The last thing you want in the middle of a deep slumber is to wake up sticky and sweaty. Unfortunately, night sweats are common among both men and women. But even worse for guys, men typically have a higher surface body temperature than women, making them sometimes more likely to experience night sweats than their feminine counterparts.
So, what’s the cause of night sweats in men and are there ways to fix this issue? Read on for answers to both of these questions and learn how the SONU Sleep System can help with your overall sleep comfort and night sweats, as well.
What Causes Night Sweats in Men?
Men can experience night sweats for a wide range of reasons. Some of these reasons relate to their habits and activities, while others may be biological or due to ingested medications.
Many men suffer from low testosterone. Testosterone is arguably the most important hormone for men, as it affects energy level, bodily development, muscle growth, and much more. About 38% of all men aged 45 or older have low testosterone levels.
Also called male hypogonadism, low testosterone levels are never good and can lead to serious symptoms like loss of body and facial hair, weakness, low sex drive or erectile dysfunction, and more. But it can also lead to night sweats.
Stress and Anxiety
Men can experience night sweats in part due to stress or anxiety. If you toss and turn all night because your brain won’t stop racing about an important day at work or a fight with your spouse, night sweats could follow, especially if you also experience nightmares or disturbing dreams.
In addition to the above potential causes, men might experience night sweats due to infections. Whenever your immune system flares up to fight an infection, it may raise your thermoneutral zone. Even if you don't experience a full-on fever, you might find that your body temperature rises.
This is advantageous for your immune system since many viruses and bacterial species can’t survive in your body when the temp goes up. But it can make you sweat at night and make it almost impossible for you to get a good night’s rest.
Some men have a condition called hyperhidrosis. This excessive sweating can occur without any regular trigger like heat, stress, or something else. Many people with hyperhidrosis sweat so much that it can soak through their clothing and even lead to skin issues or bacterial infections.
Men with hyperhidrosis should speak to a healthcare professional for potential remedies and long-term treatments.
Sleep apnea, characterized by interrupted sleep when you can’t breathe, may also cause night sweats as a side effect. Many men experience sleep apnea because of a pre-existing condition. For example, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue of your tongue or palette presses against your throat, preventing you from intaking oxygen while you rest.
Certain medications can interfere with your energy or hormone levels. These can, in turn, also lead to night sweats.
Other medications may improve your metabolism but may also cause your body temperature to rise. This, as well, may lead to frequent night sweats until your medication runs its course.
Depending on your exercise routine, this may also cause your night sweats and overall high body temperature when lying underneath your bed covers. When you exercise regularly, you lower your body’s thermoneutral zone. This causes you to sweat and lower body temperatures compared to normal.
It’s essentially a response by your body to make sure your temperature never becomes too hot. Unfortunately, this can often lead to you soaking your sheets and feeling sticky and uncomfortable rather than cool and relaxed.
Hyperthyroidism is a hormonal condition where you have an overactive thyroid gland. In some men, this can cause excessive sweating and other symptoms, such as heart palpitations, anxiety, weight loss, and more. You need to speak to a doctor about hyperthyroidism if you suspect it, as they can provide you with long-term medication to treat the condition.
How Can Men Fix Their Night Sweats?
Although you might experience night sweats for many different reasons, you can take steps to alleviate your discomfort.
Clean Up Your Diet
Firstly, you should try to clean up your diet. Caffeine, alcohol, and certain spicy foods may affect your internal temperature, metabolism, and how much you sweat. If you find that you sweat frequently, try to avoid coffee in the second half of the day, for instance. This may slow down your heart rate while you are resting and make your body less likely to sweat while trying to sleep.
Cleaning up your diet will help you maintain a healthy weight. Night sweats are less common in men who maintain healthy weights compared to men who become overweight.
Relax Before Bed
You should also take steps to relax before bed. Meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, and other relaxing practices like reading a book can calm down your mind and body and help you settle in for the night.
Not only may this help you with your night sweats, but it can also improve your mental health and sleep quality. The other side of this tip is also important: avoid overly exciting activities, foods, or beverages before bed.
For example, starting a competitive video game with your friends a half hour before sleep is not a good idea. It’s also not wise to do intense exercise right before bed.
Get a New Mattress and Bedding
Sometimes, you might be vulnerable to night sweats just because your sleeping environment is too warm. If you have scratchy cotton sheets or an uncomfortable mattress that soaks up body heat, you'll find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
A new mattress and bedding set could solve this. SONU’s Sleep System is a well-designed, proprietary sleeping solution intended for side sleepers. With the Sleep System, you’ll benefit from eco-friendly, clean sheets, a comfortable mattress, and even a specially designed gap for your arm that makes sleeping on your side more comfortable than ever.
If you try the other tips on this list and find that your body temperature still doesn’t decrease, consider swapping out your current mattress and bedding set for a new one.
Wear Cool Pajamas
Of course, your pajamas or the clothes you wear to bed can also affect your body temperature and how comfortable you are while you sleep. Skin-tight pajamas or thick pajamas made of materials like wool might be comfortable in the winter. But most of the year, they'll just hold you back from getting truly restorative rest.
Instead, you should wear cotton, linen, or other cool pajamas made of moisture-wicking fabrics. Alternatively, wear as few clothes as possible when you go to bed. This exposes more of your skin to the air and allows limited sweat to cool down your body properly, preventing excessive sweating.
Lower Your Bedroom Temp
Ideally, you should keep your bedroom’s temperature to 65°F both before and during sleep. Why?
When you sleep, your body naturally wants to decrease its internal temperature. This is more conducive to deep sleep and tissue restoration that occurs throughout the night. If your bedroom is too warm, your body will spend more energy sweating, you'll be less comfortable, and you'll wake up in wet sheets.
You can lower your bedroom's temperature by turning down your thermostat a few degrees before bed, opening a window, or turning on a fan.
Speak to a Doctor
Lastly, speak to a doctor if you believe your night sweats are due to low testosterone, hyperhidrosis, or other medical conditions. For example, if you have low testosterone according to your doctor, they can prescribe you a testosterone replacement and you may find that your night sweats and ancillary symptoms vanish shortly.
All in all, night sweats in men are very common. But whether you experience night sweats because of medication, your exercise routine, or low T, you can take several steps to regulate your body temperature and enjoy cool, comfortable rest all night long.
It all starts with making sure your bedroom and mattress are comfortable — and the SONU Sleep System can help.
Causes of Night Sweats in Men | Sleep Foundation
Prevalence of hypogonadism in males aged at least 45 years: the HIM study | NCBI
The Best Temperature for Sleep: Advice & Tips | Sleep Foundation.