There are a number of subtle medical problems that could be behind your night sweating that have little to do with menopause or you overheating throughout the night.
Chronic night sweats are often one of the first visible signs of a lymphoma diagnosis. In this case, the hot flashes are incredibly intense—so much so that they may require you to actually change clothes to dry off.
It is however important to note that any type of cancer would be accompanied by other symptoms as well, so be sure to check with a doctor before contemplating a scary diagnosis.
A lot of women going through menopause are no stranger to hot flashes, and these intense spells of heat often occur at night. Night sweats during menopause are the result of changing oestrogen levels and their effects on the hypothalamus, the part of your brain that regulates temperature and deals with hormones.
Menopause causes your oestrogen levels to waver, which can confuse the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus may respond to the changes in eostrogen as if it senses an increase in your body’s temperature.
Then, while trying to cool you down, the hypothalamus tells your blood vessels to dilate and your sweat glands to release perspiration, leaving you hot and sweaty.
Certain medications may give rise to night sweats and may leave you tossing and turning throughout your sleep. Antidepressants are the most common drug associated with night sweats, with anywhere from 8 to 22 percent of patients who use them reporting overheating at night.
Night sweats are often seen with other psychiatric drugs, but even anti-fever medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can cause your body to heat up in bed, too.
Low Blood Sugar
People who have type 1 diabetes can relate to waking up throughout the night in fits of heat. This may be your body’s way of alerting you to low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia.
According to the online resource Diabetes Self Management, night sweats, along with other symptoms of low blood sugar, like headaches and nightmares, may occur if you don’t inject the correct amount of insulin right before you hit the sheets.
The good news that these bouts of sweat are treatable, as taking preventative measures like eating a late night snack can help even out your insulin levels.
If your night sweats begin to occur more regularly and more severely, it may be the sign of a more serious issue. For instance, night sweats are one of the primary symptoms of tuberculosis, a potentially dangerous infectious disease that affects the lungs.
They can also be a sign of bacterial infections like endocarditis (heart valve inflammation) and osteomyelitis (bone inflammation), as well as an early marker of HIV.