What Is the Connection Between Night Sweats and Alcohol?

It takes a large amount of alcohol to induce night sweats.
Nausea is one possible withdrawal symptom caused by alcohol dependence.
Dehydration, which can be caused by excessive drinking, can lead to headaches and night sweats.
Excessive drinking can cause dizziness and blackouts.
Night sweats may occur more often when an individual is suffering from alcohol dependence.
Article Details
  • Written By: Lori Smith
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

The connection between night sweats and alcohol can be attributed to the body’s response when liquor is introduced into the bloodstream. Alcohol is a vasodilator, which means when the drink is consumed, blood vessels dilate, or expand in size. When this occurs, it creates a warm sensation throughout the body. At night, the blood vessels continue to react, causing the person to sweat even though he or she is at rest. In addition to alcohol consumption, sudden abstinence — or alcohol withdrawal — may also lead to nighttime sweating.

A period of heavy drinking, or binging, doses the blood stream with an exorbitant amount of alcohol. This affects the mind in many destructive ways. In addition to other areas of the brain, it changes the way the hypothalamus, the portion of the brain that regulates temperature, responds. As a result of the signals sent by it, blood vessels dilate, which induces hot flashes.

Usually, a small amount of alcohol consumption does not cause this symptom. Many social drinkers do not wake up sweating in the middle of the night just because they enjoyed a glass of wine or a beer earlier in the day. Night sweats and alcohol consumption may be more prevalent when an individual is suffering from dependence. Intermittent binge drinking may also cause the symptom, even when addiction is not a factor.

Ad

When people are chemically dependent and decide to quit drinking, night sweats and alcohol withdrawal symptoms are quite common. Other uncomfortable side effects may also occur, such as tremors, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. Some withdrawal symptoms may become apparent as early as six hours following the last time a dependent person consumed the substance. For this reason, effects of withdrawal, such as night sweats, can occur even if the individual is not intentionally trying to quit.

In those who drink daily, night sweats along with alcohol dependence indicate a serious condition that rarely resolves on its own. People who are addicted to controlled substances usually require professional treatment to overcome dependence. Inpatient rehabilitation centers, for example, specialize in detoxification, along with the many stages of recovery.

While not always necessary, medication may be prescribed to help combat the side effects of withdrawal that may occur when an addicted person stops drinking. Some patients are able to quit without medicine, but seek help from an outpatient rehabilitation facility for support. Group therapy, as well as one-on-one sessions with substance abuse counselors, can assist people who are battling addiction.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon961363
Post 4

Thank you all for posting what you did. I just searched this subject and this is a site that came up. I drink at least an 18 pack a day. Not good I know. I think I may have to quit.

pleonasm
Post 3

One of the better natural remedies for hot flashes and night sweats is sage tea, which I've heard even doctors will prescribe to women going through menopause.

But, if you're worried about your night sweats being associated with alcohol, be careful about using sage tea. It's so effective it can often mask problems because it makes it so that you don't sweat very much at all.

That's why you aren't supposed to give it to children either, since if they have a fever it can make it seem like they aren't sick which can be very dangerous.

I guess what I mean is that it can help with a symptom, but if you're having profuse night sweats because of your drinking, you should probably be restricting your drinking.

Fa5t3r
Post 2

@Ana1234 - True, but I think if you're drinking enough to have that much weight on you, you're probably drinking enough to have one of the direct effects of alcohol, which is night sweats.

The unfortunate thing is, if you're indulging in some serious alcohol abuse then you're probably going to have night sweats on the nights that you don't drink as well, since withdrawal symptoms can often including sweating.

Ana1234
Post 1

I think night sweats can also be linked to alcohol in that they can sometimes happen when people are too overweight. I know my father suffered from night sweats and he was told it was because he had too much weight on him. He simply couldn't cool down enough during the night in order to be comfortable.

He wasn't really a drinker, but alcohol does have a lot of empty calories. So I imagine there are a few people in the world who have beer bellies that might be leading to night sweats.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email