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COVID-19 Symptom: Night Sweats

Written by Ada’s Medical Knowledge Team

Updated on

Overview

  • Night sweats refer to uncomfortable instances of profuse sweating that happen during sleep 
  • They can be a prevalent manifestation of coronavirus disease variants Delta and Omicron 
  • Other underlying conditions like mental illness, cancer, menopause, or infections can also cause night sweats
  • Depending on the underlying cause, treatment for night sweats may involve lifestyle modifications, anti-anxiety medication, and steroids to alleviate these occurrences

Night sweats have long been recognized as a symptom of various underlying medical conditions. However, in recent years, they have also been identified as a possible symptom of COVID-19. With the ongoing pandemic, understanding the association between night sweats and COVID-19 is crucial in determining potential cases and taking appropriate measures to control the spread of the virus. Therefore, this article will delve into the possible causes and treatment options for night sweats, explicitly focusing on their connection to COVID-19.

Are night sweats a symptom of COVID-19?

Your night sweats may be caused by COVID-19. It’s normal for everyone to sweat throughout the day and at night, as it’s your body’s natural way of controlling your body temperature. If you do wake up with your sheets and pajamas drenched in sweat, it may be a sign that you are infected with the coronavirus. In some cases, you may also have cold sweats at night due to COVID-19, which means you suddenly feel a chill while you’re sweating. You can also experience night sweats without a fever. 1 2

Night sweats and COVID-19 may be related as the body can raise its temperature to fight off the coronavirus infection. Some people may also experience night sweats after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, as it’s a known side-effect for those vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. 3

How long do night sweats with COVID-19 last?

Night sweats caused by COVID-19 usually go away independently after a few days. However, there have been reports of people that have night sweats after COVID-19, making it one of the possible symptoms of long-COVID. 4

Are night sweats always caused by COVID-19?

Not everyone with COVID-19 will develop night sweats, and not all people who have night sweats have them because of an infection with the coronavirus. There are many other reasons you may experience night sweats. If you notice that you are sweating at night, even if it’s not too hot in your room and you didn’t use too many blankets, then it may be a sign of a medical condition, such as: 1 5

  • The use of certain drugs or medications, such as antidepressants or steroids
  • Anxiety
  • Menopause
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Sleep apnoea 
  • Infections 
  • Cancer
  • Stroke 
  • Low blood sugar
  • Idiopathic hyperhidrosis, which is a condition that causes excessive sweating with an unknown cause.

Most of the time, night sweats are harmless, although serious medical conditions can also cause them. If you are unsure what is causing your night sweats, you should contact your doctor for a diagnosis.

If your night sweats are accompanied by other symptoms of COVID-19, such as a cough, a fever, or a loss in taste or smell, you should get tested for possible infection with the coronavirus.

How to treat night sweats with COVID-19?

Night sweats that are caused by COVID-19 usually don’t require any specific treatment and go away on their own after a couple of days. If an infection with the coronavirus is causing your night sweats, you can try COVID-19 treatment. If the night sweats persist, then you should contact your doctor.

Wrapping up

Night sweats are a possible symptom of COVID-19 and occur as a response of the body to the infection. Night sweats can usually be experienced with other signs of an infection with the coronavirus and go away on their own after a few days.

FAQs

Q: What are night sweats?
A: Night sweats refer to excessive sweating during sleep, often leading to damp or soaked bedclothes and sheets. They’re also known as nocturnal hyperhidrosis and can occur due to various reasons, such as hormonal changes, infections, and certain medications. 

Q: How long do night sweats last after COVID-19?
A: Studies suggest that on average, night sweats may last for 103 days after the infection. However, this is an average. So some people may experience night sweats for a shorter or longer duration.

Q: How long do night sweats last with COVID-19?
A: In most cases, night sweats only last a few nights and go away afterward.

Q: Are night sweats common with COVID-19?
A: Night sweats can occur with COVID-19, but they aren’t a common symptom.

Q: How to help night sweats with COVID-19?
A: Night sweats usually go away on their own once the infection has cleared. You can try sleeping in a cool room to make yourself more comfortable.

Q: COVID-19 and night sweats: When should you see a doctor? 
A: If you experience severe night sweats that disrupt your sleep, you should consult your doctor. You should also seek medical attention if you experience additional symptoms, such as fever, unintentional weight loss, persistent cough, or fatigue.