Why do I wake up in a cold sweat?

Answer

Night sweats, or hyperhidrosis, can indicate both serious conditions such as tuberculosis, HIV, lymphoma or endocarditis, as well as controllable conditions such as menopause, sleep apnea, gastrointestinal reflux disease, anxiety, or drug or alcohol use, according to HealthJolt. While in most cases night sweats are merely a nuisance, they can indicate a serious underlying condition when they are accompanied by other symptoms such as unexplained weight loss and fever.

Night sweats do not refer to sweating at night because bed clothes and blankets are too warm, but instead refers to waking with blankets and sleepwear drenched in sweat, according to WebMD. Medications are another common cause of night sweats, with antidepressants and other mental health medications having the strongest association with producing night sweats. Hormone disorders and neurological conditions can also lead to night sweats.

Night sweats are most commonly diagnosed through personal experience, according to HealthJolt. If night sweats occur frequently, especially when they disturb the regular sleeping patterns, it is important to visit a doctor. A doctor will take a history, perform a physical examination and conduct blood work to determine the cause of the night sweats. Once the underlying cause is treated, in most cases night sweats will end.

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