Women have long been teased about night sweats and aging, but did you know men can also suffer from this condition? Night sweats in men can be linked to several medical conditions such as low testosterone and respiratory issues. They can also be caused by medications, environmental factors, and hormonal imbalances in both women and men. Learn the causes and natural treatment remedies for night sweats in men.
There are more than two million sweat glands on our bodies that prevent us from overheating. Nights sweats refer to excessive perspiration of the body during bedtime. Often the body produces so much sweat that your clothing and bedding must be changed. Known as sleep hyperhidrosis or nocturnal hyperhidrosis, night sweats affect about three percent of all adults.
Common Causes of Night Sweats in Men
Many factors trigger our sweat glands during daylight hours such as strenuous exercise and the hot sun. At nighttime, our body responds to different stimulants, which can disturb even a good sound sleep. Men respond to these stimulants in similar ways as women including waking up in drenched bed sheets.
1. Low Testosterone
A woman’s hormonal imbalance during menopause can cause excessive night sweats, and low testosterone levels produce similar symptoms in a man. Reduced testosterone due to the natural aging process can lead to andropause, referred to in some medical circles as male menopause.
Hormonal changes induced by diabetes and thyroid disease may produce night sweats as well.
2. Respiratory Infections
Night sweats can occur with respiratory infections and may sometimes hinder a proper diagnosis when treated as a condition alone. Pneumonia and tuberculosis have side effects of night sweating as a result of fever and chills.
Other infections that can cause night sweats include mononucleosis, influenza, and even the human immunodeficiency virus, known as HIV.
Some food, particularly carbohydrates, can stimulate night sweats by creating an imbalance of blood sugars. An excessive amount of carbohydrates can produce fluctuating levels of blood sugar.
More serious cases of night sweats may be an indicator, or side effect, of different forms of cancer such as lymphoma or leukemia.
5. Sleep Apnea
Night sweats can be a direct result of sleep apnea if not properly treated. This disorder restricts a person’s breathing during sleep and sees the throat walls narrow.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is best known for its primary symptom of heartburn, but it can also produce night sweats.
Some medications such as antidepressants and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause night sweating. Some antidepressants cause night sweats in eight to 22% of patients, according to Medicine Net.
How to Stop Night Sweats in Men
Night sweats can be caused by medications, medical conditions, and hormonal changes, but there are lifestyle adjustments you can make now to prevent further discomfort.
- Avoid carbohydrates, acidic, fatty and high sugar foods.
- Wear light cotton pajamas.
- Use non-synthetic bed sheets and blankets.
- Have a cool shower before going to bed.
- Keep bedroom temperature cool.
- Open a window, use a fan, or run an air conditioner during your sleep.
- Avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine at least three hours before bedtime.
- Exercise daily in mornings or afternoons only.
- Do meditation exercises before bed and after a night sweat episode.
- Avoid stress.
- Drink water throughout the day.
- Avoid sexual intercourse at bedtime.
When to See a Doctor
Night sweats can be detrimental to your lifestyle if you are losing sleep. Seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:
- Nightly episodes of night sweats.
- Sleep deviation from night sweats.
- Night sweats accompanied by fever, pain, diarrhea, cough, or unplanned weight loss.
Night sweats are part of life for many people between 40 to 60 years of age. Men are at risk for night sweats for many of the same reasons as women. In a cross-sectional study of 2,267 men and women under a physician’s care, more than 41% reported night sweats within the previous month. The rates were highest among patients between the ages of 41 and 55. You do not have to suffer with waking up all hours of the night drenched in sweat, despite any cause. There are lifestyle changes and remedies to alleviate the present condition and prevent future events.
- Dry Mouth At Night: Causes and Home Remedies
- Itching at Night: Causes and Treatments for Nighttime Itching
- What Causes Night Sweats in Men Over 50?
- Nocturia: Frequent Urination at Night
“Night Sweats,” Mayo Clinic; http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/night-sweats/basics/definition/sym-20050768, last accessed February 28, 2017.
Davis, K., FNP, “Night Sweats: Facts, Causes and Treatments,” Medical News Today, January 2, 2017; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/296818.php, last accessed February 28, 2017.
Davis, K., “Common Causes of Night Sweats in Men,” Livestrong, August 16, 2013; http://www.livestrong.com/article/274141-common-causes-of-night-sweats-in-men/, last accessed February 28, 2017.
Conrad Stoppler, M., MD, “Night Sweats,” Medicine Net; http://www.medicinenet.com/night_sweats/article.htm, last accessed February 28, 2017.