Night sweats refer to experiencing profuse perspiration, especially at night. It is more common among those, who are 40 years of age or older. One of the most common reasons for women sweating at night is menopause, and this fact has been known for long. However, a lot of research has gone into the occurrence of night sweats in men.
The anxiety level with regard to this issue is equal in both genders, and so the question follows suit. Is this a reason for immediate concern? Not necessarily, for its underlying causes can be varied. Other than medical conditions, it might lead to interrupted sleep, which is harmful for one's health.
Sweating is body's natural response to control and regulate body temperatures. If the surrounding temperature rises during the night, an individual may sweat to get the excess heat out of the body, which is carried away by sweat as it evaporates. It is also a detoxifying process in which the body increases the rate of perspiration to get rid of excess toxins. Alcoholics may experience night sweats due to the above-mentioned reason. Stress and anxiety, too, have been cited as other causes.
For men, who bless their stars no end, to have escaped the menopause ordeal by a whisker, (read: gender) know that you are sadly mistaken. Most men, too, experience a phasic shift known as andropause. Also referred to as the male menopause, it proves to be a cause of nights sweats. As the body tries to adjust with the change in levels of hormone, hot flashes and night sweats are common. In most cases, medical intervention is not needed with the problem resolving all by itself, as it does with women.
For those who think alcohol it is, to calm your nerves, think again. In the actual, it is one factor that drives your sleep away. Studies relay that no matter how well you "hold your glass," your sleep is hampered courtesy of nighttime sweating. The fact is, alcohol drinks down on your sleep. Experiencing restlessness and fatigue the moment you lift your head off the pillow is the body signaling at you to give up on alcohol.
The next time you banquet for a spicy diner at your preferred restaurant, spare a thought. Piquant platters may seem mouth-watering at first instance; however, your sleep may not appreciate the offer. Although, at first, you may only have your eyes experience a watery burn; as time progress, the effects are more than noticeable, rather profound. Chillies and cayenne pepper maybe great add-on ingredients to contribute to the flavors of the dish; they may inadvertently raise the body's temperature, leading to overactive sweat glands, troubling you during night hours.
Is your sleeping environment comfortable? Your night clothes, too, may rid you off your sleep. So, watch what you wear. If your mattress has served you for more than a decade and seems worn out, change it. A noisy environment, too, may add to the discomfort of nighttime sweats.
In case an individual doesn't have a tumor or any physical symptoms that may indicate infection of any kind, then he must check the medicines he is taking. In the absence of any apparent cause, medications are often the culprit. Antidepressants are leading the list of medicines that cause night sweats in men as well as women. Almost 8% to 22% of individuals taking these medicines experience the problem. Taking antipyretics might also cause sweating at night, although this is not limited to males.
Night sweats in men can be due to bacterial or viral infections. Tuberculosis has been classically associated with the condition. Other than this, serious conditions, such as endocarditis -- inflammation of the heart valves; and osteomyelitis -- inflammation within the bone and abscesses, may lead to episodes of night sweating. A rise in the body temperature with perspiration is a characteristic symptom of patients, who have been tested positive for HIV. Hodgkin's disease may also lead to nighttime sweats with a consistent, but low-grade fever.
Low blood-sugar levels or hypoglycemia is also characterized by excessive sweating at night. Even individuals who take insulin or antidiabetic medicines orally, experience night sweats as their blood-sugar levels dip due to the medicines.
Night sweats can be one of the early symptoms of cancer, most commonly lymphoma. As the body temperatures fluctuate during cancer, an individual may experience night sweats.
If all the causes discussed above are ruled out, it is possible that you suffer from a condition termed hyperhidrosis. This condition is characterized by the individual sweating often and profusely not only during night hours, but also during the day. The sweat glands on the palms, the sole of the feet, your face and back, are soaked in sweat, regardless of the temperature outside, or the kind of activity you have indulged in.
When Is Medical Advice Needed?
As mentioned, this condition is a normal fallout of the body, trying to adjust with the physiological changes it undergoes with age. However, it maybe an indicator of some serious medical condition. However, the first thing a man needs to do when he experiences night sweats is to see if he has excessive sweating while sleeping only. Preferably, one should wear a pair of light pajamas, keep the windows open, and sleep in comfortable bed linen. If excessive sweating still persists, one should seek medical advice.
It is important to observe how much one sweats or if the condition subsides on its own after some time. In case the condition doesn't seem to get better, a physician should be consulted. A well-balanced, nutritious diet along with a healthy lifestyle, too, can prevent medical conditions that lead to the problem.
Disclaimer: The article published herein, is meant to accomplish pedagogical purposes only. The recommendations mentioned hereby may not be generically applicable. The information, by no means, intends to supplant the diagnosis and advice imparted by the medical practitioner.