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Reasons for Sweating and Shivering at Night

By Sleepsia

When we go to sleep, our body temperature decreases, and our muscles relax. Shivering and sweating are normal responses to body temperature: when we feel hot, our body sweats to cool itself down, and when we feel cold, our body shivers to generate extra heat.

Apart from room temperature, there can be many other reasons for shivering and sweating at night & also to woke up with cold sweats.

Do go through the article if you sweat in your sleep every night.

What Happens To Our Body When We Go To Sleep

As we wind down for the night, it’s important to remember that our body is undergoing a number of natural processes to help us drift off to sleep. In this article, we’ll take a look at what happens to our body when we go to sleep, what causes cold sweats, why you are sweating in your sleep, and how these processes can help improve our overall health.

When we go to sleep, our body undergoes a number of changes. Our heart rate and breathing slow down, which helps us to drift off to sleep. The brain also reduces its activity in order to conserve energy.

During sleep, the muscles in our eyes relax, which allows them to close completely. This helps reduce exposure to light and can help improve our vision. Our skin likewise becomes softer and less wrinkled as blood flow decreases during sleep which causes sweating while sleeping.

How do Shivering and Sweating affect your Sleep?

When we’re cold, our body shivers to generate more heat and warm us up. On the other hand, when we’re hot, our body sweats. When the sweat evaporates, it pulls away heat from our bodies and cools us down.

Both shivering and sweating are normal responses to aberrant body temperature. Though you just need to understand the reasons for excessive sweating at night.

Extreme shivering or sweating can wake you up, ultimately leading to:

Why do we sweat at night, and when do we shiver?

When we go to sleep, our body temperature decreases, and our muscles relax. Shivering and sweating are normal responses to decreased body temperature. Sweating helps cool the body down by releasing heat from the skin and circulating cooler blood through the body. Shivering causes your muscles to contract and produce heat. This process helps keep your core temperature stable, preventing you from being drenched in sweat when sleeping.

Sweating and shivering usually happen in response to changes in temperature, but can also occur when we are emotionally uncomfortable or when we are under physical stress. Nobody wants to woke up soaked in sweat or be in cold sweat when sleeping.

Common myths about sleeping

Sleep is a time for our body to rest and rejuvenate. However, some myths suggest that sleeping is harmful or uncomfortable. Here are some common myths about sleep:

• Sleeping causes wrinkles

Wrinkles occur as a result of the natural breakdown of collagen in the skin. While sleeping, your face relaxes and the skin slackens, allowing wrinkles to form. In addition, sleeping on your stomach can increase the production of oils and you tend to wake up sweating, leading to Breakouts around the nose area! If you’re concerned about wrinkles, talk to your doctor about a healthy diet and exercise plan that will help reduce their appearance.

• Sleeping leads to weight gain

Although there are many reasons behind why do i wake up sweating? but it’s true that people who sleep more tend to be heavier than those who get less sleep, there are many other factors that contribute to obesity such as diet and exercise habits. People who sleep fewer hours tend also to have a high intake of unhealthy foods and a lack of physical activity; these habits are more likely to lead to weight gain than insufficient sleep alone. If you’re struggling with weight issues, it’s best to talk with your doctor about what you can do to improve your overall health rather than trying to solve the problem through inadequate slumber!

• Sleeping makes you tired all day long

It’s true that when you go to bed after a long day of activities, you may feel exhausted in the morning or waking up sweating; however, this feeling usually wears off within a few hours. In fact, most people naturally undergo a period of sleepiness (or drowsiness) within the first few hours after they wake up. This is because sleep allows your body to rest and restore its energy. If you’re feeling tired all the time, it may be because you’re not getting enough sleep or because you’re stressing out about your work or school schedule. Talk to your doctor about how to improve your sleep habits and see if there are any other solutions that may be more suitable for you.

Causes of Sweating at Night

sweating at night

Upon heating up, your body sweats so that the sweat can evaporate and pull heat away from your body.

Even though this cools your body down, excessive sweating at night can leave you drenched in sweat when sleeping.

Sweating while sleeping can have multiple causes including:

Infectious Disease

When fending off pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, your body may heat up in order to kill the pathogens. Despite being a normal response, inflammation can raise body temperature, which causes excessive sweating during the night.


Menopause is a natural process that causes periods to end. Even though it isn’t a disease, it can present various physical and psychological symptoms.

Hot and cold body temperature swings at night are common symptoms of menopause.


Certain medications can increase perspiration. Psychiatric drugs, such as antidepressants, are often associated with night sweats.

Some medications taken to lower fever can cause feeling cold and sweating at same time, medications including aspirin and acetaminophen.

If you’re experiencing night sweats from a drug, then discuss the same with your healthcare provider.

Also, sweating at night causes symptoms of quitting substances such as opioids.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstruction in the upper airway can lead to an inability to breathe properly. Such obstruction may be caused by enlarged tonsils or the tongue slipping into the throat while sleeping.

People with obstructive sleep apnea experience the following symptoms:

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping for air
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Noisy breathing
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can lead to depression and heart disease.

Hormone Disorder

Certain hormone disorders can cause excessive sweating in the middle of the night. Because of an imbalance in hormones, your body may not be able to regulate temperature effectively.

Here are certain hormone disorders that may increase sweating around neck at night:

  • Hyperthyroidism: It occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine, accelerating the metabolism of the body.
  • Pheochromocytoma: Non-cancerous tumor on the adrenal glands can alter hormone levels.
  • Carcinoid syndrome: Chemicals secreted by cancerous tumors can show many signs and symptoms, including a sweaty neck at night. chemicals secreted by cancerous tumors can show many signs and symptoms, including a sweaty neck at night.


People who have low blood sugar may experience excessive sweating at night. Despite taking medications, sweating during the night can be a problem because the effect of medications wears off during the night.

Those who take insulin medications for diabetes are at a higher risk of developing hypoglycemia. Apart from this, the following can increase your risk of developing low blood sugar:

  • Excessive exercise
  • Extreme fasting and skipping meals
  • Certain medications
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
  • Hunger
  • Blurred vision
  • Pale skin
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Tingling
  • Problems with focus
  • Seizures and coma

If you think that you have hypoglycemia, then reach out to a doctor, as this is a very dangerous condition.


Malignant tumors can cause excessive sweating at night. Night sweats are often associated with the following types of cancers:

  • Lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Carcinoid tumors
  • Liver cancer
  • Bone cancer
  • Mesothelioma

Even though experts still don’t know why certain types of cancers cause night sweats, they hypothesize that the primary reason for this is your body fighting back.

If you get a fever because of cancer, then your body will heat up, leading to excessive sweating during the night.

Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, also cause night sweats.

Neurological Conditions

The following neurological conditions can cause sweating during the night:

  1. Autonomic dysreflexia: This can occur upon injuring your upper back or spinal cord. This condition is extremely dangerous and requires immediate medical attention.
  2. Posttraumatic syringomyelia: Often caused by spinal cord injury, this condition leads to the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in spinal cavities.
  3. Stroke: Upon interruption of blood supply to a certain part of the brain, a person experiences a stroke, which is a medical emergency requiring urgent treatment.
  4. Autonomic neuropathy: In this condition, the nerves that control involuntary functions, such as digestion, blood pressure, and temperature control, get damaged. in this condition, the nerves that control involuntary functions, such as digestion, blood pressure, and temperature control, get damaged.

All these conditions require immediate medical conditions.

Idiopathic Hyperhidrosis

If your doctor cannot find a particular cause for night sweats, then your condition is idiopathic, meaning that it has no known cause.

shivering at night

Causes of Shivering at Night

Firstly, make sure that the room temperature isn’t too low and that you use an appropriate amount of blankets to cover yourself if living in a cold environment.

If despite this you experience waking up drenched in sweat then the following causes may be possible:


Generally common to infections such as urinary tract infection, malaria, and pneumonia, chills are a natural response that help the immune system kick in faster.

Further, the shivering caused by contraction and relaxation of muscles increases your body temperature and enables your immune system to fight off the infection.


As it causes many hormonal changes in your body, menopause can cause both sweating and shivering. Chills caused by menopause often follow hot flashes.

Drug Withdrawal

Shivering may be a symptom of drug withdrawal. Upon reducing or eliminating the usage of an addictive drug, people generally experience the following symptoms:

  • Irritability and depression
  • Changes in appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle pain
  • Shivering or sweating
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

Shivering is a very common symptom of opioid withdrawal.

When quitting an addictive substance, you should consult a doctor so that you may experience minimum side effects, which can even lead to relapse.

Tips to Reduce Sweating or Shivering at Night

Shivering and sweating at night can interrupt your sleep and wake you up, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness, irritability, and even depression.

So you must take measures to reduce your symptoms to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Here are a few tips to help you with the same:

Adjust the Room Temperature

If you experience excessive sweating at night, then lower the temperature of your room.

If you experience sweating while sleeping, then increase the temperature of your room and cover your body with blankets.

While the ideal room temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, you should adjust the temperature of your room to minimize your symptoms.

Get Cooling Gel Pillows

Cooling gel pillows often come with a memory foam fill. While traditional pillows retain body heat and later pass it back to us, cooling gel pillows don’t.

And the memory foam fill adjusts so that your neck is properly supported.

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There are a number of benefits to sleeping cool, including:

  1. Reduced stress levels: People who sleep on a cool pillow, your body tend to have lower levels of stress hormones in their bloodstream. This is likely because they’re less likely to be aroused by stressful events, and they’re able to drift off more easily into a peaceful slumber.
  2. Better sleep quality: When you sleep on a cool pillow, your body’s natural thermostat is set at a lower temperature, which helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. This means that you’ll get better-quality sleep and avoid you waking up sweaty.
  3. Improved cognitive function: Studies have shown that people who sleep cool perform better on cognitive tests than those who sleep warmly or not at all. The cooler your brain temperature is, the less damage there is to neurons during the night, which can avoid you from waking up sweating.
  4. Reduced risk of disease: As we mentioned earlier, sleeping on cool gel pillows reduces stress levels, which in turn reduces the risk of developing diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

To deal with shivering, you can try body pillows made with memory foam. The memory foam in these pillows captures body heat, so they warm up quite easily. The heat is then transferred back to you, enabling your body to stay warm.

Follow Good Sleep Hygiene

Since your sleep may be interrupted by such symptoms, you need to follow good sleep hygiene to improve the quality of your sleep.

To do so, you can employ the following tips:

  1. Wear breathable clothes: Even if you’re shivering, it is good to wear breathable clothes to your bed.
  2. Relax your mind: you can relax your mind by meditating for a few minutes. As your mind relaxes, your body will too, and you’ll drift off into sleep.
  3. Exercise regularly: exercise every day in order to tire out your body and get to a healthier weight.
  4. Journal: by simply journaling your thoughts and exploring them, you can decrease stress and anxiety.
  5. Follow a sleep schedule: a sleep schedule is an important part of your sleep hygiene. Following a schedule will help your body in forming the habit of sleeping at a particular time. a sleep schedule is an important part of your sleep hygiene. Following a schedule will help your body in forming the habit of sleeping at a particular time.

When to see a Doctor

If your symptoms persist after a few days even though you’ve adjusted the bedroom temperature, then you should consult a doctor, as shivering and sweating at night may be caused by an underlying medical condition.


Sweating and shivering at night generally resolve on their own in a few days. However, if it persists or accompanies other symptoms, then you must seek help from a certified medical professional. Also, you can use the tips in this article for some relief from sweating at night.