What are night sweats?

Night sweats are episodes of profuse sweating that occur at night when your bedroom is not that hot and without excessive clothing or bedcovers. Night sweats soak the sheets.

Night sweats may accompany the hot flashes characteristic of the menopausal transition, or they may be a sign of serious diseases. Night sweats and fevers can be caused by a number of conditions, including common infections such as the flu, severe illnesses such as human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Night sweats can also be a symptom of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), endocarditis (infection of the heart lining), and hepatitis (inflammation of the liver).

In some cases, night sweats may be a reaction to certain medications. Depending on the cause, night sweats may occur one time, several times, or nightly, and they may be accompanied by other symptoms, including fever, rapid breathing, and sleep disturbances.

In some cases, night sweats may occur with other symptoms that might indicate a serious condition. Seek prompt medical care if you have any of the following symptoms: persistent chills, coughing up blood (hemoptysis), difficulty breathing or rapid breathing, fever, unexplained weight loss, or fatigue and loss of appetite that continue for several days.

If your night sweats are persistent or cause you concern, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with night sweats?

Night sweats may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect sleep may involve a number of body systems.

Common symptoms that may occur along with night sweats

Night sweats may accompany other common symptoms including:


What causes night sweats?

Night sweats can result from a number of different causes. Menopause can lead to profuse night time sweating. In other cases, night sweats may be due to medical conditions. For instance, influenza, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis (liver inflammation), and endocarditis (infection of the heart lining) are all associated with night sweats. In addition, severe illnesses, such as cancer and tuberculosis, c... Read more about night sweatscauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Infections and Contagious Diseases

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