Menopause and the effects it has on women at night have been researched extensively, unlike the causes of night sweats in men. However, men do experience heavy sweating at night due to several physical and psychological reasons. Men over 40 undergo hormonal changes just like women; a process known as andropause. These changes in hormones can result in increased sweating at night.
Nocturnal hyperhydrosis as these night sweats are called are an abnormal variation of the natural process. The human body sweats in order to remove toxins and to regulate its internal temperature.
Physiologically, the main reason for night sweats in men is the confusion of the hypothalamus, which acts as the body’s thermostat and sends directions to the body to perspire and reduce the core temperature. Hormones, viruses and bacteria, certain food and medicine can throw the hypothalamus off. Any substance that affects the brains epinephrine levels will make the hypothalamus go off.
Foods such as red meat, garlic, onions and those with a high capsaicin level will bring on night sweats in men. Vodka, beer and other alcoholic beverages bring about the sweats in a different way. The body treats alcohol as a poison, so when consumed in large amounts, it must perspire to excrete the alcohol.
The number of medications that can lead to night sweats is large, but the most common triggers are the antidepressants. It is difficult to know whether the antidepressants cause the sweating or the underlying psychological problem for which these drugs are administered.
Serious infections in the body can lead to night sweats in men. Bacterial and viral infections will show themselves as excessive sweating at night. Tuberculosis will always emerge via sweats.
Some life threatening conditions have been known to bring about night sweats. Cancer, especially lymphoma and AIDS are known to manifest via serious sweating at night. If you do not have any visible infection that is causing this condition, you should see a doctor.
It does not mean that the normal sweating you experience at night after covering is a sign of danger. There are many men who wake up worried that they are having a problem with their bodies after a slight dampening of the pillows. Night sweats are distinct and very perturbing. You wake up and you are completely drenched in sweat like you were having a serious workout at the gym. The bed sheets and your pajamas are soaked. This is the time you will know that you are experiencing night sweats.
If the night sweats are not being caused by any kind of infection, then you should try and restore the hormonal balance in your body. Black Cohosh and Ginseng are known to restore the hormone levels that have gone down with time. Herbs such as Sage or Macca Root are also recommended. If the problem persists, then use other cooling methods. Sleep with less covers. Take a cold shower before bedtime. Install a fan in your bedroom. As long as you stay cool, you will not experience night sweats.