How are night sweats treated?

Treatment depends on the cause of the night sweats. For menopause-related night sweats, hormone therapy – estrogen alone or with progestin – is one option. Hormone therapy can also help with other symptoms of menopause including bone loss and vaginal dryness. Estrogen replacement therapy should not be used in women with a history of breast cancer. All hormone therapies carry some risks, including blood clots and gallbladder inflammation.

Non-estrogen medications used to treat hot flashes include:

  • Megestrol (also used to treat breast and uterine cancers; increase appetite/reverse weight loss)
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants (also used to control/prevent seizures)
  • Clonidine (also used to treat high blood pressure, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and other conditions)

Non-drug treatments for night sweats from any cause include:

  • Wearing loose-fitting, lightweight, cotton pajamas
  • Using layered bedding that can be removed as needed during the night
  • Turning on a bedroom fan/opening windows
  • Sipping cool water throughout the night
  • Keeping a cold pack under a pillow, then turning your pillow over to rest your head on a cool surface
  • Avoiding common night sweat triggers such as alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, cigarettes
  • De-stressing through deep breathing, relaxation, and exercise
  • Undergoing hypnosis to help relax and focus on feeling cool
  • Exercising daily. Walking, swimming, dancing, and bicycling are all good choices.

Night sweats go away after a few years in most women undergoing menopause. Unfortunately, other women may experience night sweats for the rest of their lives. However, the night sweats usually lessen in severity.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy