What causes night sweats and what can you do about it?

Sweating is a perfectly normal part of being alive. We sweat in order to regulate our body temperature, and it happens most often in hot weather or when we exercise. But what happens if we start sweating during the night? This can make us so uncomfortable. It can irritate our partners. It can make our bed smell, and even ruin our mattress.

So, what causes night sweats, and how can we stop ourselves sweating at night.

Causes of night sweats

There are a number of reasons you might sweat at night and one of them is most certainly underlying health conditions, so if you sweat excessively at night, you should absolutely speak to a doctor about it and make sure you’re fit and healthy.

Night sweats during the menopause

If you’re going through the menopause, that could be causing your night sweats. This is because your hormones are impacted by the menopause and estrogen and progesterone, two hormones thought to be responsible for causing hot flushes, fluctuate wildly during this time.

85% of people going through menopause experience hot flushes, so they are extremely common. They can occur for several years, and some women experience them for twenty years or more. This is because they can start during perimenopause – the period before menopause – and can continue when someone is postmenopausal.

During the menopause, 64% of women report insomnia and difficulty sleeping for one reason or another, and hot flushes are certainly one of them.


Some medications are known to cause night sweats, including some antidepressants, steroids, and medicines used to lower fevers (like aspirin or acetaminophen).


For some people, caffeine intake can cause sweating, as can the consumption of alcohol, and drug use.


We’ve already mentioned hormones when we discussed the menopause, but hormones can fluctuate for a number of reasons, including hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and abnormal levels of sex hormone.

If you’re experiencing night sweats, it’s a good idea to have yourself checked out by a doctor, as they’ll be able to check your hormone levels and determine if things are normal.

Other causes of night sweats

Lots of people experience hot flushes during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and anxiety and panic attacks have also been linked to night sweats.

Certain cancers also cause night sweats, as does surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

How to stop night sweats

The first thing to do is determine why you’re getting night sweats. If you think it is for medical reasons, then it is really important you visit your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.

But if you have eliminated the above, or if your night sweats are for more natural reasons, like the menopause, then a change to your sleep environment should help you stop your night sweats.

Our first advice would be to consider your pyjamas and bedding. Covering yourself in synthetic materials is going to heat you up overnight, so think carefully about replacing any polyester bedding or sleepwear you have with more natural materials, like cotton.

Next, think carefully about your mattress. A mattress is essentially a huge slab of material. If it is the wrong type of material, it will absorb heat and warm you up.

There are mattresses out there built specifically to solve this issue.

If there are two of you and you are both prone to night sweats…

If there are two of you sleeping in your bed and you are both prone to night sweats, the Ice Cool mattress is for you.

This mattress has been designed specifically to cool down people who are prone to night sweats. It actually feels cool to the touch, improving sleep quality by providing a relaxing sleep environment. Body contouring foam combined with amazing cooling technology means this will be the most comfortable sleep you’ve ever had.

If one of you is a hot sleeper and the other one isn’t

If one of you is a hot sleeper and the other one isn’t, you need the 37.5 mattress. This mattress actually works to regulate your body temperature whether you are too hot or too cold, keeping you at that optimal temperature, 37.5 degrees.

Using the same technology used by leading sports brands, this mattress brings your temperature up if you are too cold and cools you down if you are too warm. It gives you your own microclimate, so that you and your partner can sleep in your own cocoon of 37.5.

Active particles react before you even have a chance to sweat, turning excess heat into water vapour, and regulating your body temperature. If you’re cold, it will do the exact opposite, storing heat to bring your body temperature up.

Not sure what you want?

We’d love to chat to you about your sleep needs. Call 0330 113 5750 to speak to a member of our team, or email info@hughbeds.com.