Night Sweats & Menopause – Causes and Prevention

Night sweats can be incredibly uncomfortable, affecting your sleep quality and causing anxiety. This is because the cause of night sweats can often be unclear, and the occurrences erratic. One of the major causes of night sweats is menopause, a life stage that can also lead to urinary incontinence 

As such, many women will be affected by night sweats as well as hot flushes during the day and urinary issues. 

Sleep quality is really important for maintaining your health, and even a small disturbance over a long period can have serious implications for both your mental and physical wellbeing. To help you maintain your health and reduce the disruption caused by night sweats, we’re going to look at what night sweats are, what causes them, and how tdo treat or prevent them. 

What are night sweats?

Night sweats is the term used to describe excessive sweating during the night-time or sleep. For some, they can cause considerable frustration and can contribute to difficulty sleeping as well as depression, while for others night sweats may be more of an uncomfortable inconvenience. 

Night sweats or hot flushes at night are common symptoms of , however they can also be caused by other medical conditions as well as some medications. 

Night sweats are often overlooked or ignored as they aren’t an especially serious symptom, but if you notice you’re suffering with them its important to get checked as they could be a sign of other serious health conditions.

Night Sweats Causes

The first thing to note is that night sweats can happen to anyone if their temperature gets too high while sleeping. This is usually occasional however, and if you’re experiencing this regularly it’s likely this is a symptom of a larger issue. Menopause and night sweats are commonly associated with each other, much the same as hot flushes.  

Other causes of night sweats include: 

  • Infections such as TB or HIV 

  • Anxiety disorders 

  • Cancer 

  • Hypoglycaemia 

  • Hyperthyroidism 

There could be other causes too. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can lead to episodes of night sweats, while medications such as antidepressants, opioids and hormone treatments can also be a cause. 

Drug misuse or consuming too much alcohol or caffeine can also lead to night sweats. 

Treatments for Night Sweats

Night sweats are most often a symptom of another issue, so doctors will attempt to resolve the underlying night sweat causes rather than the night sweats themselves.

1. If you’re going through

To treat menopause night sweats most doctors will recommend lifestyle changes as a first solution. Avoiding alcohol consumption and taking steps to stay cool while sleeping will be the first recommendation. If this doesn’t lead to an improvement, hormone therapy can be offered to some women who are in the correct phase of menopause. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to help alleviate hot flushes and night sweats, such as paroxetine, gabapentin or Venlafaxine. 

2. If you’re suffering from an infection

Usually, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics, antiviral medications or other treatments to help reduce an infection that is causing night sweats. 

3. If you have an overactive thyroid

Various medications and treatments may be used to help reduce night sweats caused by an overactive thyroid. 

4. If you’re experiencing anxiety

Doctors may prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication as well as therapy in this instance. 

5. If you consume alcohol, drugs and caffeine

Avoiding or reducing these substances can help reduce night sweats, and in extreme cases your doctor may offer additional support or therapy to assist with this. 

How to Prevent Night Sweats

As with many health issues, prevention is often better than a cure, and there are many things you can try to help prevent night sweats from happening, such as: 

  • Sleeping in a cooler environment 

  • Using a cooling mattress to help you regulate your temperature more easily 

  • Reducing weight or maintaining a moderate weight 

  • Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake 

  • Avoiding drugs, including tobacco 

  • Avoiding spicy foods 


While night sweats can be frustrating and cause a lot of disruption to your sleep and comfort, they don’t pose a serious health risk. However, they could be a symptom of an underlying health concern, so even if you think you are dealing with night sweats, seeking advice from your doctor is the best course of action, especially if your sleep quality is suffering. 

You can get more advice from TENA on everything menopause related, as well as protecting your mental health during this stage of life. Aside from night sweats, you may also find yourself experiencing urinary if you’re currently going through the menopause – at TENA, we offer a whole host of different products, from bladder leakage pads and pants to washable underwear.