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How to stop night sweats: Treatment options, from prescriptions to other pointers

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Posted by Alex Daly on Aug. 5, 2019

Wondering if night sweats treatment is available or if there’s something you could do differently to stop excessive nighttime perspiration during menopause? If you’ve been waking up in drenched pajamas, soaking wet from sweating, you may want to schedule a visit with your medical provider and explore the causes and treatment options for night sweats, specifically treatments for women going through menopause. 

Night sweats can be a symptom of anxiety, stress, pregnancy, or menopause, or a side effect of certain medications you’re taking. While they can come on suddenly without warning, the good news is that you don’t have to suffer — treatment is available. 

Read on to learn more about the possible causes of and treatments for night sweats and what you should know when booking an appointment with your medical provider.

Are night sweats common? 

Night sweats are relatively common among people of all ages, but especially so for women who are experiencing menopause. One study showed that between 34 and 41 percent of adults who visited their doctor reported having night sweats. Even though night sweats aren’t unusual, they should not be dismissed or written off as no big deal, especially if they occur with frequency over several months. Menopause and typical hormone fluctuations are a common cause of night sweats in women. But excessive nighttime perspiration can also be a symptom of a more serious medical condition, so it’s worth talking with a healthcare professional about your experiences. 

What are the causes of night sweats? 

There are multiple causes of night sweats. If you’re a woman in your 40s or 50s and going through menopause or perimenopause (the early stages of menopause), there’s a good chance that these changes in your body and your hormone levels are contributing to your night sweats and hot flashes. Menopause is likely the cause of your night sweats if you are around age 50 (or in some cases, younger) and having irregular menstrual periods, but you should still see a doctor to rule out other conditions. Night sweats can also affect women well into their 60s, 70s and 80s, the results of one study showed. 

Could something else besides menopause be causing or contributing to your night sweats? It’s possible. For example, night sweats can be a common side effect of many medications, according to the Mayo Clinic. Some of these medications include antidepressants, diabetes prescriptions and hormone-blocking drugs that are used to treat some cancers. Some people experience side effects from certain drugs, while others do not. 

In addition, some medical conditions may cause night sweats, such as anxiety disorders, autoimmune disorders, sleep disorders, and stroke. 

There are other non-medical, behavioral causes of night sweats. These include eating spicy food before bedtime, sleeping in a warm bedroom, exercising late in the evening or sleeping under heavy blankets and sheets. 

Are there medicines available to help night sweats? 

Fortunately, night sweats are treatable with various medications. If you’ve been suffering from night sweats, schedule a visit with your doctor, and he or she can recommend a night sweats treatment regimen that will work for you. 

The treatment will depend on what is causing your night sweats. If menopause is the cause, your doctor may decide to prescribe hormone therapy, which involves the use of estrogen on its own or estrogen in tandem with progestin. Hormone therapy can also help with other symptoms of menopause, including bone loss and vaginal dryness. Seeing a doctor to go over your symptoms will help you know whether hormone therapy is right for you. 

Menopause can be a common reason for night sweats. You are likely experiencing menopause (which marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle) if, in addition to night sweats, you also begin skipping periods, have irregularity in your cycle, have hot flashes, sleep problems or mood changes. The average age of menopause is between 50 and 52, but it can happen earlier or later than that. Some women start experiencing menopause as early as their 40s. 

Any additional pointers for managing night sweats?

In addition to prescription medication, you may want to try some natural treatments or adjustments to your environment or routine to tackle your night sweats. According to the International Hyperhidrosis Society, there are helpful, easy steps you can take to make sleeping at night more comfortable, such as: 

  • Keep your bedroom cool.
  • Wear comfortable, light clothes at bedtime.
  • Keep a cool pack under your pillow.
  • Avoid spicy foods, nicotine and alcohol.
  • Lower your stress through breathing or meditation exercises. 
  • Avoid exercise too close to bedtime. 
  • Try gentle yoga. 

With multiple night sweats treatments available, seeing your doctor can help greatly in treating your night sweats. He or she will be able to narrow down the right night sweats treatment for you. Book an appointment with a provider today. 

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