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The Reason Why Alcohol Triggers Night Sweats

The thought and the feeling of sweat and sweating easily produces a gross feeling, but not many know that sweating is the natural god given mechanism to cool down your body.(1) The sweat glands continue to function even when one is asleep.

Night sweats are the ones which make you wake up in the middle of the night bathed in sweat. Let’s read more about night sweats.

What are the Causes of Night Sweats and How Serious Are They? (2, 3, 5)

Some of the common causes of night sweats are fever, hypoglycemia and menopause. Some medications can also cause night sweats, such as steroids and antidepressants. If the cause of you sweating in the night is due to the temperature in the bedroom or your clothing, then it is not considered as night sweats.

Actual night sweats can be quite unpleasant; however, they are nothing to be worried about as they are often harmless. However, there is one serious cause of night sweats, which is of concern and that is alcohol consumption. Night sweats from drinking alcohol can occur from having a single drink, binge drinking and if a person has addiction problems.

If someone experiences daily night sweats from after consuming alcohol, then that person can have a drinking problem. Someone who is physically dependent or addicted to alcohol and stops it suddenly can experience night sweats due to withdrawal.

The Reason Why Alcohol Triggers Night Sweats (4, 5)

Alcohol affects every part of the body, but more so the circulatory system and the central nervous system. Drinking alcohol dilates the blood vessels and increases the heart rate and this is how alcohol consumption triggers perspiration and causes night sweats.

Is It Possible To Sweat Alcohol From Your System? (6)

Strangely the answer is both.

A little quantity of alcohol breaks down in the lining of the stomach; however, liver is the organ, which is responsible for metabolizing the majority of the alcohol and breaks it into byproducts via metabolism in the body.

Making yourself perspire or experiencing night sweats will not expel the consumed alcohol from your body faster than usual. Alcohol withdrawal can also cause night sweats and this is temporary.

Alcohol Withdrawal, Night Sweats and Other Symptoms (7, 8)

If you drink alcohol on a regular basis and haven’t consumed alcohol lately and are having night sweats, then it can be an indication of alcohol withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can be experienced after a few hours to few days after the last drink. There are some symptoms which can take many weeks to resolve completely.

If the night sweats are occurring along with the following symptoms, then it is an indication of experiencing alcohol withdrawal. Some of the common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are: Clammy skin, sweating; along with feeling moody, depressed and anxious.

Other symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are: Fever, nausea, insomnia, shakiness, fatigue, nightmares, headaches, body pains, appetite loss, restlessness and muscle aches.

Severe Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal are: Confusion, vomiting, tachycardia, hypertension, palpitations, tremors and changes in the respiratory rate.

What is Delirium Tremens? (9, 10)

Delirium tremens is a life threatening condition and is an acute form of alcohol withdrawal, which causes seizures, heavy sweating, hallucinations and fever. Delirium tremens is a medical emergency and needs immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of Delirium Tremens (10, 11, 12)

Symptoms of delirium tremens usually develop within 48 to 72 hours after someone has had their last drink. Sometimes, symptoms can also develop around 10 days after the last drink. Worsening symptoms of Delirium tremens consist of:

  • Changes in mental function.
  • Tremors in the body.
  • Irritability/moodiness.
  • Disorientation/confusion.
  • Going into deep sleep for more than 24 hours.
  • Reduced attention span.
  • Excitability.
  • Delirium.
  • Increased activity.
  • Fear.
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleepiness.
  • Rapid changes in the mood.
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Sensitivity to touch, sound or light.
  • Development of seizures.

If these symptoms occur along with consistent night sweats, then it is a sure sign of alcohol withdrawal.

Night Sweats and Alcohol Intolerance (13)

Sometimes, the night sweats induced by alcohol can occur because of alcohol intolerance. Alcohol intolerance occurs as a result of genetic mutation. A person with this type of mutation is not able to produce the enzymes needed for breaking down the toxins present in the alcohol.

Symptoms of Alcohol Intolerance are: Nausea, vomiting, hives, facial redness, diarrhea, exacerbation of preexisting asthma, stuffy or runny nose and low blood pressure.

Is There a Cure for Alcohol Intolerance? (14)

There is no cure for alcohol intolerance as this is a genetic condition. To prevent or alleviate the symptoms of alcohol intolerance one needs to completely abstain from alcohol or to strictly limit its intake.

Are You Dependent On Alcohol?

Only your doctor will help you diagnose the cause of the night sweats and to find out if you are dependent on alcohol by meeting certain criteria. If a minimum of three of the following symptoms are experienced by you, then it can mean that you are alcohol dependent:

  • You are consuming more alcohol than you initially did.
  • Despite knowing the harmful effects of alcohol, you continue to drink it.
  • You go out of your way to make time for drinking alcohol.
  • You have a high tolerance for alcohol.
  • You find it difficult to cut down on your alcohol use.
  • You suffer from withdrawal symptoms if you go without a drink for a short period of time.
  • You are spending less time and effort in doing other more important things in your life.

All these symptoms affect your daily life by affecting your performance at school, college, work and even in your personal relationships.

How to Deal With Alcohol Induced Night Sweats?

Excessive sweating causes moisture loss from the body. So, it is important to replenish the lost fluids by consuming lot of water. Other than this, you can do the following to deal with alcohol induced night sweats:

  • Always use fresh sheets on your bed before going to sleep.
  • It is important to rinse your skin to wash off the remaining salt from dried up sweat.
  • It is highly recommended to not use blankets or very heavy blankets.
  • Keep your bedroom cool and at a comfortable temperature.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 15, 2022

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