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Night Sweats, Medication and Medical Conditions

Can hormones cause night sweats? What about infections, or if you’re on medication?

Night sweats can be caused by a whole spectrum of things that interfere with your hormones and subsequently increase your body temperature. If you’re finding that your sleep is being interrupted by night sweats you may want a little help to figure out what’s causing it. There are many prescribed medicines and medical conditions that can alter your hormones, causing night sweats.

So, if you're experiencing night sweats from medication or a medical condition, it is, of course, very important that these symptoms don't interfere with your sleep. Your body needs time to rest properly, recover and regenerate every night to help your overall recovery.

We take a look at some of the common causes of night sweats as well as some of the solutions to help you get a better night’s rest.

Can Medication Cause Night Sweats?

Excessive sweating at night can be a side effect of certain types of medication. Some of the most common medication that causes night sweats in some people includes:
  • Antidepressants
  • Aspirin
  • Cancer treatments

Of course, all these forms of medication do an important job, and you should always consult your doctor before stopping a course of prescribed medication. If alternative medication can’t be found, there are still steps you can take to alleviate your night sweats and get a better quality night’s sleep.

Medical Conditions that Cause Night Sweats

Can diabetes cause night sweats? How about hormonal conditions?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition, and you’re worried that it could be why you’re waking up hot and clammy, we’ve summarised some of the most common medical conditions that cause night sweats in some people.

Although these are common causes, it’s also important to remember that having night sweats is not necessarily a sign that you have any of the conditions listed below:
  • Diabetes: Low blood sugar (also known as hypoglycaemia) can cause excessive sweating during sleep in some diabetic people.
  • Hormone conditions: An overactive thyroid gland, and other hormone conditions, can cause overheating at night. Women can also experience night sweats from the menopause.
  • Sleep apnoea: This condition is characterised by disrupted sleep and tiredness. However, it can also cause sweating at night, making it even more difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Cancer: Many people who suffer from cancer struggle with high temperatures at night. Some treatments for cancer can also cause excessive sweating.
  • Infections: Some types of infection, including tuberculosis, abscesses and endocarditis, can cause increased sweating during sleep.

Night sweats can be caused by a wide variety of factors, such as the menopause, sleeping on a memory foam mattress or simply being a warm sleeper. However, if you suddenly begin experiencing excessive sweating at night, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor to make sure that it isn’t a sign of an underlying condition.

Solutions for Night Sweats due to Medication

Whether your night sweats are caused by medication, a medical condition or you are simply a warm sleeper, there are some simple steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms:
  • Wear natural fibres in bed: Swapping polyester pyjamas for cotton alternatives will surround your body in a more breathable material, helping to better regulate temperature.
  • Wool bedding: While natural bedding is better than synthetic alternatives, wool bedding (that includes duvet, pillows and mattress topper) provides the best performance of all. It helps by keeping your temperature at a steadier level and wicks moisture away from your skin to make you more comfortable. In fact, it is more effective at regulating temperature and absorbing moisture than either cotton or down bedding.
  • Choose cotton sheets and covers: To get maximum benefit from your wool bedding, make sure that it’s encased in high quality, all-natural cotton covers. This will ensure that your bedding is as breathable as possible.
  • Layer up light bedding: Choose a lower tog, lighter duvet for comfort and layer with a wool blanket (again, keeping to natural fibres) which can easily be moved aside in the night if you find yourself getting too warm.

What our customers say...

Here is what just a few of our customers have to say about how wool bedding has helped them sleep:

“I researched the product online prior to purchasing, as it was to help with night sweats as I am having treatment for Cancer. I visited your shop in Edinburgh where the assistants talked me through the duvets in store and I opted for the Autumn/Winter duvet. Since using the duvet I have experienced only one night sweat, and I am getting a more peaceful night’s sleep and I have been recommending your bedding to friends and family.”

“I have now experienced all four seasons over and under wool room bedding. I have noticed significantly improved sleep and best of all I do not wake up wet through due to night sweats. For this reason also bedding smells much fresher for more days after changing your sheets. I have been taking medication following breast cancer for two and half years which causes hot flushes and had a hysterectomy twelve months later and not allowed to take HRT due to the former I do know what I am talking about.”

“I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with the wool bed set that I ordered. I have been suffering terrible night sweats as a side effect of some medication and with the wool mattress cover and duvet the problem seems to have disappeared. I am so, so pleased I feel like I want to sing to the rooftops!”

Learn more about Night Sweats and how to get a better night’s sleep in our Sleep Health & Advice hub.