What Causes Night Sweats in Men?

night sweat men

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Night sweats are common in both women and men. Women often experience night sweats during menopause due to hormonal imbalances. However, night sweats are also common in men.

There are several reasons why people experience night sweats, such as hormone-related conditions, low blood sugar, or neurological problems. To distinguish whether or not you are experiencing a medical condition or if you have concerns or questions, make an appointment and visit your doctor. Speak to a health professional you trust.

What are night sweats?

What exactly are night sweats? And what causes them? If you keep your room warm or wear thick clothing while you sleep, the temperature may cause you to sweat at night. However, if you experience severe hot flashes at night, this may be night sweats.

Night sweats are often discovered when someone wakes up in soaked sheets and clothes. This may be caused by hot room temperatures, but medical conditions or diseases cause night sweats, which is unrelated to the ambient environment.

Although it is common to sweat at night, it is difficult to distinguish if you are experiencing night sweats or just excessively sweating. In a study of over 2,000 patients, 41% described experiencing night sweats to their doctor. As such, the peer-reviewed journal American Family Physician notes that “night sweats area common outpatient complaint, yet literature on the subject is scarce.”

How does one distinguish night sweats from sweating? Night sweats are classified as sweating associated with medical conditions or illnesses. Night sweats occur repeatedly and can involve extreme perspiration. Additionally, night sweats are associated with many symptoms, such as hot flashes, fever, weight loss or gain, certain infections, low blood sugar, specific illnesses, like malaria and various medications. This is why, if you are not certain of the cause, it is important to speak to your doctor if you believe you are experiencing night sweats.

What causes night sweats?

There are several things that may cause night sweats, including your medications or medical conditions. Below are lists of both disorders and medications that may cause night sweats.

Medical Conditions or Disorders

  • sleep disorders (for example, obstructive sleep apnea)
  • anxiety disorders
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • leukemia
  • myelofibrosis
  • autoimmune disorders
  • tuberculosis (TB)
  • low blood sugar
  • various cancers, including intestinal cancer


  • antidepressants
  • hypoglycemic agents
  • hormone therapy (or hormone-blocking drugs that are used to help with certain cancers)
  • while not a medication, hot spices can also cause people to sweat


In most cases, night sweats are not serious. However, night sweats may be an indicator of a bigger health problem. Research shows that night sweats may be an indicator of autoimmune diseases, heart problems, or even sleep apnea.

We should note that sweating is a natural function that the body uses to your temperature. Water in the form of sweat is cooling as it evaporates. Sweating occurs when your body temperature rises above what is called the thermoneutral zone.

If you are concerned about night sweats, there are steps you can take to treat them. Monitor your body temperature at least two times a day to determine if you have any fevers. In addition, track any other symptoms you may be experiencing in order to accurately inform your doctor of your situation. You should also note that people who exercise regularly tend to start sweating at lower temperatures than people who are less active.

More importantly, in order to treat your night sweats, you need to treat the medical condition or disease causing them. One way to determine what causes your night sweats is going to see your doctor. In the meantime, make sure to avoid eating spicy foods before you go to bed and sleep without extra clothing or blankets to keep a cool environment.

Low Testosterone Levels

Night sweats in men are often linked to low levels of testosterone. Also known as low T, low testosterone levels appear to be  increasingly common among men (although this may be caused by an increase in men willing to talk about it with their physicians). Low T is connected to night sweats because testosterone is the main sex hormone in men. Similar to women during menopause, low T is related to hormonal imbalances. If low T is responsible for your night sweats, it is possible for your doctor to suggest hormone replacement therapy.

Low T is fairly rare, occurring in a little over 2 percent of men aged 50, but that increases to about 50 percent of men in their 80s. However, this reinforced the need to see a doctor if you are experiencing night sweats and don’t know why. Low T can be the sign of serious medical conditions and should prompt immediate concern and care.

Symptoms of low T include low energy, increased body fat, moodiness, hot flashes, low libido, and erectile dysfunction.

In conclusion…

Sweat is natural and, in fact, healthy. Sweating allows us to regulate our body temperatures by keeping us cool. However, excessive sweating is uncomfortable and is a sign of your health conditions. Night sweats in men are fairly common, but do not ignore your symptoms, and talk to your doctor right away to rule out the possibility of a serous condition developing.