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By clicking Subscribe, you agree to receive emails from Polar and confirm that you have read our Privacy notice. When people use the term sweat rate, what are they actually talking about. Do fit people tend to sweat more or less than their less-fit counterparts. Workout yoga Don't want to miss a thing. Sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know. Stay on top of your game. Sweating is normal and a core part of how the body regulates its temperature. In a sauna or working out in the gym, sweating profusely is expected.

Waking up sweating in the middle of the night is another matter altogether. Night sweats can be defined as sweating in excess of that required by the body to regulate body temperature. Night sweats can occur during sleep and without physical exertion. Instead, other underlying health issues may be responsible for these episodes of considerable sweating in your sleep. Night sweats can reduce sleep quality, concern a bed partner, and provoke serious discomfort.

As the name indicates, night sweats are episodes of excessive perspiration that happen during sleep. They are often described as soaking or drenching and may require a change of sheets or even clothes. Hot flashes are sudden feelings of warmth. Hot flashes can occur at any time during the day, and when they occur at night and provoke heavy perspiration, they are classified as night sweats.

In some resources, night sweats are also called hot flushes, but they are distinct from flushing. Flushing is a reddening of the skin from increased blood flow. While night sweats can occur with flushing, flushing itself does not provoke intense sweating.

Exact estimates of how many people have night sweats are limited. In that study, night sweats were most common in people aged 41 to 55. That said, four common causes identified in research about night sweats include menopause, medications, infections, and hormone problems. Menopause is when women permanently stop having their period. In most cases, hot flashes actually begin in the transition time before menopause, known as perimenopause, and can continue once a woman is postmenopausal.

Menopausal hot flashes normally last for a few minutes and can occur multiple times per day, including at night, when they can cause night sweats. While night sweats are not the only cause of these sleeping difficulties, they can contribute to poor sleep, especially when they are severe.

Related Reading Is It Safe To Sleep If You Have a Concussion. Why You Shouldn't Sleep With Contacts In Waking Up With Lower Back Pain Certain medications are known to be associated with night sweats. These include some antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), steroids, and medicines taken to lower fevers, such as aspirin or acetaminophen, that may paradoxically cause sweating.

Caffeine intake can be a cause of generalized sweating. Alcohol and drug use can also increase the risk of night sweats.

Many infections are associated with night sweats. Most often, this is because infections may trigger a fever and overheating. Tuberculosis, bacterial and fungal infections, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are a few examples of infections for which night sweats are a significant symptom.

Changes in the endocrine system, which controls hormone levels in the body, can be related to night sweats. Examples of hormone problems with links to night sweats include overactivity of the thyroid (hyperthyroidism), diabetes and elevated blood sugar, and abnormal levels of sex hormones.

The part of the brain that regulates body temperature is known as the hypothalamus, and it is also involved in the endocrine system. Other conditions affecting the endocrine system such as pheochromocytoma (a tumor of the adrenal gland) and carcinoid syndrome (caused by slow-growing tumors that produce hormones) can also be associated with night sweats.

Beyond these four common causes, other conditions may give rise to night sweats. Hot flashes may be more common during pregnancy and the post-partum period. Anxiety and panic attacks have been correlated with night sweats.