Night sweats are a common side effect of alcohol withdrawal due to the way alcohol affects the central nervous system after the liver breaks it down.
Symptoms of night sweats may include increased heart rate, clammy skin, flushed face, dehydration, insomnia, and headache.
Why Alcohol Withdrawal May Cause Night Sweats
When a person consumes alcohol, a small percentage of it is broken down in the lining of the stomach. The majority of the alcohol is broken down through the metabolic process in the body.
Vasoconstriction (Tightening) In the Blood Vessels
High levels of alcohol in the system may cause blood vessels to tighten, which has the effect of raising blood pressure and heart rate. This causes blood to move closer to the skin and increases body temperature.
Increased body temperature may lead to sweating, increased need to urinate, and dehydration.
Delirium tremens (DTS), also called alcohol withdrawal delirium, is one of the most serious alcohol withdrawal side effects that typically occurs 48 to 72 hours after the last drink.
Along with night sweats, DTS may also cause seizures, hallucinations, cardiovascular collapse, and other severe symptoms.
Other Reasons That Night Sweats May Occur
Night sweats are not always attributable to alcohol withdrawal syndrome. There are several other ailments that can cause heightened nighttime perspiration.
Alcohol intolerance may cause an array of uncomfortable reactions after drinking. Symptoms of intolerance include night sweats, skin flushing, congestion, and more.
Allergy To Alcohol
An allergy to alcohol may occur when the body reacts to alcohol in the system by creating antibodies that attempt to “fight off” the alcohol.
Symptoms of an alcohol allergy include rashes, itchiness, swelling, stomach cramps, and excessive sweating
Other Medical Conditions
When you experience night sweats, it may be caused by underlying health conditions that are unrelated to drinking alcohol.
Conditions that may cause nights sweats include:
- menopause and hot flashes
- fever due to illness
- hormone therapy
- antidepressants, corticosteroids, and hypertension medications
- low blood sugar
- obesity, diabetes, and thyroid disorders
How Long Do Alcohol Night Sweats Last?
There’s no standard timeframe that alcohol withdrawal night sweats last, as it’s highly contingent on how your body reacts to alcohol.
Night sweats may begin a few hours to three days after the last drink and may last for several days after.
Treatment Programs For Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol withdrawal may cause potentially life-threatening side effects. If you or a loved one currently have an alcohol use disorder, help is available in the form of evidence-based rehab treatment.
If you’re experiencing intense cravings, changes in heart rhythm (arrhythmia), or other severe withdrawal symptoms, contact a healthcare provider for medical attention immediately.
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- individual and group counseling
- medically monitored alcohol detox
- support groups for alcohol dependence
- 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous
- inpatient treatment for substance abuse
- dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
- intensive outpatient programs
Treatment services such as those offered at Bedrock Recovery Center will guide you through the recovery process and monitor your withdrawal symptoms along the way.
Find Drug And Alcohol Rehab Services At Bedrock Recovery Center
For more information about alcohol withdrawal symptoms and addiction treatment, call our helpline today.
The residential treatment facility at Bedrock Recovery Center can help you reach long-term sobriety from substance use, including alcohol abuse.
Bedrock Recovery Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.