Excessive Sweating at Night and the Common Reasons Behind It
excessive night sweating

Excessive Sweating at Night and the Common Reasons Behind It

Have you ever experienced that uncomfortable feeling of excessive sweating at night?
You notice that you’re sweating, even if the only activity you’re doing is lying down and sleeping.

Imagine going home after a long day, just itching to get a good night’s sleep. Sprawled on the bed and contented that you’re finally cuddling with your soft pillows, you’re ready to end the day. But as you sleep, you feel uncomfortable. Your armpits are slick and your night clothes are drenched and sticking to your skin. To know what’s causing these night sweats, continue reading this article.

excessive sweating at night

General Causes of Excessive Sweating at Night

Night sweats happen for a reason.
Here are some of the most common excessive sweating at night causes:


Hyperhidrosis happens when the body produces too much sweat uncontrollably. It occurs even without common triggers like a warm environment or strenuous exercise.

It comes in two types: primary and secondary.
Primary hyperhidrosis occurs on its own. You can’t pinpoint the reason behind excessive sweating. Secondary hyperhidrosis happens when you sweat too much due to a medical condition.

hyperhidrosis armpit


While the drugs you take may treat your other illnesses, they may also cause excessive sweating as a side effect.

Take note of all the medications you’re taking. Antidepressants, diabetes drugs, and cancer drugs may all cause night sweats.

If you feel that your medicine causes excessive sweating at night, ask your doctor for an alternative. Don’t stop taking them right away as that may worsen your condition.

medications may cause sweating

Underlying Medical Conditions

medical condition for excessive sweatingOften, night sweats are simply a symptom of a bigger illness.
Excessive sweating at night can be an early sign of cancer. Lymphoma—a type of cancer that originates in your immune system—is associated with night sweats.

Various types of infections may also be linked to excessive sweating while you sleep. Examples of these are HIV and tuberculosis.

Hyperthyroidism occurs when you have an overactive thyroid gland. Anxiety, sudden weight loss, and night sweats are all symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

Neurological conditions, like autonomic neuropathy, may also be another cause.

Consult your doctor if you have an underlying condition that causes night sweats.

Night Sweats in Men

Aside from the general causes, excessive night sweating may also be due to factors specific to your sex. For men, the most common causes include low testosterone levels and andropause.

men sweating

Low testosterone levels

Testosterone is the male sex hormone that contributes to a man’s sperm production and sex drive. It also helps in the development of bone and muscle mass.

When you’re below 30 years old, you should have an abundance of this hormone. But if you produce testosterone levels that are lower than normal, you may have a condition known as hypogonadism.

Symptoms of hypogonadism include low energy, enlarged breasts, increased body fat, low libido, moodiness, hot flashes, erectile dysfunction, and excessive sweating at night.


Andropause is basically the male equivalent of a woman’s menopause. Here, testosterone levels start to decline as you age.

It’s normal for men’s testosterone levels to drop as they age. According to Mayo Clinic, hormone levels decrease by 1% every year starting at age 30 or 40. Because of that, you may start experiencing symptoms similar to hypogonadism.

Hormonal imbalances may affect the part of the brain that acts as the body’s thermostat. It triggers mixed signals that lead to hot flashes and night sweats.

Night Sweats in Women

Women may also experience excessive sweating at night like men, but the hormones involved are different.

woman sweating

Hormonal changes

Hormonal imbalance can trigger excessive night sweating among women.
In the past, experts thought that low estrogen production was the culprit.

But the latest research shows that it’s too much estrogen and too little progesterone that cause an imbalance. As a result, women experience hot flashes, especially at nighttime.

Other triggers include spicy and sugary foods, smoking, caffeine, stress, fatigue, and lack of exercise.


Like men, a woman’s body also changes as she ages. The most pronounced changes happen during a woman’s perimenopause and menopause stages.

Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive period. But before that, women first go through a perimenopausal stage, which is a transition step that happens between 40 and 50 years old. You’re confirmed to be on menopause once your period stops for 12 months in a row.

Menopause is a completely normal stage in a woman’s life. Still, you may ask your doctor for help in relieving its symptoms.

One solution is miraDry, an FDA-approved treatment for too much underarm sweating. Getting this procedure will not only relieve excessive night sweating. It will also help build your confidence during the day as you get rid of those annoying sweat marks on your shirt.

If you’re interested in getting miraDry treatments for your sweaty armpits, schedule a Free Consultation with our double board-certified plastic surgeon here in Face+Body Cosmetic Surgery.

Dr Nick N Masri MD FACS

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