Associations between night sweats and other sleep disturbances: An OKPRN study

Ann Fam Med. 2006 Sep-Oct;4(5):423-6. doi: 10.1370/afm.554.


Purpose: Surprisingly little is known about the causes and implications of night sweats. This study was designed to clarify further the associations between night sweats and sleep-related symptoms.

Methods: We undertook a cross-sectional study of consecutive adult patients seen in 10 primary care physicians' offices. Data were collected and transmitted by a personal digital assistant. Information included demographic variables; height, weight, and blood pressure; occurrence of a variety of sleep-related symptoms; and occurrence and severity of night sweats, day sweats, and hot flashes in the past month. For women, information about menstrual status was also obtained.

Results: Thirty-four percent of the 363 patients interviewed reported night sweats, one half of whom reported saturating their bedclothes. In the multivariate model, night sweats were associated with daytime tiredness (OR = 1.99; 95% CI, 1.12-3.53), waking up with a bitter taste in the mouth (OR = 1.94; 95% CI, 1.19-3.18), legs jerking during sleep (OR = 1.78; 95% CI, 1.05-3.00), and awakening with pain in the night (OR = 1.87; 95% CI, 1.16-2.99).

Conclusions: Night sweats are associated with several sleep symptoms. Both night sweats and sleep disturbances are commonly experienced by adult primary care patients. When their patients report night sweats, clinicians should consider asking about sleep quality and sleep-related symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sweating*