What are night sweats?

People who suffer from night sweats often wake up to find themselves and their bedclothes wet with sweat. Night sweats are very common in men (Night Sweats in Men: The Cause and Solution) and women and often a result of simply being too warm at night. It might be the case that your duvet is too heavy, your pillows are not breathable or that your bedroom is too warm, read our recommendations for bedding that will prevent night sweats.

However, the most likely cause of night sweats in women is the menopause. Women will experience the menopause at around 50 years old and the resulting reduction in oestrogen production can cause hot flushes in the day and sweat at night, as well as a number of emotional symptoms.

What are hot flushes or hot flashes?

Hot flushes, also known as hot flashes, are a common symptom of menopause and can occur during the day or at night making you feel suddenly very hot, causing discomfort, blushing and sweating. The severity of hot flushes will vary from woman to woman and can be experienced years after the start of menopause.

How do I prevent hot flushes and night sweats?

Sometimes hot flushes occur without warning and cannot be avoided but the best-known triggers of hot flushes are thick jumpers, alcohol, coffee, spicy food and stress.

It’s recommended that you keep yourself cool with light clothing and bedclothes, take lukewarm showers and baths and cut down on caffeinated drinks and alcohol.

What causes hot flushes and night sweats in women?

If you’re having hot flushes or night sweats and are not going through the menopause other factors could be causing you to sweat, including:

  • Stress
  • Poor diet and fitness
  • Sleep apnoea
  • Side effects of medication

When to visit your GP

Nights sweats and hot flushes are normally a harmless side effect of the menopause but they can sometimes be a sign of something more serious. If in addition to night sweats and hot flushes you’ve also been feeling weak, fatigued or experience weight loss then make an appointment with your doctor.

To find out more about night sweats and what bedding will help keep you cool, read what are night sweats and how do I combat them? 

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