Alcohol withdrawal can be a challenging process, for the individual going through it, and for those around them. The physical and psychological side effects of withdrawal are often uncomfortable and distressing, understanding what to expect can help this process. Night sweats are a common symptom of alcohol use disorder and alcohol withdrawal.
If you or a loved one are experiencing severe night sweats during the alcohol detox process, there are things you can do to reduce the discomfort.
What is Night Sweating?
Sweating is a natural bodily reaction that enables the body to rid itself of toxins and cool down. Humans have sweat glands in various parts of the body which do an essential job, even during our sleep hours. Although a moderate amount of sweating during the night is normal for some people, if you continuously find yourself waking up in a pool of sweat, this could indicate a health issue that needs attention.
Severe sweating at night could be caused by a number of things, for example, certain medications such as antidepressants, low blood sugar, menopause or fever. Excessive alcohol use can also trigger individuals to experience night sweats.
How Does Alcohol Consumption Affect Sleep?
Alcohol consumption has a negative impact on sleep quality. Even individuals who only drink occasionally can experience sleep disturbances after consuming alcohol. There are a number of reasons for this, including the following:
- Alcohol impacts chemical balance in the body, including serotonin; these natural chemicals help to regulate our sleep.
- Consuming alcohol can alter your sleep cycle and stop you from getting adequate sleep.
- Alcohol can cause you to feel nauseous and become dehydrated; both of these things can hinder your chances of falling asleep in the first place or cause you to wake up prematurely.
Inadequate sleep affects everyone, even those who aren’t living with underlying health conditions. It can leave us feeling tired, depressed, and anxious, and slow down our concentration. Adding hangover symptoms to this state can leave individuals feeling very low the morning after drinking.
Alcohol increases your overall body temperature which can be an additional hindrance to adequate sleep. When there are high levels of alcohol in the body, it can cause your blood vessels to tighten, which results in an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. This can cause the blood to move closer to the skin, increasing your overall body temperature.
What Happens in Alcohol Withdrawal?
When somebody who is alcohol dependent stops drinking alcohol, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms.
This is the result of your body’s dependency on the substance to function. Without the presence of alcohol, your body must readjust, which can cause some severe symptoms.
Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be psychological and physical, and in some cases, they can be dangerous for the individual. This is particularly true for those who experience sudden withdrawal from excessive alcohol consumption.
If you, or someone you know, is living with an alcohol use disorder, it is critical that you seek professional treatment advice before attempting to detox alone. In severe cases and without supervision, alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be fatal. Medical professionals can safely guide you through the process, monitoring your progress and easing any uncomfortable symptoms and cravings.
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
It is always advised to attempt alcohol withdrawal with the support of a medical professional. Without monitoring and access to round-the-clock care, alcohol withdrawal can be a life-threatening form of detox.
Some common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include the following:
- Cognition issues
- Loss of attention
- Increased body temperature
- Deep sleep which may last upwards of 24 hours
- Fear or anxiety
- Fluctuating mood
- Heightened senses
- Fits and seizures
Night Sweats and Alcohol
Alcohol night sweats are an additional symptom of withdrawal that some individuals experience throughout the alcohol detox process. There are various factors that determine how long this symptom lasts, including; the individual’s body composition, the frequency at which they drink, and how long they have been alcohol dependent.
Night sweating is not a dangerous side effect of detoxing from alcohol, but it is usually an uncomfortable experience for the individual.
Other similar side effects, such as flushing and increased body temperature, are likely to last the same duration of time. This time frame varies but an average individual in recovery will experience night sweats for five to seven days.
What Causes Night Sweating?
There are a number of ways in which alcohol can contribute to night sweats. They may occur following alcohol consumption, as a symptom of alcohol intolerance, or during alcohol withdrawal, this is due to the impact alcohol has on the central nervous system (CNS).
The central nervous system (CNS) is involved in regulating our systems, including body temperature, blood pressure, and heart function. Alcohol can seriously inhibit the ability of the CNS.
Night sweating does not usually bring danger to the individual; however, it can contribute to dehydration. This is a particular risk for those who experience frequent night sweats in combination with vomiting or diarrhea.
How Can I Manage Alcohol-Induced Night Sweats?
Night sweating is a very common and often unavoidable symptom of alcohol withdrawal. It is not usually necessary for you to receive medical attention if you are experiencing night sweats, but informing your doctor can help them to understand all of your symptoms. Although it may be an inevitable part of your recovery, there are things you can do to ease the physical discomfort and distress of night sweats.
Some ways of coping with night sweats include:
- Maintaining good hydration throughout the day by drinking plenty of water, electrolytes, and broth
- Swap to a lighter blanket
- Wash and change sheets regularly
- Keep your bedroom cool
- Shower before and after sleeping
- Choose light fabrics to wear in bed
Although night sweats are not a dangerous symptom of withdrawal, alcohol dependency is a serious condition and it is strongly advised that recovery is attempted with the support of medical professionals.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Alina Lodge
At Alina Lodge, we firmly believe that there is a way out of addiction for everyone. We have developed effective treatment for alcohol abuse which has helped many individuals on their path to recovery. We focus on the underlying causes of addiction, finding healthier coping mechanisms to manage the challenges in your life, and supporting you in living a life of sobriety.
We are proud to be amongst the nation’s leading residential addiction treatment centers. We recognize that every individual who walks through our doors is unique, and our treatment methods reflect this. We offer a diverse range of therapy options that provide you with quality care, tailored treatment programs, and long-lasting change. We are always learning and we stay up to date with cutting edge therapeutic techniques; you can see this through our range of methods, which include:
- EMDR therapy
- Grief therapy
- Family therapy
- Relapse therapy
Our philosophy at Alina Lodge is to take the whole person into consideration, not just the symptoms of addiction. We take a holistic approach to mental health and work with you to understand the triggers behind your alcohol dependence. We offer dual diagnosis programs for those with co-existing mental health conditions as we understand the interconnectedness of mental health.
Get in touch with us today if you or a loved one is living with alcohol dependency and you are ready to seek help. We have a team ready to answer your call and offer free, confidential advice and answers to your questions. Sobriety is possible, and we are here to guide you through it.