The head and neck sweat during sleep in an adult: causes

Sweaty head while sleeping at night, and the pillow is wet? During sleep, the body reacts to certain external stimuli by sweating. The process of sweating is natural and necessary to distribute heat and protect the body from overheating. However, if sweating is increased, this is a signal of disturbances in the functioning of the body.


A wet pillow, an unpleasant smell and sensations are all consequences of nocturnal hyperhidrosis. Let’s find out how it manifests itself, what causes it and why the head sweats in a dream.

Hyperhidrosis is called excessive sweating. Suffer them, according to various sources, from 3 to 5% of adult Russians. And sweating in the head of an adult is much stronger and more unpleasant than that of a child. This pathological condition is accompanied by increased sweating (large drops) and a change in the color of linen and clothing. The main zones of “defeat”:

  • head, neck and face;
  • palms;
  • feet;
  • armpits.

However, we are specifically interested in the first case, when the neck and head sweat. What if an adult is faced with such a problem? In young children, excessive sweating of the head without accompanying symptoms does not carry anything serious. Temporary observation at the pediatrician – and everything usually passes.

Things are much more difficult for adults. When the head sweats profusely during sleep, it causes not only discomfort, but also anxiety about the state of one’s own health. You need to deal with the reasons in order to understand: treatment is required or it is enough just to take care of the proper organization of the bed and change your habits.

How much do you sweat at night?

Form start

  • Slightly, sometimes the bed linen is a little damp.
  • Hard enough: pillow, sheet, blanket and hair are wet.
  • Very strong: the feeling that I wake up in a puddle.
  • Suddenly the tide comes and sweats head and shoulders
  • Not much, only the T-shirt is wet.

External causes

The reasons why a person sweats profusely at night on the head, neck and back of the head are divided into external and internal. The first ones usually include:

  1. Increased room temperature. Through excessive sweating, the body fights overheating. It is recommended to set the room temperature to about 19 degrees Celsius.
  2. Poor-quality bedding material with a high content of synthetics, creating a semblance of a greenhouse effect.
  3. Wearing a thick hat during the day.
  4. Nightmares.
  5. Overeating and late meals, especially fatty and spicy.
  6. Drinking alcohol before bed.
  7. At night, men have an increased (compared to women) metabolism. The reason may also lie in hormonal failure, malnutrition and excessive alcohol consumption.

If the elimination of these causes solves the problem, then you should not worry about the presence of serious violations.

What to do

Tips for eliminating adverse external factors:

  • Sleep with a window ajar or keep your bedroom well ventilated. If this is not possible (noise outside, smog), get an air conditioner that will not dry the air.
  • Eliminate stress from your life as much as possible.
  • Buy only high-quality linen and clothes in which you sleep. The fabric should absorb sweat and allow the skin to breathe.
  • Set the right diet (eat no later than 2-3 hours before bedtime) and temporarily give up heavy meals for dinner.
  • Asians have fewer sweat glands than Europeans and Africans.
  • Wet skin does not sweat as much as dry skin. And all because the stratum corneum of the epidermis swells, and the pores narrow. The only area on the body for which this rule does not apply is the armpits.
  • Water is the main component in the composition of sweat, its share is 90%. Sweat itself does not contain substances that give it a smell. It appears due to bacteria that inhabit the upper layers of our skin.

Dangerous reasons

If all of the above did not help, it’s time to seriously think about the state of health. Night sweats of the head are caused by the following deviations, which must be treated immediately:

  1. Malfunctions of the lymphatic system.
  2. Dysfunction of the thyroid gland.
  3. Elevated blood sugar.
  4. Hypertension, heart failure and other diseases of the cardiovascular system.
  5. Violation of the intestines and other digestive organs.
  6. Overweight, obesity.
  7. Infectious diseases, in particular the common cold.
  8. Tuberculosis.
  9. Hormonal disorders. It is also worth noting that the head sweats in women often due to menopause and hormonal disruptions.
  10. Mental disorders.
  11. Snoring and apnea.

In any of these cases, examination and consultation with a specialist is necessary.

How to fix the problem of night sweats?

As already mentioned, nocturnal hyperhidrosis of the head has both relatively harmless causes and serious ones that require immediate treatment.

The first thing to do is to consult a doctor who will help you find out if excessive sweating is a symptom of a serious illness or an individual feature of the body. Primary hyperhidrosis refers to hereditary pathologies and does not pose a danger.

Any competent therapist can easily determine why the head and neck sweat during sleep. To do this, it is enough to ask the patient a few questions and do a blood test.

The following rules will help speed up the recovery from excessive sweating caused by a disease, or to cope with hereditary hyperhidrosis.

  1. Hygiene. Particles of dirt, dust and dandruff prevent the pores on the scalp from breathing normally. And wet hair too, so you should not go to bed with your hair wet after washing.
  2. Systematic drying of the pillow, daily change of the pillowcase. This will help eliminate bad breath and prevent bacteria from growing.
  3. Refusal of fixatives for hair – varnishes, gels and mousses – preventing the skin from fully breathing.
  4. A stable diet and no food (especially heavy, spicy and fatty) immediately before bedtime.
  5. Refusal of alcohol. Alcohol abuse is unlikely to make dreams more beautiful and calmer. Whatever the fans say to drink at night.
  6. hardening. A contrast shower helps a lot. Airing the room before and after sleep is also important. Those who are just starting to harden should not immediately dive into an ice bath. To begin with, it will be useful to walk barefoot on a cool floor and rub your hands and feet with a wet towel. After a week, you can move on to rubbing the body and more “cold” methods. Otherwise, it is easy to catch a cold, and a cold, like any infectious disease, leads to increased sweating during sleep.
  7. Avoidance of stressful situations. The main trigger for primary hyperhidrosis is emotional and nervous overstrain, so you need to try to create a calm and favorable environment around you.

A good psychological climate at home and at work will allow you to sleep better and worry less about pressing problems. If a person suffering from excessive sleep sweating has a partner, his/her support will not hurt.

Take care of your health and sleep soundly.

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