Night Sweats

Subscribe to Night Sweats 10 posts, 2 voices , Tagged: sweat sleep bedding plastic


Herbie01_medium Bitemore 10 posts

Many years ago, when I was in my late twenties, I suffered night sweats.  I was just about to see a doctor about it when I happened to take a small trip away from home and spent the night with relatives at their home.  I didn’t have any night sweats there, so, after I returned home, I really gave it some thought and discovered that my problem was that I used a plastic mattress cover directly under the sheet.  I removed the plastic cover and voila!  No more night sweats.

Today’s show raised a lot of potential causes of night sweats, but left out the possibility that it may be that something as simple as a plastic mattress cover could be the culprit.

Photo_41_medium melissaw72 4592 posts

Wow…mine started in my 20’s also, stopped about 30 or so (just a guess, but it was years)….it started then.  I’d need to change sheets everyday, mattresspad, and clothes because I’d wake up drenched.  I still get them now once in awhile, but not like before.  I had a plastic part under the mattress pad.  They still stopped with that though.  But now that I think of it, when i changed mattress pads (without plastic) I haven’t had one.  May be a coincidence though.  How did you know it was the plastic part under the sheets that was  causing the night sweats to begin with?


Herbie01_medium Bitemore 10 posts

How did you know it was the plastic part under the sheets that was  causing the night sweats to begin with?

Well, when I was at my cousins’ house, I didn’t have night sweats, and there was no plastic under the sheets there (I stripped the bed myself after my last night there).  So, when I got home I was bugged by that fact and it suddenly struck me that maybe the plastic had something to do with it.  It was rather logical, after all; skin can’t “breathe” through plastic; there is nothing to absorb sweat, and it cannot evaporate (which is how it works to cool the skin).  So, it lies there as you get warmer and warmer and sweat more and more until you are drenched.

If you want to laugh, a year or so later I had to be hospitalized.  When I sat on the hospital bed I heard that crinkly plastic sound, and told the nurse that the plastic had to go or they’d be sorry on the night shift.  The nurse just laughed it off, and, yes, they were very sorry on the night shift!  They had to change the linens several times.  Thinking back on it, no one at the hospital considered it odd that I had such drenching night sweats.  No doctors rushed in, no one got upset (except me) – nothing at all happened except that they had to work doubly hard at night (during the day, I didn’t lie very still and actually sat in a chair watching TV most of the time).

Years have passed (about 30 years), and this summer I was hospitalized a few times with heart problems.  One thing I noticed is that hospital bed mattresses have changed radically, and there is an absorbent mat placed under patients from the get-go.  I was really bed-ridden, and didn’t have night sweats regardless.  It made me think perhaps they’ve used technology to eliminate that problem, but I don’t know for sure.

Photo_41_medium melissaw72 4592 posts

Great insight about the plastic.  I don’t think I would have thought of that.  Yes LOL on the night shift nurses having to change linens and things often.  They brought it on themselves though.  I’m surprsed a DR didn’t check you though when you had sweat so many times especially in a hospital.  You are probably right about the change in technology…wouldn’t be surprised.  Everything seems to be changing these days.  Thanks for the input.


Herbie01_medium Bitemore 10 posts

Thanks for the input.

You’re welcome.  Let’s hope it will be useful to others. :-)

Photo_41_medium melissaw72 4592 posts

Ironically I had another one last night—-out of the blue.  No plastic on and/or in the bed, not too hot. etc…just from a BAD dream—woke up scared and drenched..  I’m hoping this is a from of dream to set this off!


Herbie01_medium Bitemore 10 posts

Hi, Melissa:

For your sake, I hope it was just the dream, as well.  In my case, I can blame warmer-than-usual temperatures and the fact that my electric blanket was turned on “high.”  I awoke at 3 A.M. drenched – but have only that blanket to blame.  My dreams were quite ordinary, for me (I don’t have nightmares).  Actually, I’d rather wake up drenched than shivering, so I’m not complaining and I am not going to punish my blankey for doing its job!

I hope you have better dreams tonight!


Photo_41_medium melissaw72 4592 posts

It seems to happen more when i have a fit-full sleep.  I get so
sweaty I need to sleep with a long T-shirt on with no bottom pj’s (from
how cold it gets at night), and I am still hot but better and the
sweating decreases.  Some nights I dress real warm and  i am fine.  It
just seems when I am sleeping it can happen at any time…frustrating. 
I’m hoping it is hormonal and nothing else.


Herbie01_medium Bitemore 10 posts

“I’m hoping it is hormonal and nothing else.”

You didn’t say your age… could it be menopause?  I’m almost 67, so all I have left to blame is my electric blanket.  I will say this, however: I am so extremely sensitive to cold that even 70 degrees feels like freezing to me.  We have our thermostat set to 72, and during the day I wear two shirts, two jackets and two or three pairs of socks.  Sometimes even that isn’t enough.  So, I use my electric blanket at night because I can’t sleep in anything more than one tee-shirt.  I almost wish I did have night sweats… at least I’d be warm!  I just gotta figure out how to have day-sweats in the winter!

It’s funny, but in the summer we have the same thermostat setting and I can wear a tee-shirt and shorts and feel quite comfortable.  There is something about winter that is acutely painful for me, beyond a mere chill.  How comfortable I am depends more on the outside temperature than the thermostat setting inside.  My roommate is the exact opposite: while I’m all bundled up, she’s in shorts, tee-shirt, and bare feet!

Sigh… is it summer, yet?

Photo_41_medium melissaw72 4592 posts

I’m 38.  Actually the night sweats are warm, but after that minute or so I get chilled and start shaking because I am so cold.  I’ll shake about a minute or so after the sweat in any situation actually, whether I make myself warmer/cooler or not after the sweat.  I saw a girl in a T-shirt today (it was in the 20s out) and had to do a double take because I thought I was seeing things.  Here I was in this heavy coat, ear warmers, gloves etc. and she was in a t-shirt! 

I agree…The outside temp definitely affects my body temp also when compared, ie, winter and summer…where all I need is a t-shirt/shorts in summer and dressed real warm for the winter.  Even with the thermostat staying the same.  Not sure why either.

Thing is though I like winter better than summer any day.  The night sweats yield the same symptoms for me (ie sweating then body shaking) no matter what the season. 


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