Reasons for Night Sweats: 3 Common and 4 Uncommon

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

3 Common Reasons for Sweating at Night

Many women experience night sweats at some point during their life, and the reason for their occurrence might not always be clear. Considering this, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the most common reasons for night sweats, as well as some of the more rare causes. While this condition is unlikely to be a symptom of anything too serious, the possibility is there - and so it is important to keep these in mind, especially if you have encountered other health concerns as well.

3 Common Reasons for Sweating at Night

For most women, night sweats can be attributed to a natural bodily process, or common problem that can be addressed relatively easily. Some of the most frequently causes are:


Hormonal imbalance

The body goes through many process during pregnancy. The hormonal activity at this time has an interaction with the chemicals in the brain which influence body temperature, often causing pregnant women to feel hot, and experience bouts of sweating during the day and throughout the night.

Similarly, during menopause the depletion of the hormone estrogen can impact on the body's internal thermometer. Because of this, many menopausal women experience hot flashes and night sweats; a difficult symptom that unfortunately can go on for many years.



Women who are going through a difficult time can sometimes find that their emotions manifest themselves in the form of night sweats. This can be particularly likely during stressful occasions such as exams, or financial worries.



Bacterial, fungal, and viral infections can all cause fever which will often lead to fluctuations in bodily temperature. Many sufferers find that they wake up in a hot or cold sweat during the night, while the infection is still present.

4 Uncommon Reasons for Sweating at Night

However, there is a chance that night sweats could be a sign of another health matter which needs to be attended to. Uncommon reasons for night sweats include:


Hormonal disorder

There are certain hormonal disorders such as pheochromocytoma, carcinoid syndrome, and an overactive thyroid, than can all be reasons for sweating in sleep. This is thought to be due to the hormonal influence on the body's internal thermometer.


Sleep apnea

This condition involves the relaxation and consequent narrowing of the throat during sleep, which can cause breathing difficulties. With this disorder some people find that they can experience night sweats.



Several medications list night sweats among their possible side effects. These include some antidepressants, aspirin, and hypoglycemic tablets for diabetics.



It is possible for night sweats to be a symptom of some cancers including leukemia and lymphoma; however, this will rarely be the only sign. Most sufferers will also experience other problems such as feeling unwell, and weight loss.

It can be helpful to evaluate a range of potential reasons for your night sweats, and while they are most likely to be a consequence of one of the common, and less serious causes, it is important to consider the possibility that this might not be the case. If you are worried about your personal experience, you should discuss the situation with your doctor.