Alcohol Withdrawal Night Sweats
Last Updated: November 2, 2023
As anyone who has stopped drinking after a prolonged period of alcohol use knows, alcohol withdrawal can be a daunting experience. Detox can cause many potential symptoms that lead to discomfort and even affect your health. Night sweats are one of the symptoms that can occur during detox. It is important for anyone going through withdrawal to know what night sweats are and how to deal with them.
Understanding Alcohol Withdrawal
Alcohol withdrawal occurs when you use alcohol for a prolonged period, and your brain becomes accustomed to its presence. Because alcohol suppresses brain activity, your brain becomes hyperactive to balance things out. Withdrawal occurs when the suppressing effect of alcohol is suddenly removed, leaving the hyperactivity of the brain unchecked. This results in withdrawal symptoms until the brain can readjust.
The severity of withdrawal symptoms depends on how much your brain has had to adjust. The more alcohol constantly in your bloodstream from drinking heavily and frequently, the more your brain will adapt, and the greater your withdrawal symptoms will be.
Night Sweats and Alcohol Withdrawal
Night sweats are excessive sweating experienced during sleep and can be a physical response to alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol can affect your body’s ability to regulate its temperature. As your body adjusts to the absence of alcohol, you can experience temperature changes while sleeping that cause sweating. Night sweats can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night, often in a pool of sweat. Night sweats are not dangerous by themselves, but they are an uncomfortable withdrawal symptom.
Other Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
Unfortunately, night sweats are only a small part of what you should expect during alcohol withdrawal. During alcohol withdrawal, you will also likely experience a range of other physical symptoms. These can include:
- Irregular heart rate
In serious cases, severe symptoms like seizures, hallucinations and a potentially life-threatening condition called delirium tremens can emerge. Someone having alcohol withdrawal symptoms that are moderate or worse should always seek medical help due to the potential for danger.
Managing Night Sweats During Alcohol Withdrawal
There are several ways you can manage night sweats. Tips for reducing night sweats include:
- Keeping your bedroom cool
- Choosing breathable nightwear
- Staying hydrated
- Practicing relaxation techniques
- Ensuring there is airflow in your bedroom
- Avoiding caffeine before bed
- Avoiding screen time before going to sleep
While ensuring a cool environment with good airflow can help reduce night sweats, it may not be possible to avoid occasional night sweats during withdrawal.
When To Seek Medical Help
Alcohol withdrawal can cause serious symptoms and, in some situations, be dangerous. It is important to seek medical help and advice before stopping alcohol so you can determine your risks and what you can do to reduce withdrawal risks.
If you have already started withdrawal, it is important to seek medical advice immediately and quickly recognize severe withdrawal symptoms if they develop. If you develop symptoms like confusion, hallucinations or seizures, seeking immediate medical assistance is vital. Medical supervision during withdrawal is always safer than attempting to detox by yourself.
Prevention of Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
It is often impossible to prevent alcohol withdrawal symptoms from developing if you have already developed alcohol dependence. Some people try to avoid withdrawal symptoms by tapering alcohol, gradually reducing use over time. However, this is not recommended as it often results in failure to get off alcohol.
While alcohol withdrawal symptoms can’t really be prevented, they can be treated when they develop. A medical detox is ideal for someone withdrawing from alcohol, as their symptoms can be quickly recognized and treated. This helps provide a safe, comfortable medical detox experience.
Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction
Withdrawing from alcohol may seem daunting; however, you don’t have to go through it alone. At The Recovery Village Cherry Hill at Cooper, we are here to help you overcome your addiction as safely and comfortably as possible. Our expert, compassionate staff are here to support you through your recovery journey and make the experience as comfortable as possible. Contact us today to learn how we can help you overcome alcohol addiction for good.
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Jesse, S.; Bråthen, G.; & et al. “Alcohol withdrawal syndrome: mechanisms, manifestations, and management.” Acta Neurologica Scandinavica. January, 2017. Accessed August 23, 2023.
Sievert, Lynnette Leidy; Obermeyer, Carla Makhlouf; & Price, Kim. “Determinants of hot flashes and night sweats.” Annals of Human Biology. February, 2006. Accessed August 23, 2023.
Berman, Jacob. “Alcohol withdrawal.” MedlinePlus. February 28, 2023. Accessed August 23, 2023.
Berman, Jacob. “Delirium tremens.” MedlinePlus. February 28, 2023. Accessed August 23, 2023.
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