Cold Sweats at Night

Photo by karpati

People who suffer from cold sweats at night while sleeping are often awakened because of feelings of discomfort. Medically known as diaphoresis, a person having cold sweats at night will have the palms of the hands, feet or underarms damp to wet with excessive perspiration.A person’s bed clothes may become damp or their bedding wet with perspiration. Their skin can feel moist and clammy and may feel cool or cold to the touch.

If your cold sweats at night are not caused by your bedroom being too hot, or using too many blankets, then your waking up a night in a cold sweat could be caused by a fairly minor inconvenience or affliction or you could be dead by this time tomorrow. Too close to call really.

Oh, lighten up.

Your body normally sweats to keep cool, but if it occurs at night occasionally, then there is usually no cause for concern. Stress and anxiety are often the root cause. If you suffer from other complications or have other symptoms you may not associate with your cold sweats at night, or your cold sweats happen regularly, then you should consult your doctor as there may be an underlying medical cause.

Do everything you always wantedThere may be other symptoms that occur at the same time as your cold sweats at night and they may indicate an underlying medical condition. If you are having any of the following symptoms, you should consult your doctor.

Other Symptoms That May Accompany Cold Sweats at Night Include:

  • Chills
  • Pale skin
  • Aches and pains
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pains
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations

The most often cause of cold sweats at night is daytime stress that is affecting your sleep. Worry and anxiety and even having a nightmare can cause cold sweats while sleeping.

Some Medical Causes of Cold Sweats at Night:

  • About to have a heart attack (may be accompanies by shortness of breath or chest pains -angina)
  • Low blood oxygen levels
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Blood infection (septic shock)
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)
  • Menopause
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Bacterial infection
  • Early sign of lymphoma
  • Medications like aspirin, Viagra or cortisone
  • Kidney stones
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • Fever
  • Malaria

See a doctor so they can evaluate all of your symptoms, especially if cold sweats occur frequently. It is necessary to treat the underlying medical condition as cold sweats at night are a sign that something else may be wrong.

Have you ever had cold sweats at night? What did you do? Leave a comment below.

Amazon Resources

Detect perspiration and drop in skin temperature with a Nighttime Cold Sweat Alarm:


About Bob Colley

I had been battling sleepless nights for decades. After reading hundreds of books, articles and talking with people I’ve improved the quality my sleep tremendously and have decided to share what I have learned with others in this blog.
This entry was posted in 3.0 Medical Complications and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Cold Sweats at Night

  1. Pingback: Sleep Glossary | Sleep Junkie

  2. Bob Colley says:

    Prescription medication can have many different side effects. It is quite possible your cold sweats at night were triggered by your meds. You should discuss this with your doctor.

  3. cram says:

    I keep waking up with cold sweats for about 3 months now. I’ve started on new medications, anti anxiety medications. I also wake up swollen;my hands, feet, thighs, feet, face. My anxiety medication works just fine. but in the middle of the night i wake up swollen. please help.

  4. Bob Colley says:

    Go back to your doctor and tell them about your side effects. They could change the dosage or try a different drug.

  5. Jenn says:

    I have been waking up freezing cold but drinched in sweat several times over the past week or so. I am also really really tired. I am 37 years old. The fatigue has been going on for months now. I yawn, alot, like all day. I have also been experiencing unexplained anxiety through out the day. Checked my blood sugar after fasting, 88. Think that’s normal. Should I start taking my xanax on a regular basis? I have it for the months of April and May(my deceased son’s trigger month’s of anxiety) but don’t need it otherwise? Kinda freakin out about this new sweaty symptom. Didn’t consider the fatigue or anxiety a symptom till now.

  6. Bob Colley says:

    Best to check with your doctor about your other symptoms.

  7. Jo says:

    I have been having cold sweats for around a year now-I can’t even remember exactly how long for, only that it certainly is not something I have had for a very long time.
    I do suffer with anxiety, but I find the cold sweats come and go. I try sleeping with the window open, and it is no use, I really never feel too hot, and this has occurred even when it was absolutely freezing cold. Generally I always find myself too cold anyway. For the last few weeks, it has been getting worse-it wakes me up and I have to turn over my bed sheets and pillow every night, as its so unpleasant to bare.

  8. Bob Colley says:

    Please see your doctor and let them know of your condition. They may be able to help.

  9. Bob Colley says:

    See your doctor and share your concerns. Sometimes night sweats can be caused by an underlying physical condition.

  10. TJ says:

    I have been getting cold night sweats every night since last October. It started about two weeks before I had a partial hysterectomy (still have my ovaries). I do not have hot flashes and it only happens when I sleep. Most of the time, I am freezing and cold. The sweating has gotten so profuse that it literally looks like I’ve taken a shower with my clothes on and then crawled into bed. My clothes are dripping wet, same with bed sheets and pillow. It is so bad that I have frequently had to change clothes in the middle of the night.

    I am 38 years old. Very low blood pressure (90/66 today which is normal for me). I have noticed some on-going fatigue & insomnia. I lost approximately 15 lbs after the hysterectomy but have gained it back and have a healthy normal weight of 123 lbs (height – 5’7″). I am not on any medications. I am physically active & fit and not particularly stressed or anxious.

    I did go to the doctor today and he is doing blood tests to check my thyroid. Logic tells me this HAS to be something related to hormones, but I am worried they will find nothing to explain it?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Cold sweats are definitely a side affect of stopping pain meds. If u were on them for along time the doc should have put u on suboxone for a week. After that u can handle the withdrawl symptoms

  12. vinny says:

    To all who need help with night sweats. I have a guaranteed effective home remedy.

    I suffer from severe night sweats, soaking wet particularly my chest region. I am 31 year old male and I have dedicated countless hours trying to figure it out.

    At the top of my personal list of why this is happening is mold. But that’s not hear nor there everyone’s different.

    What I think is happening while you sleep with people is that their body is simply trying to rid itself of something by sweating.

    Anyway after seeing countless doctors who told me there is nothing wrong with me and what not I took matters into my own hands. In my quest this is what I found. Took a good year of misery.

    I ended up at an aromatherapy place. They suggested a green clay bath before bed.

    They recommended to run a bath in water as hot as you can. You take a couple of scoops of the green clay combined with a couple scoops of Epsom salts. Both all natural. Then soak for an hour.

    I Slept like a baby with no sweating what so ever!

    So basically you sweat under water and stimulate the hell out of your lymphatic system.

    Try it and thank me later

  13. vinny says:

    Stay hydrated while bathing

  14. peg kahl says:

    The last few days I have had my body feels cold during the day. today i woke up and started having a cold sweat, never had this before.

  15. james taylor says:

    im 31 and for the last year and a half have been waking up freezimg cold and soaked with sweat, im a roofer in florida so I sweat all day at work. I can feel ot start before I fall asleep, when I start to drift off my forehead will start sweating, if I get up and start moving it stops. I wake up 4 or 5 times to change clothes, move to the couch, get up again, chanhe and flip the blankets and so on. I havnt had a good nights sleep in so long I forgot what sleep feels like

  16. tasneem says:

    My 3 year old is hyper active endup sweaty and icecold on the forehead its going on for three months now docter sed its heyfever his on antibiotic but don’t see any improvement don’t know what to do anymore took blood test lot of stuff is low so now waiting to do some more tests but time is freaking me out