WELLNESS
01/26/2012 02:45 pm ET Updated Mar 11, 2012

5 Tips For Battling Sleep Sweating

Sleep sweating is a fairly common sleep disorder that usually affects roughly 50 percent of the U.S. adult population. We spoke to Iwona Rawanis, M.D., board-certified sleep specialist and medical director of The Center for Sleep Medicine at St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, for one approach to the medical problems from which you or your loved ones may suffer when trying to sleep.

If you think you might have sleep sweating, use this as a reference point before getting personalized medical advice from your doctor or other accredited sleep expert. --Saira Bajwa

Sleep sweating occurs when you sweat excessively during the night, and it may even require you to change clothing and/or bedding. Dr. Rawanis says that night sweats are caused by a variety of factors, including side effects from medications, hot flashes, infections, thyroid problems, too many bed coverings or even cancer if the sleep sweating is accompanied by unexplained weight loss.

Sleep Habits And Hygiene

There are a number of reasons someone might suffer from night sweats, but it can simply be a matter of too many layers or a high temperature. "Make sure the temperature in your home or apartment is not too high, and if that is something you do not have control over, don't wear too many layers," suggests Dr. Rawanis. "Wear light clothing and use thinner sheets if necessary."


Hypoglycemia

"A drop in blood sugar can occur at any time of the night as a result of the prolonged period of time between dinner and breakfast," says Dr. Rawanis. This can happen to anyone, including those who are pre-diabetic or who have a higher risk of developing diabetes. Tell your doctor immediately if night sweats are accompanied by tremors and weakness.

Be Aware Of The Side Effects Of Your Medications

Several medications can cause night sweats. "Anti-depressants; steroids; Viagra; certain cancer medications; Niacin, which is a popular blood pressure medication, as well as Aspirin and Tylenol can all cause episodes of night sweating," explains Dr. Rawanis.

Get A Check-Up

Night sweats can be an indicator of deeper health issues, such as infections and possibly even cancer. Make an appointment with your doctor if sleep sweating is accompanied by unexplained weight loss, fever or redness on any part of your body.


De-Stress

Anxiety, stress and excess pressure can result in night sweating, especially in adult men. Determine what might be causing your stress, then work to resolve the issue.

Iwona Rawinis, M.D., is a board-certified sleep specialist. Dr. Rawinis also serves as the medical director of The Center for Sleep Medicine at St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage. She attended medical school in Poland, followed by residency at St. Luke's hospital in New York City and a fellowship at Winthrop-University Hospital in Long Island.

Have you ever suffered from a sleep disorder? What worked for you?