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Surprising causes of night sweats

If you wake up drenched in sweat despite a comfortable room temperature, night sweats could be to blame.

“I see patients about night sweating all the time,” says Aris Iatridis, M.D., a sleep medicine specialist and pulmonologist at Piedmont. “The most common cause of night sweats is menopause, but other illnesses and medications can also play a role.”

The most common causes of night sweats

Besides menopause, night sweats can be caused by:

  • Acute infections, such as tuberculosis or endocarditis (inflammation of the heart valves)
  • Anxiety
  • Cancers, such as leukemia or lymphoma
  • Certain medications, like antidepressants, hormone therapies and diabetes drugs
  • Chronic infections, such as HIV
  • Diabetes or low blood sugar
  • Hormone problems
  • Idiopathic hyperhidrosis (when the body produces too much sweat)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Thyroid disorders

“Night sweats are a very non-specific symptom and could be caused by a number of things,” explains Dr. Iatridis. “There are certain medications that can help you sweat less, but we want to determine the underlying cause and treat it.”

If you are having night sweats a few times a month or often enough to where you are concerned, see your doctor.

Get your best night’s sleep with tips from Piedmont’s sleep experts.

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