Thursday, September 23, 2010
Can't Sleep? Don't SWEAT it...
Trouble sleeping is one of the most common complaints that we see in family medicine. We all know how lack of sleep affects our performance the next day, and if you go several nights without a good night's rest, before long you are feeling miserable all the time!
Laurie Sanchez, a writer with Lifescript.com (a website that focuses on healthy living for women) asked me for some expert commentary for her article entitled "5 Common Sleep Disorders: Disturbing or Dangerous?" (Check out her full article by clicking on the link.)
Ms. Sanchez focused on sleep apnea, grinding teeth, restless limbs, night sweats and adult bed wetting from overactive bladder. These are each worth discussing, but since she asked my opinion about night sweats, I'll touch on that today.
Night sweats are very common in women, particularly in women over forty (hello, peers!) You do not have to be in menopause to start having these sweats, either. Very often women begin to find that alcohol or caffeine use may trigger episodes of night sweats. Additionally, there are multiple medications that can cause day or nighttime sweats, especially antidepressants. A variety of medical issues such as low blood sugar, infection, and thyroid disease can also trigger these laundry-producing events.
BOTTOM LINE: For the occasional night sweat- DON'T sweat it- but for new onset, frequent, or DRENCHING night sweats, get in to see your family doctor and figure out what's going on!