Night Sweats From Alcohol Use: Causes & What to Do

October 10, 2022

Table of Contents

Some people who drink alcohol develop night sweats, where they sweat heavily at night despite no apparent cause. Importantly, other health conditions can also cause night sweats, so it’s important to get the cause of your sweating diagnosed.

Night Sweats Due to Alcohol Use

Night sweats involve excessive sweating at night to the point where a person may even need to change their clothes or be woken up from symptoms.

A person should generally see a doctor if they experience consistent new-onset night sweats and get the underlying cause diagnosed. Even if the sweating itself isn’t a major concern, it may signal a bigger issue. Night sweats can have benign causes such as menopause, but also some more serious causes such as underlying malignancy.

However, once you have had an adequate work up for other causes, the remaining explanation might be alcohol itself. Alcohol itself can cause night sweats, and also withdrawal from alcohol can cause night sweats. 

Causes of Alcohol Related Night Sweats

Alcohol can cause a person’s body to improperly regulate temperature, potentially causing them to sweat even when they’re not especially hot. In addition, withdrawal from alcohol can cause changes in temperature and the body’s autonomic nervous system which can cause symptoms like tremors, shaking and night sweats. 

Diagnosis

A variety of health conditions and medications can potentially cause night sweats, some of which are much more serious than others, including these:[1]

  • HIV
  • Tuberculosis
  • Mononucleosis
  • Menopause
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Medications

Even if your night sweats are caused by something other than alcohol use, drinking may still worsen your night sweats.

Because some of these causes can be serious if untreated, it is important to talk to your doctor about new onset unusual sweating and any treatments that may help improve your sweating, as well as any other symptoms you’re experiencing.

However, if all other serious conditions are ruled out, you and your doctor may safely conclude that the night sweats are a result of alcohol use or even of alcohol withdrawal and proceed with appropriate treatments. 

Treatment of Alcohol Related Night Sweats

Assuming alcohol is the cause of your night sweats, the best treatment is simply to drink less. If you have a problem abstaining from alcohol, this may signal that you also suffer from alcohol use disorder, often just called an alcohol addiction or alcoholism.[2] If this is the case, you may need professional treatment for your alcohol use disorder.

Prevention of Night Sweats

Night sweating as a result of alcohol use isn’t a thoroughly researched topic. Because of this, there aren’t many specific tips to help prevent sweating. Some people find that sleeping without layers or keeping the room at a cool temperature can help. Making sure you are adequately hydrated prior to sleep can also prevent excessive water loss and resulting symptoms of dehydration. If you struggle to cut back on your drinking, reach out for help. With the right support, you can manage alcohol misuse.

Medically Reviewed By Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

Is Suboxone treatment a fit for you?

Contact us directly to speak with a specialist.

Citations

  1. Diagnosing Night Sweats. American Family Physician. https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2003/0301/p1019.html. March 2003. Accessed August 2022.
  2. Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/understanding-alcohol-use-disorder. 2020. Accessed August 2022.
  3. Drinking Levels Defined. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/moderate-binge-drinking. Accessed August 2022.

Imagine what’s possible on the other side of opioid use disorder.

Our science-backed approach boasts 95% of patients reporting no withdrawal symptoms at 7 days. We can help you achieve easier days and a happier future.

Get Startedor book an enrollment call