If you wake up with your pyjamas and sheets soaked with perspiration, even if it’s not hot or you don’t have too many blankets on the bed, you may be having night sweats. Men, women and children can have night sweats.
Night sweats are one of the symptoms of COVID-19. Even if your symptoms are mild, get tested for COVID-19 immediately — use the COVID-19 Symptom and Antiviral Eligibility Checker if you're not sure what to do.
What causes night sweats?
There are many causes of night sweats and most are not serious. In some cases, night sweats are a sign of a medical condition. In others, they may be caused by a medication that you are taking.
Medical causes include:
- sleep disorders such as sleep apnoea
- some infections, including COVID-19
- some kinds of cancer or tumour, such as non-Hodgkins lymphoma or leukaemia
- thyroid disease
- idiopathic hyperhidrosis — a condition in which the body continually produces too much sweat for no clear reason
Medicines such as antidepressants, steroids and drugs to reduce fevers can cause night sweats as a side effect.
Night sweats treatments
You should see your doctor if you’re having night sweats regularly — especially if you notice other symptoms such as unexplained weight loss.
The treatment your doctor recommends will depend on what’s causing your night sweats.
If medication is the cause, there may be an alternative that your doctor can prescribe.
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Last reviewed: September 2020