Night sweats are a common occurrence in women, says Marla Ahlgrimm. But they are not always triggered by hormones. So what other culprits lie beneath the sheet? Keep reading to find out.
Q: What is the most common causes of night sweats in women?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Hormones, specifically those associated with menopause, are the number one cause of nocturnal sweating in women. This is especially true when it comes to sweating throughout the night. Night sweats caused by menopause are unpredictable, although hormone replacement therapy can help.
Q: Can medications trigger night sweats?
Marla Ahlgrimm: Absolutely. Anytime you take something that changes the way your body works, you run the risk of unpleasant side effects. Many antidepressants are known to turn up the heat at night. Venlafaxine and bupropion belong to a class of medications that cause a reaction from your adrenal glands. Your doctor can prescribe you medication that circumvents this problem without countering the mental health benefits of your medicine.
Q: Can dream activity trigger a physical response?
Marla Ahlgrimm: When you dream, your body goes into a state of semi-paralysis. But, just because your body is still does not mean your mind isn’t working overtime. It is a common phenomenon to wake up sweating after having an invigorating dream. If you are trying outrun a monster in a nightmare, for example, your body can react by elevating your heartbeat and kicking your sweat glands into high gear.
Q: Are there more serious issues that may be to blame?
Marla Ahlgrimm: It is important to understand that night sweats are typically benign. However, undiagnosed lymphoma can also trigger uncontrollable sweating both at night and during the day. Night sweats may also mean you’re simply fighting off an infection or can indicate hyperhidrosis, which is a medical condition typified by excessive sweating.