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Night sweats stop many women and men from getting a good night’s sleep. Some of the most common causes of night sweats include illness, hormonal imbalances, alcohol withdrawal, nicotine withdrawal, stress and anxiety. Certain vascular disorders also commonly cause cold night sweats.
Cold night sweats are characterized by profuse sweating despite the average or cool temperature of the environment. People experiencing cold sweats may also shiver, display blue lips and chattering teeth, each of which are symptoms commonly associated with extreme cold. Night sweats and chills can happen to women and men, and may strike a person at any age depending on the underlying cause.
The causes of night sweats may more specifically involve a range of disorders and illness, such as HIV or AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis and endocarditis, which occurs when the heart’s valves become inflamed. Night sweats may also be a reaction to stressful thoughts or dreams, as well as the fear and anxiety often provoked by these mental concerns. Individuals who have abruptly stopped using addictive substances are also likely to experience night sweats, as well as increased levels of stress and anxiety while experiencing the physical and mental withdrawal process.
Night sweats in women are frequently associated with the onset of menopause as a woman matures. During this time in a woman’s life, estrogen is rapidly declining and the physical effects of this biological change become evident through symptoms like night sweats and mood changes. Such night sweats are due to irregular temperature sensations arising in a woman’s body even though a room’s temperature may be at an average or below average setting.
Cold night sweats in men and women may also be due to incidences of low blood sugar. Diabetics frequently experience cold sweats in tandem with other symptoms commonly associated with this disease. As blood sugar levels are more properly regulated and maintained, however, night sweats become less frequent.
Vascular disease is a leading cause of cold night sweats. Often, the onset of night sweats is sudden and is accompanied by intense discomfort and pain. One particular vascular condition known to cause this symptom is an aortic dissection. This is a life-threatening condition caused by a tear in the aorta, which interrupts blood flow and causes a variety of painful symptoms, including night sweats.
Pneumonia is known to be a major cause of cold night sweats and chills in some individuals. Besides profuse sweating, a person with this particular illness is also likely to experience a shortness of breath, a congested cough, fatigue and clammy skin. Some people may also experience a high fever while reporting feelings of being very cold. Despite having a higher than normal body temperature, such a reaction is commonly reported by people with fevers.
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