Does Alcohol Cause Night Sweats?

Alcohol Night Sweats

Have you ever woken up covered in sweat in the middle of the night after an evening of drinking with friends? This is very common as drinking alcohol can cause you to suffer from temporary night sweats – these alcohol night sweats should go away after one day.

Alcohol withdrawal can also cause night sweats – these can be semi-permanent and will take to go away. The time it takes for night sweat alcohol to go away depends on how dependent your body has become on alcohol.

Night Sweats Alcohol

Alcohol induced night sweats are very common and can happen whether you’re an alcoholic, a binge drinker or just a casual drinker who had some wine with dinner. You do not need to be an alcoholic to experience alcohol related night sweats.

Alcohol affects the entire body, especially the circulatory and the central nervous system. Sweating is caused when our blood vessels dilate, like during exercise. Widening of the blood vessels is a side effect of alcohol consumption. This is also why we feel warm when we are drinking.

night sweats alcohol

Other undesirable consequences that usually accompany alcohol induced night sweats include:

  • Loss of sleep.
  • Tossing and turning.
  • Dizziness.
  • Difficulty relaxing.

The most common time for someone to wake up experiencing alcohol induced night sweats is 3 am. According to the Chinese body clock, between 2 am and 4 am is when the body is “refreshing” the liver which will also result in more sweat being produced at this time than any other throughout the night.

Men are also three times more likely than women to suffer from alcohol related night sweats.

Alcohol Withdrawal Night Sweats

Another form of alcohol related night sweats actually comes from withdrawal. This is a symptom that only occurs in heavy drinkers and alcoholics.

When a heavy drinker firsts gives up alcohol it is very common to experience night sweats and other disruptions to their normal sleeping patterns. These night sweats can last up to a few months but will be completely eliminated in time.

Here is a quick list of some ways to deal with night sweats when recovering from drinking alcohol:

  • Avoid caffeinated beverages 6 hours before going to sleep.
  • Thin, cool sheets instead of heavy sheets to allow the body to cool better.
  • When awoken by night sweats, get up shower off and return to bed with a fresh body and mind.
  • Use the time leading up to bed to relax – try to schedule all physical activity early in the day.
  • Avoid spicy foods.
  • Instead of going to the gym after work, try yoga or meditation – they help with relaxation.
  • Keep room temperatures as low as possible.

Alcohol Intolerance

Excessive sweating after drinking is also a symptom of alcohol intolerance. Most people will pick up on this right away as the effects can be felt after as little as one sip of a beer. Those of Asian ethnicity are most likely to suffer from this intolerance.

If you wake up at night sweating after just drinking one drink or less it is recommended that you cut alcohol out completely as you may be intolerant.

Preventing Alcohol Consumption Related Night Sweats

Obviously the best way to avoid waking up in a sweat after drinking alcohol is to simply not drink at all. Many people rather avoid this as they enjoy wine with dinner or beer with friends.

Instead of not drinking at all try to stop drinking earlier. The longer you wait to go to sleep after drinking the less likely you will suffer from alcohol night sweats. Drinking water before you go to sleep will also help. Be sure you are properly hydrated after you’ve finished drinking.

In Closing

Everyone needs to be responsible while drinking, but those who suffer from night sweats when drinking alcohol should be especially careful. This could be an early warning sign of an alcohol dependency or intolerance. Night sweats and alcohol tend to go hand in hand.

To avoid night sweats, try to stop drinking earlier than normal and drinking plenty of cold water before bed.


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