General Question

Mariah's avatar

Sweating at night for seemingly no reason, do I need to see a doctor?

Asked by Mariah (25883points) November 7th, 2013

I’ve been waking up drenched in sweat every morning for a few weeks now. I don’t think I’m too warm at night; it’s a reasonable temperature in my apartment, maybe a little on the cold side even, and I’m usually cold when I first get into to bed, and I’m certainly cold when I wake up all damp in the morning.

I am on a medication that can have this as a side effect, but none of my meds are new, and they never did this to me before. I feel otherwise fine. I do have underlying health problems but they’re under control right now.

What could be causing this and is it worth a visit to my student health center?

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24 Answers

Pachy's avatar

Could be a low-grade fever. Best to speak with a doctor.

flutherother's avatar

It can happen for no identifiable reason but best to let your doctor know if it persists.

Mariah's avatar

Other pertinent piece of information: I am 21 years old.

JLeslie's avatar

I get it when I am overmedicated for my thyroid, basically giving me hyperactive thyroid symptoms. Overactive thyroid actually does happen in young women more than people think, but still isn’t extremely common. Any other symptoms? Hair falling out, dry skin and eyes, difficulty sleeping or not sleeping as many hours as you usually do?

Any cycle changes?

If it has been a few weeks I think it is worth a simple set of blood tests. Thyroid and some of the girl hormones.

Mariah's avatar

My skin is getting dry but it always does this time of year. No to everything else.

JLeslie's avatar

Right, it is the dry time of year. Maybe wait a full month menstrual cycle, and then if it continues go to the doctor. Sweating at night can be hormonal. Unless you are using a new down comforter or something that might make you very hot after a couple hours in bed.

MadMadMax's avatar

If you think you are to young for menopause it could be peri-menopausal symptoms.

These can start early for some women and last a long time—either way, it’s wise to see your doctor and review your meds and maybe do a hormone study.

JLeslie's avatar

Are your cycles closer together lately? If not, I doubt it is something you have to be panicked about something like menopause, but the tests are easy to check. Blood tests and they can do an ultrasound day 3 of your cycle.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you have a water bed?

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, smart @Dutchess_III! Any chance you added a foam cover for your bed or have a new bed?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Or just need to turn down the heat?

Emmy1234's avatar

I think someone else brougth this up but it could hormonal, related to your thyroid, and I think some cases of tuberculosis can cause night sweats but I highly doubt thats what it is.

josie's avatar

Sleep apnea

geeky_mama's avatar

Hi @Mariah – I’ve been having the same problem, but I’ve also been sweating during the day, too. I’m only 41 and shouldn’t be menopausal but to be on the safe side I went to my OB with this particular complaint (in case I am actually having hot flashes but just more than a decade earlier than expected??).
He ran three blood tests: hormone levels (to make sure I’m not out of whack & having hot flashes very early), thyroid (because it’s your thyroid that controls body temperature) function and kidney (because my creatine levels were not right—and so could have a latent infection somewhere).

One more possibility for you: are you on any steroids? I noticed my night sweats were worse during a recent prednisone taper.

If you’re not on a course of steroids and your bedding is unchanged since before you started having the night sweats then a trip to the doctor for a thyroid panel (at least) is definitely called for, in my humble opinion.

Mariah's avatar

Thanks everybody.

@JLeslie My menstrual cycle is normal; I’m on birth control and I get my period during the placebo week as expected.

@Dutchess_III No water bed and no changes in bedding. My apartment is on the chilly side.

@geeky_mama Oh man I used to sweat like a pig on prednisone, but no I’m not on it now.

The only other thing I can think of that’s worth noting is my appetite has been a little better than usual lately? It’s usually pretty bad.

I’ll give it another week or so and then I’ll go to the health center if it’s still happening.

augustlan's avatar

When I had hyperthyroid, I ate like a horse and lost weight, and always ran hot. Had night sweats, didn’t need a coat in the winter, and my ‘normal’ temperature was 99.9 degrees for years. If it keeps up, I’d definitely look into getting tested.

JLeslie's avatar

@Mariah There is no way to know if you are cycling normally if you are on the pill. The pill gives you the hormones to cycle, it would cover up cycle problems.

Auggie makes a good point about your “normal” temp. I have a slightly higher nornal temp when I am hyperactive thyroid. Usually my temp is 97.9 more or less, and when I am hyper it is up in the high 98’s. If you don’t know what your temp usually is it might be hard to know, because for me, my “high” temp is still in nornal range.

I also was hungry all the time, but I didn’t mention it since you have digestive issues and that might be hard to gauge. High resting pulse rate, low blood pressure, feeling a little spacey, are other symptoms.

Still, your sweating may be unrelated to thyroid. I think get some blood work done.

Bill1939's avatar

I have been having night sweats for more than forty years, often occurring several times a week and sometimes several times a night. Sometimes I awake before the pillow becomes too damp, and remove my blankets until I feel a chill after several minutes have passed. Otherwise, having soaked my pillow I awake and must move to a dry end or even turn it over before I can return to sleep. When the sweats occur they are usually limited to the back of my neck, but will sometimes soak my T-shirt. I never sweat below my waist. Doctors have not found an explanation for this phenomenon, so I have learned to live with it. However, you should report this condition to your doctor, as my experience may not be related to yours.

Smitha's avatar

Night sweats could be due to a number of reasons. In your case it could be hormonal. Go to your doctor and get it checked out.

Mariah's avatar

I think I am going to make an appointment this week. This shit is ridiculous. I just took an hour long nap and woke up drenched. Interestingly enough I could feel my body heating up as I started to drift off. It’s like my body just loses the ability to regulate temperature as soon as I fall asleep.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I asked my husband about this. He’s a mechanic. He said your thermostat needs to be replaced.

Mariah's avatar

Much later update, if anyone’s interested: it was my birth control.

I stopped sweating when I broke up with my ex which made me think it had been some kind of psychological thing.

Then I started dating new guy, got back on birth control, started sweating again. Connected the dots.

I switched which pill I take and now all is well.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thanks for the update @Mariah.

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