Our body has its own mechanism by which it conducts the various body functions and internal processes. Sweating is one such function that our body performs to regulate its temperature and also as a method of excreting the excess water in our body. Normal sweating occurs when the surrounding temperature goes higher than our body temperature. However, there are quite a few people who suffer from excessive sweating, even in cold surroundings. There are still others who experience cold sweats at times. Most often, people wake up in cold sweats and find their pillows drenched. While there may be different causes of of this, most of them are conditions that can be treated easily. This Buzzle article deals with some of the major causes.
Stress and Anxiety
Many people discount the role that stress plays in the deterioration of their physical health. With excess physical activity comes mental and physical stress. When combined together, they lead to anxiety and undue pressure on the brain. All these lead to excess perspiration by the existing sweat glands and manifests itself in the form of cold sweats while the body is at rest.
Another reason that could contribute to the repeated occurrence of cold sweats is a totally psychological one. A disturbed sleep due to unpleasant dreams or frightening nightmares can also cause a person to wake up soaked in sweat. Also, disorders like sleep apnea have been known to cause cold sweats.
Low Blood Pressure
Often times, the flow of blood within the body gets affected due to various reasons like excessive strenuous labor or mental stress. As a result, the pressure by which the blood pumps itself to and from the heart reduces considerably. If this happens while you are sleeping, there is a possibility of you waking up in cold sweats.
Our hormones also play a major role in the various physical changes that we go through. Women who are close to the phase of menopause or are already experiencing menopause are more likely to experience cold sweats, due to the reduced levels of estrogen in the body. This reduced level results in hot flashes, which in turn results in cold sweats. A lot of women do not experience hot flashes, except for in their sleep. That's why they wake up clammy. Another hormone that could be causing you to wake up to a soaked pillow or sheet is insulin. When the level of insulin goes down in the blood of a person who is already a diabetic, cold sweats could be a consequence. So, the first thing you need to do is check the blood sugar level and take the necessary medication.
The type of food that you eat during the day can also trigger off cold sweats while you are sleeping. Spicy food plays a major role in inducing perspiration in people. In order to adjust to the rising level of heat within the body, we begin to perspire. You will also notice that some people sweat profusely even while they are eating a particularly spicy food item. So, if you've been eating a lot of spicy food, try to give yourself some respite from the spice and see if that gives you some relief.
Another reason, and probably the most feared one is that you could be carrying a viral infection within your blood stream. Generally, carriers of infectious diseases like tuberculosis or HIV experience night sweats, accompanied by a fever that these diseases bring along with them.
These possible causes are not meant to alarm you. In addition to them, some prescription drugs and alcohol may also cause night sweats. Consult your doctor if yours are persistent for more than six to seven consecutive nights to get the underlying cause diagnosed and treated. Follow a healthy diet, maintain a good fitness regime, drink a lot of water and rest your body sufficiently to prevent the recurrence of such episodes.