Unusual and excessive sweating at night, commonly known as night sweats, are not just uncomfortable. Over time, night sweats can become a source of embarrassment and loss of quality of life if left untreated. While we often focus on female night sweats as a very common and problematic symptom of hormonal changes in women, men can also experience night sweats due to hormonal shifts as well as a variety of other medical issues.
Discomfort from night sweats can often be mitigated by making changes to the sleep environment, such as changing your bedroom’s ambient temperature and directly cooling your sleep environment with your BedJet Climate Comfort System. But men who are experiencing unusually excessive perspiration at night may also have a potentially serious medical condition. If you’re noticing a change in your sleep due to intense night sweats, talk to your doctor right away. Read on to find out what some of the common reasons for night sweats in men are.
What Does It Mean When You Sweat in Your Sleep?
Night Sweats due to Stress and Anxiety - For both men and women, stress or anxiety are very commonly cited reasons for interrupted sleep. Stress can manifest differently in every body, and men and women can manifest stress very differently. Extreme stress may cause some people to sweat more at all times of the day, not just at night. Stress or anxiety can cause tension in the body, as well as nausea, fatigue, rapid breathing, and troubled dreams. Going through a stressful life change or milestone? You may not have consciously acknowledged your stress, but it's one of the top reasons men wake up sweating during the night.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Sweating While Sleeping - This condition, more commonly known as heartburn or indigestion, can also cause men to experience excessive sweating during sleep. Chest pain, heartburn, and trouble swallowing may all be symptoms of GERD, especially if they persist on a weekly basis. The burning sensation can cause a natural rise in temperature within the body, which can contribute to nighttime body sweating and chest sweating at night.
Hyperhidrosis and Severe Night Sweats in Men - Hyperhidrosis is a less common medical condition classified by excessive sweating that is not caused by temperature or exercise but is due to highly overactive sweat glands. Often, the sweating is concentrated in certain areas of the body like the underarms, palms and feet. Especially uncomfortable is the experience of excessive sweating in groin area. Male sufferers of hyperhidrosis at night can find some relief from looser fitting pajamas and lighter bedding, but it’s best to talk with your doctor about the best medical treatments available.
Medications and Male Night Sweats - Medical conditions are not the only culprits of excessive sweating at night. Male night sweats are often a side effect of medications prescribed for other issues. Antidepressant medications, steroids, hormone therapy, and diabetes medications have all been linked to night sweats. For American men, these are common medications. If you’re finding yourself excessively sweating at night and losing sleep, you can use BedJet v2 or BedJet 3 for cooling relief, but it may be time to reach out to your healthcare provider regarding alternatives to your medication.
Low Testosterone and Overheating While Sleeping - Hormonal changes and overheating while in bed are often associated with women going through perimenopause. However, men also experience changes in their hormone levels that can cause the body to overheat at night. The male body produces less and less testosterone later in a man’s life – sometimes referred to as “manopause” – and one of the signature symptoms of “Low T” is difficulty sleeping.
Sleep Apnea and Male Night Sweats - It’s estimated that about 25% of men are suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is characterized by periods in the night where you actually stop breathing. This can happen once or multiple times throughout the night. Sleep apnea can cause snoring, shortness of breath, and waking up gasping for breath. Waking up sweating during the night can be one of the tell-tale signs of sleep apnea.
Fever and Cold Sweats While Sleeping - Bacteria, viruses and other foreign “invaders” can cause night sweats. Bacterial and viral infections are typically accompanied by a fever, our body’s natural response to an infection. A fever, also called pyrexia, can raise the internal body temperature in an attempt to kill off bacteria or viruses that may be causing the infection itself. If you’re lying in bed experiencing drastic bodily temperature changes like hot flashes and cold sweats, there’s a strong possibility you may have a fever and should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Cancer and Night Sweats in Men - Night sweats have been found to be an early symptom of some forms of cancer. The types of cancer that are commonly associated with night perspiration are leukemia and lymphoma. It is important to note that, in cases of these types of cancers, night sweats are one of many other symptoms. Other changes include unexplained weight loss, fevers, and enlarged lymph nodes. Though excessive sweating at night is not necessarily indicative of cancer, it is important to recognize and track these types of symptoms and report them to your doctor.
Intense Exercise and Sweating in Bed – Did you know that intense exercise can actually alter your hormones? If you recently started a new, more intense exercise routine and find yourself wondering “Why do I sweat so much when I sleep now?”, it may be because your body is in a little bit of shock. To support higher intensity exercise, your thyroid may release more hormones which in turn can trigger night sweats. You may want to change up your routine or consult an expert on ways you can slowly ease into high intensity training as well as making sure you’re getting an adequate cool down period after your workout.
What Does It Mean When You Wake Up Sweating?
Any of the scenarios listed above may be the underlying cause of your night sweats, but you can’t be sure until you consult with your healthcare provider. Night sweats are not always the sign of a serious medical issue but you should always let your doctor know about unusual changes in your body. Managing nighttime sweating to get a good night’s sleep is important for overall health and wellbeing. To read more about finding the optimal sleeping temperature and remaining comfortable throughout the night, continue to explore our Sleep Blog, which contains a section devoted entirely to Healthy Sleep Tips for both men and women.
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