Everyone has had those nights when they just can’t sleep. Sometimes it’s because our minds are racing or because we’re stressed, but for others, it feels like no matter what we do, the room is just too hot.
While people may have wrestled with their sheets and their air conditioning to no avail, the real answer may not revolve around room temperature. In fact, it’s more than likely that the actual cause of this issue is an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea.
Findings Tie Night Sweats to Sleep Apnea (OSA)
In a recent study, scientists have shown that night sweats might be linked to a form of sleep apnea known as obstructive sleep apnea. This is a common form of apnea, but can be hard to self-diagnose.
While some obvious symptoms can be snorting, cardiovascular problems, and issues getting to sleep in general, another sign is night sweats. This could be due to the body trying to regulate itself while airflow has changed, and not knowing what to do.
In the study, over 9800 participants were given questionnaires and then studied. Of these, 700 were given a follow-up study over a year later.
The test looked for signs of restlessness and sweating, and pooled test subjects that had been diagnosed with sleep apnea as well as those who were otherwise healthy. In all, around 703 participants were considered viable for this study.
The test showed that on average, participants that had no indication of sleep apnea were only 9% likely to show signs of sleep sweats, while patients with sleep apnea showed roughly 33% likelihood of sleep sweating. This may not sound like a lot, but it represents a three times more likely average for sleep sweating if you happen to have apnea.
Granted, looking at the overall results, this means that 66% of patients that had apnea did not respond to sleep sweats, so this means that sleep sweating is not a sure sign of having apnea. Still, it was a large enough sample that the condition of experiencing sleep sweats is enough for doctors to now consider apnea as a possibility.
Having 33% of your sample show as being affected is significant in a survey of this size. It says a lot that the researchers were able to see this continue when they did the follow-up, and that this condition was consistent in apnea patients over a long period of time.
Also, having three times the number of participants test positive does hint at a correlation between apnea and night sweats. Due to the size of the research pool, this is a study that can be taken seriously, and one that should be noted by doctors when providing a diagnosis.
If the night sweats are indeed the result of sleep apnea, then apnea treatments are recommended. One of the most common treatments is to use a breathing machine, or CPAP when sleeping. This has been shown to be an effective apnea treatment, and can help to reduce night sweats. On top of this, engage in regular consultation with your doctor.
There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep, and apnea has a way of ruining that for thousands of people every night. While there is still no surefire sign of sleep apnea, this gives doctors one more sign to look for, and patients that are suffering from night sweats now have a possible answer. Hopefully, as studies continue into sleep apnea and treatments are developed, more and more people can finally sleep easy.