Anxiety Induced Night Sweats - Why it Happens and How to Cope

The Link Between Night Sweats and Anxiety

It is uncomfortable and embarrassing to suffer from night sweats. Night sweats is a condition in which a person perspires excessively while they are asleep. A person experiencing night sweats may feel their body temperature rise during the night or may wake up in a ‘pool of sweat’.  Night sweats can occur for many different reasons, but many who suffer from night sweats also suffer from some form of anxiety.

Each person who suffers from night sweats experiences symptoms at different frequencies, severities, and for different reasons. Night sweats can happen for several different reasons for those who suffer from anxiety:

  • They could be the result of nightmares or night terrors (Especially prevalent in cases of posttraumatic stress disorder)
  • They may coincide with the stress experienced during the day
  • Different triggers or life stressors can cause night sweats (Exposure to stress, a dreaded situation, or an unpleasant stimulus associated with a phobia)
  • They could be the result of an overactive stress response (central nervous system reaction, hypersensitive fight-or-flight response, intense fears or suspicions of danger)
  • A diagnosis of panic attacks or panic disorder
  • Insomnia or sleep issues related to racing thoughts at night
  • Anticipatory anxiety

How to Manage and Reduce Night Sweats

It can be difficult to find a way to manage and reduce night sweat symptoms. Since night sweats occur when the affected person is asleep it can be difficult to:

  • Identify the trigger, core issue, or source of stress and anxiety
  • Identify patterns of behavior and contributing factors to the onset of night sweats
  • Prevent symptoms from occurring
  • Reduce the stress causing the night sweats

Even though it is difficult to be aware of night sweats in the early stages there are ways to learn how to manage symptoms. It is likely that professional intervention will be needed. Medical, psychiatric and mental health professionals are all able to help identify the source of the issue and work with the patient to reduce the recurrence of night sweats.

Primary Care Physician

If you are experiencing night sweats it is important to consult your primary physician. Although night sweats is a common symptom of anxiety it can also be linked to other medical issues. For example, a common cause of both anxiety and night sweats is hormonal imbalances. Women tend to be affected by hormonal imbalances causing night sweats during menopause. In this case and similar cases that cause anxiety and night sweats a doctor will be able to prescribe medication and treatment referrals to alleviate symptoms.

Psychiatric Care

A psychiatrist is a viable option if the night sweats are due to an anxiety-related issue, like generalized anxiety, panic disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychiatric medication can reduce symptoms for each of these disorders.

Mental Health Counseling

In conjunction with medical and psychiatric intervention it is important to seek counseling to learn methods for managing anxiety. While medications will help alleviate symptoms, they may not be able to cure the anxiety. When it comes to mental health related issues like anxiety and mood disorders it is important for the patient to learn how to identify triggers and manage those triggers with coping skills. These skills will help reduce the severity of the anxiety experienced and effectually reduce night sweats.