How to Stop Night Sweats in Men
Have you ever woken up drenched in sweat, unsure of the cause? While excessive sweating is often associated with women, night sweats in men are more common than we think. If these episodes are getting in the way of you achieving a good night's sleep, it's time to take some action. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to remedy the problem. Read on to learn how to sleep more and sweat less!
What Are Night Sweats?
As the name suggests, night sweats are episodes of extreme sweating during sleep that leave you, your PJs, and sheets drenched in sweat. It's important to distinguish between general sweating, which is a normal part of the body's temperature regulation system, and night sweats.
Night sweats aren't the result of external factors such as sleeping under heavy blankets or your room being too warm. Increased sweating at night is a cause for concern and can have underlying medical conditions.
What Causes Night Sweats in Men?
Night sweats, particularly in men, have many causes. Sweat is produced by the body's sweat glands and these small structures regulate human body temperature. Our skin has 2-3 million sweat glands and sweating removes heat from the body when it gets too hot. In general, sweating is pretty normal and healthy!
But night sweats and hot flashes can occur when your body temperature increases suddenly. These episodes may be accompanied by physical symptoms such as cough or diarrhea.
One of the factors that causes night sweats in men is low testosterone levels. Testosterone is the hormone that regulates red blood cell production, sex drive, sperm production, muscle strength and mass, fat distribution. etc. As men age, their testosterone levels decrease and this can lead to night sweats and other symptoms including:
- Hot flashes
- Erectile dysfunction
- Memory loss
- Hair loss
Low testosterone levels (low T levels) can be caused by certain health conditions such as obesity, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune disease, and heart failure. Emotional symptoms such as depression are also a sign of low T levels. Poor sleep, a sedentary lifestyle and anabolic steroids can also lower testosterone levels.
What You Can Do:
If your night sweats are due to a medical condition, then you need to speak to your healthcare provider. If you don't have the medical conditions that lower T levels, then what you can do is evaluate your lifestyle. In some cases, your healthcare provider may also recommend testosterone replacement therapy. Other times, all it takes to make a huge difference in your overall health and of course, your T levels and sleep quality is making a few lifestyle changes. Here are a few lifestyle changes to consider:
- Reducing spicy foods
- Eat whole foods
- Staying away from synthetic drugs
- Limit or eliminate caffeine and alcohol
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Your excessive sweating can be caused by sleep apnea—a sleep disorder that affects roughly 30 million Americans. The most common type of sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a common but serious condition that causes your breathing to become shallow or stop during sleep. Those with sleep disorders of the central nervous system such as central sleep apnea or stroke have other symptoms such as depression, anxiety, snoring and erectile dysfunction.
What You Can Do:
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, there are a few things you can do to reduce your night sweats. Lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating whole foods, avoiding alcohol and being more active are all things you can do to improve your symptoms. Some patients who use CPAP machines also see an improvement in their night sweats. A study in Japan even found that using the machine completely eliminated night sweats related to sleep apnea.
Stress and Anxiety
Many men experience night sweats because of ongoing stress or anxiety in their lives. Chronic stress is linked to many health conditions including high blood pressure and weakened immune system. Chronic stress can also induce hormone disorders. Remember what we said earlier about lifestyle-induced low testosterone levels? Turns out that stress, especially chronic stress, leads to lower T levels.
Anxiety is another cause of night sweats, and this happens when the body's stress response is activated. As a distressing symptom of anxiety, night sweats occur because your body's on high alert from a perceived threat. Even though you aren't in a life-threatening situation, your body temperature changes as a result of this perceived threat. Night sweats could also be a sign that you have generalized anxiety disorder.
What You Can Do:
One of the best ways you can reduce night sweating is to learn how to manage stress. A little stress here and there is harmless but if you're exposed to chronic stress, this may lead to more than night sweats. To avoid night sweating as well as prevent many health issues linked to stress, follow these simple stress management tips:
- Spend time with family and friends
- Reduce your caffeine intake
- Follow a healthy diet
- Get more physical exercise
- Learn to practice digital detox
Stress is a silent killer and the sooner you can find healthy ways to reduce your exposure to chronic stress, the sooner you can stop sweating!
You're probably familiar with the side effects of medications. But did you know that certain medications such as narcotic painkillers are linked to night sweats? Antidepressants, blood pressure medications and hypoglycemic agents used for diabetes treatment are some of the medications that can cause night sweats in men. Drugs used in cancer treatments also have this side effect.
What You Can Do:
Consider lifestyle changes to improve your physical and mental health so that you don't have to deal with side effects like night sweats. Experts agree that many chronic diseases such as diabetes and blood pressure are lifestyle-related diseases. A healthy diet, physical activity, and managing stress levels can help manage and treat them naturally. Whether you want to reduce excessive sweating or generally get fit, a lifestyle intervention can go a long way. Make sure to speak to a healthcare provider before you discontinue any medication.
It's common to sweat during exercise but sometimes your day's sweat can follow you into bed. In particular, intense exercise causes your thyroid glands to release more hormones that can support your higher-than-average activity level. While you may not notice this while exercising, this change in hormone levels leads to night sweats. This is common when your body is trying to adjust to a new training routine.
What You Can Do:
When starting a new training routine, allow your body to gradually get used to the intensity of your workouts. For example, start slowly on the first few times and then gradually pick up your pace. This will give your body the chance to get used so that your thyroid can release hormones accordingly. In other words, your body won't have to suddenly adapt to your intense exercises.
Illness and Infection
It's common to deal with night sweats (as well as day sweats) when your body's fighting an infection. A bacterial infection releases inflammatory mediators that raise—temporarily—your thermoneutral zone. This leads to night sweats, which is why this is often a common symptom of a fever. Serious infections that cause night sweats include fungal infections, HIV, and endocarditis.
Other illnesses, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Thyroid disease, and tuberculosis are also known contributors to night sweats in men.
What You Can Do:
Do you have any of the symptoms associated with infections? If so, and they don't improve within a few days, you should see a healthcare provider.
Another cause of your nighttime sweating could be due to a disorder called hyperhidrosis. This happens when your sweat glands overact. Known as excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis disorder is essentially when you sweat a lot in situations where others wouldn't break a sweat. Someone may have idiopathic hyperhidrosis, which is sweating that doesn't have a medical reason. Secondary hyperhidrosis on the other hand, can either be due to medication side effects or an underlying medical condition.
What You Can Do:
Your healthcare provider may recommend different treatment options. They may, for example, recommend lifestyle changes such as wearing breathable fabrics, using stronger antiperspirants or clinical-grade cloth wipes. If these don't reduce your sweating at night, your provider may suggest prescription medication.
Why Are Men More Likely Than Women to Experience Night Sweats?
There are a few reasons why men are more likely to experience night sweats than women. One of the reasons is testosterone, which enhances men's response to sweat. Women on the other hand, need to get hotter before they start to sweat. This is due to estrogen, which promotes lower body temperature. A second reason is that men are physically bigger than women, which means that a bigger body generates more heat and takes longer to cool down.
How Sandland Sleep Can Help
Another way that you can reduce your night time sweats is to take natural sleep aids. Our fall asleep and stay asleep tablets help restore your natural sleep pattern thanks to their all-natural ingredients. These include peppermint, magnesium, melatonin, valerian root, and l-theanine— ingredients that have been shown to reduce hot flashes and night sweats.
Wrapping Things Up
Falling asleep and staying asleep shouldn't be a chore. If night sweats have been keeping you up and drenched at night, and irritated and tired in the day, don't lose hope. Listen to your body and try to understand the underlying cause of your night sweats. Sometimes the answer is easier and closer than you think—like a lifestyle change.
This depends on the underlying condition of your sweating. If you make the right lifestyle adjustments and take the necessary steps, you should start sweating less and less. If there's a medical cause for your sweating at night, then that will depend on the treatment your doctor will recommend.
You should be concerned about male night sweats when it is accompanied by other symptoms. You should also be concerned when your sweating has no known cause as this could be due an undiagnosed condition.
For many women going through menopause, night sweats are common symptom. Studies show that more than 80% of women experience hot flashes which is the reason for sweating at night.