According to WebMD, hot flashes are a common cause of night time head sweating. Hot flashes are caused by hormonal fluctuations during menopause that begin in the chest and quickly rise to the neck and head. Hot flashes that occur at night are referred to as night sweats and tend to last between one and five minutes.
According to Healthline, hot flashes that lead to night sweats are common in menopausal women. Symptoms tend to worsen as estrogen levels continue to decrease. In addition to menopause, night sweats can also be caused by infections, sleep apnea, acid reflux and hypoglycemia. In most cases, occasional night sweats are not considered dangerous, but it is important for individuals who experience chronic night sweats that interfere with sleep or are accompanied by additional symptoms to consult with a physician. Night sweats accompanied by weight loss or fever can indicate a medical emergency.
The Mayo Clinic explains that a variety of conditions can cause night sweats including anxiety, nerve damage, leukemia, menopause, bone infections, adrenal gland tumors, overactive thyroid and bacterial infections. Night sweats are also a common side effect of blood sugar medications, anti-depressants and hormone replacement therapy medications. However, an episode of waking up sweating because of sleeping under too many blankets is not usually categorized as night sweats.