Night sweats are characterized as excessive sweating while sleeping. For menopausal women, they are the nighttime counterpart to hot flashes. While night sweats are typically a symptom of menopause, there are several other factors that can provoke them. These include lifestyle habits and some underlying disorders. One cause of night sweats may be alcohol. To learn more about the connection between alcohol and night sweats, continue reading this article.
What Are Night Sweats?
Night sweats are periods of sweating during the night that can cause a person to wake up feeling cold and clammy and lying in bedding wet from sweat. There are many reasons a person may get night sweats, such as menopause.
Why May Alcohol Cause Night Sweats?
During menopause, the constant fluctuation of sex hormones can induce night sweats. Night sweats can also be a symptom of some medications, such as antidepressants and hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In addition, certain lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking alcohol in excess can lead to night sweats.
People who drink alcohol in excess or abuse it may experience night sweats. Oftentimes when alcoholics try to quit drinking they will have mild to severe night sweats as part of their withdrawal symptoms.
However, menopausal women who have a healthy relationship with alcohol and drink it in moderation, may also have increased night sweats. This is because alcohol stimulates sweat glands.
How to Control Night Sweats
If you abuse alcohol, or are alcohol dependent, it is important to seek out treatment and a plan for quitting that is right for you. It may be difficult, but it will benefit you and your body, and help you sleep more peacefully throughout the night. Night sweats are not a major symptom of alcohol dependency, and are far from the more serious one, so if you quit drinking the positive impact on your health and happiness will go greatly beyond alleviating menopause symptoms.
As you try to manage your night sweats, keep some of the following tips in mind. They can help you recuperate after waking up from an episode in the middle of the night.
- Drink plenty of water to return the body temperature to normal.
- Avoid hot and spicy foods, caffeine, smoking, and alcohol before bed.
- Change the bed sheets.
- Wash your face with cool water.
- Wear lighter clothing to bed.
Excessive consumption of alcohol is a serious issue and should be addressed by a medical professional. Read more about night sweats and other related topics.
- The National Institute of Health. "Signs of the Menopausal Transition" www.nih.gov
- Boston Women's Health Collective. "Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Sleep Disturbances". Our Bodies, Ourselves, 2006.
- Von Muhlen, DG, et al. "A community-based study of menopause symptoms and estrogen replacement in older women". Maturitas. Sept 1995; 22(2):71-8.