What causes night sweat in children and how to deal with it

A baby yawning after a good night's sleep.

It is proven that children need the right amount of sleep at night for healthy physical and cognitive development. We, as parents, make sure we follow the golden rule of getting kids to sleep for 8 hours a day. The contentment that your child is getting the sleep he or she needs is the only way you can have a peaceful sleep yourself.

However, if you find that your child is uncomfortable in his or her sleep or is not able to drift into a deep sleep for long hours, you tend to get worried. One of the reasons for lack of sleep could be night sweat in children. Parents tend to get worked up to see their child’s nightdress drenched in sweat though the child has no fever.

Night sweat in children is not unknown or uncommon. There are many causes for night sweats so try to understand the reason so that you can work towards resolving it accordingly.

What causes night sweat in children?

A baby wrapped up in too many warm clothes could wake up with night sweat.

Our body regulates the body temperature based on the outside weather. However, since all the bodily systems are not completely developed in children, the body might not be able to accurately regulate the body temperature. So, if the outside temperature is warm, the child’s body may not be able to adjust to it. Since the size of sweat glands is too big for a child’s body, the glands cause excessive sweating.

Apart from this, a variety of reasons for night sweats, such as:

  • Using thick blankets or bed covers for the child
  • Lack of ventilation in the bedroom where the baby is asleep
  • The child wearing non-breathable nightwear made of materials such as polyester or viscose 
  • The child having a nightmare as a result of anxiety or stress
  • An infection that could cause the body to heat up naturally
  • Effect of any kind of medication he or she is on
  • Extra bodyweight could also alter the working of the body to the extent that it causes excessive sweating
  • Spicy dinner that is hard for the child to digest
  • The child has breathing difficult (called sleep apnea) while being asleep
  • The child suffers from cold or cough that could have blocked the nose
  • A warm environment in the room
  • The child suffers from major issues such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, congestive heart failure, hypertension, hormonal disorders, metabolic disorders, etc.

How to deal with night sweat in children

The best way to prevent night sweat is to maintain an optimum room and body temperature.

Many children face nigh sweat and it is not worrisome. Try the following tips to deal with night sweat first before you take the child to a paediatrician for a diagnosis.

  • Do not overload the baby with blankets. Just use as many as you would.
  • Ensure that the room temperature in the child’s bedroom is comfortable for the child
  • Make sure the child wears a single layer of cotton nightwear. That should do.
  • Talk to your child and ask him or her how the day went to understand if school or any possible bullies may be causing him or her stress of any kind.
  • Don’t give your child spicy food before bed.
  • Let your doctor know if any of the medicines your child is taking seems to be the issue.

If none of these tips work, the underlying problem could be different and your child could be suffering from hyperthyroidism, diabetes, congestive heart failure, hypertension, hormonal disorders, metabolic disorders, etc. So, visit a paediatrician and list out any other symptoms you see along with excessive sweating so that the doctor can run the necessary checks.

Has your child experienced night sweats? Do you have any remedies for night sweat in children? Let me know in the comments.


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