various signs and symptoms like insomnia, dizziness, headache, irritability, and night sweats.

6. Tuberculosis

This disease happens due to the infection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis - a bacteria, in the body. This disease can attack any part of the body like the lungs, spine, bones, reproductive organs, kidney, and brain. Signs and symptoms of the disease may vary depending on the organ affected but there are some common symptoms like chronic fever, generalized weakness, and night sweats. If you have these group of symptoms than do not ignore them, go and consult a doctor as soon as possible.

7. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)

This is a sleep disorder which can commonly affect anyone. In this, breathing is stopped for a while when you are asleep. This happens as when you sleep, muscles of your neck relax which interferes with the normal breathing process, leading to obstructed breathing for a while. Common symptoms of this disorder are choking or gasping and sweating a lot while you are sleeping. OSA is a serious condition that needs to be treated promptly.


It is one of the most dreaded diseases worldwide. Western world covers the largest number of cases and casualties due to HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) or AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV causes AIDS that is transmitted to the person through sexual contact, infected blood transfusion, vagina, rectal, seminal fluids, and blood. This disease makes a person completely debilitated gradually. Its common symptoms are similar to those of flu, fever, pain in joints, and muscles, rashes, sore throat, etc. Recurrent and chronic fever can cause debilitating night sweats. There is still no cure for HIV but still, it can be managed by antiretroviral therapy.

9. Brucellosis

It is a bacterial infection, transmitted to humans by animals. Usually, the cause is the intake of unpasteurized milk and milk products. Brucellosis is manifested by some symptoms like headache, weakness, chills, fever, sweating, muscle pains, back pain, and loss of appetite. Hence, it is also one of the causes that should be ruled out in case of the excessive night sweating. This bacterial infection can be treated successfully with the course of certain antibiotics.

Hence, it is very necessary that you must evaluate the cause of your night sweats. It can be due to non-serious causes but there are many serious causes as well that if not treated timely can harm your health to a lethal level.