Understanding Night Sweats in Men

Many of us have heard of menopause night sweats, but night sweats in men can also be a serious matter. Nocturnal hyperhidrosis can affect both men and women alike and more men need to be aware of the potentially serious triggers of their night sweats.

A recent study suggested that a large percentage of individuals believe they’re suffering from night sweats when in actuality a much smaller percentage of people suffer real night sweating. Nocturnal hyperhidrosis, or sleep hyperhidrosis, is more than merely feeling a little warm and sweaty when you’re sleeping. It is a pronounced phenomenon with clear symptoms. If your sleep hyperhidrosis be easily addressed by simply reducing the temperature of your sleeping quarters and using lighter, more breathable clothing and bedsheets, then you are not experiencing clinical sleep hyperhidrosis.

A major difficulty of night sweats in men is that such a broad range of triggers exist. Foods, infections, medicines, diseases and hormonal changes can all lead to night sweats.

Some food items which commonly increase the likelihood of night sweats include garlic, onion, spicy foods and red meats. Alcoholic beverages also may lead to sleep hyphidrosis as they introduce a poison to our system which our body then attempts to eliminate by expelling it through our sweat glands.

Infections, both bacterial and viral, often throw off your body’s natural thermostat. In particular, tuberculosis is well documented to trigger night sweats in men.

Many medicines, especially antidepressants, may cause night sweats. Because the list is so vast, I cannot list them here.  However, I encourage you to check your medication’s indicated side-effects and discuss them with your doctor. One difficulty of blaming your medicines, however, is that sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether the medicine itself is triggering the problem or if the underlying health condition for which the medicine is prescribed to treat is triggering the problem.

Most seriously, cancer and AIDS frequently feature night sweats as an early symptom.  Lymphoma especially often reveals itself through dramatic night sweats and hot flashes.  I do not want to make you feel paranoid, but if you experience distinct night sweats and you can explain them in no other way, be sure to seek your doctor to discuss the matter.

A less serious and more common cause for night sweating in males is a kind of andropause. Yes, men too go through hormonal changes as they age. These hormonal changes can act like menopause and cause our thermostat (the hypothalamus in our brains) to become confused. The concept of an andropause is still new and not yet entirely understood, but plenty of evidence suggests that men over the age of 40 are far more likely to experience night sweats in men.