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Night Sweats: Understanding Causes, When to Worry, and Tips for Better Sleep (2024)

Robb Collins

Updated: June 7, 2024
Many people sweat when they sleep. Although this may be uncomfortable, it is usually not concerning.

According to Laura M. Rosch, an osteopathic internal medicine specialist:


True night sweats are defined as severe hot flashes occurring at night that can drench sleepwear and sheets1.

Why Do I Get Night Sweats? What Is the Number One Reason for Night Sweats?

According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS)2, night sweats can happen for several reasons:

  • “Hot flashes” caused by menopause
  • Nighttime anxiety triggering the body’s stress response
  • Side effects from certain medications, including antidepressants, steroids, and painkillers
  • You could have low blood sugar (also known as hypoglycemia)
  • Elevated temperature from alcohol or drug use
  • Excessive perspiration from a generally harmless condition called hyperhidrosis

Sometimes night sweats are unexplained.

A woman lying in bed with the night sweats
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Are Night Sweats Serious? When Should I Be Concerned About My Night Sweats?

Thankfully, most cases of night sweats are no cause for concern. But when should you seek a medical opinion for your night sweats? The National Health Service suggests that you should get checked by a medical doctor if you meet any of the following criteria3:

  • You sweat through your clothes or sheets on a regular basis, and this wakes you up wake you
  • Your night sweats worry you
  • Your night sweats accompany a cough, diarrhea, or a very high temperature
  • You are sweating at night and losing weight, but you are not sure of the reason

How Do I Sleep Better When I Have Night Sweats?

If your doctor isn’t concerned with your night sweats follow our top 7 tips to sleep better:

7 ways to get better sleep when you have the night sweats

1. Establish a regular sleep schedule by sleeping and waking up at the same times daily, and avoid late afternoon or evening naps to prevent sleep disturbances at night.
2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine that could include reading, listening to soothing music, or soaking in a warm bath.
3. Maintain a cool and quiet sleeping environment by keeping your bedroom temperature just around 20 degrees Celsius. Consider using cooling mattresses, pillows, and sheets to enhance comfort and promote better sleep.
4. Avoid using televisions, computers, and mobile devices in your bedroom as the blue light they emit can hinder your ability to fall asleep.
5. Exercise regularly during the day but refrain from vigorous activity close to bedtime.
6. Limit your intake of large meals and caffeine-rich foods and beverages like coffee, tea, and chocolate in the evening.
7. Alcohol is not conducive to quality sleep. Small amounts of alcohol can disrupt your ability to stay asleep.

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Cool Bedding

The Douglas Cooling Gel Pillow, Bamboo Sheets, and other bedding products are designed to address sleeping hot and enhance sleep comfort. The Cooling Gel Pillow features an ice yarn cover and cooling gel pad to create a triple-action cooling effect, ideal for reducing overheating. Bamboo Sheets offer natural cooling properties and moisture-wicking capabilities, making them suitable for those who sleep hot.

Use these products alone or together with a Douglas mattress to create a cooler sleeping environment, which can improve sleep quality for those struggling with temperature regulation during the night.

Ice Yarn Cover | Cooling Gel Pad

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Sources

  1. Night Sweats. Accessed June 6, 2024. https://osteopathic.org/what-is-osteopathic-medicine/night-sweats/ 
  2. Night sweats. Accessed June 6, 2024. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/night-sweats/
  3. Night sweats. Accessed June 6, 2024. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/night-sweats/

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