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Night sweats

Most people sweat during the night. It's normal if the room or your bedding is making you too hot.

Night sweats are when you sweat so much that your night clothes and bedding are soaking wet, even though where you're sleeping is cool.

Adults and children can get night sweats.

If you often wake up with soaking wet sheets, you should see your GP.

Non-urgent advice: See your GP if you:

  • have night sweats often that wake you up or worry you
  • also have a very high temperature (or feel hot and shivery), a cough or diarrhoea
  • have night sweats and you're losing weight for no reason

Causes of night sweats

The most common reasons for night sweats are:

  • menopause symptoms (hot flushes)
  • anxiety
  • medicines – some antidepressants, steroids and painkillers
  • hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
  • alcohol or drug use
  • a harmless condition called hyperhidrosis that makes you sweat too much all the time

Sometimes the cause of night sweats is unknown.

Read about hypoglycaemia in type 1 diabetes

Read about hypoglycaemia in type 2 diabetes

Treating night sweats

If you have night sweats, you will not usually need treatment. But your GP will want to check if you have any other symptoms.

If you're taking medicine and your GP thinks it might cause your night sweats, they may prescribe a different one.

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

Page last reviewed: 15 April 2021
Next review due: 15 April 2024

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.