Three cups of water with ice in them.
Research shows that drinking a cold cup of water before bed might help a person's body feel cooler, even if sweating occurs from low blood sugar.

Diabetes Night Sweats

Diabetes night sweats can happen for a few different reasons. Diabetic night sweats can interfere with getting enough sleep and leave you feeling fatigued the next day. This article takes a look at diabetes night sweats, including ways to decrease symptoms.

What Causes Diabetes Night Sweats?

Diabetes night sweats usually develop because blood sugar levels drop too low. Medically, this is called nocturnal hypoglycemia. When your blood sugar drops low, it can cause you to produce increased adrenaline. This increase in adrenaline can lead to profuse sweating.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, different factors may increase your risk of developing low blood sugar at night and having diabetic night sweats. The risk factors include:

  • Skipping meals.
  • Drinking alcohol at night.
  • Taking certain types of insulin in the evening.
  • Excessive exercise in the evening.

Remember, other conditions can also lead to night sweats. In some cases, if you are a diabetic, a different condition can lead to excess sweating at night.

If blood sugar levels are within normal limits, sweating is likely due to another cause or condition, such as menopause and hot flashes or a side effect of medication.


The symptoms of diabetes night sweats may vary in frequency and severity. In some instances, especially if blood sugar drops very low, symptoms may wake someone from sleep. In addition to waking up sweating and clammy, you may also develop some of the following symptoms:

  • Chills.
  • Racing heart.
  • Confusion.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Hunger.
  • Pale skin.
  • Fatigue.
  • Shakiness.

Usually, symptoms improve once someone raises their blood sugar levels back within the normal range.

7 Treatments for Diabetic Night Sweats

No one likes to wake up in a pool of sweat, but the good news is there are several ways you can decrease the chances of having diabetic night sweats. Decreasing night sweats can improve the overall quality of your sleep. Consider the following suggestions:

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1. Gain Appropriate Blood Sugar Control

The most important way to reduce diabetic night sweats is to have good blood sugar control. Since night sweats often occur due to a decrease in blood sugar, keeping levels steady will help prevent the problem. If you frequently develop night sweats, work with your doctor to make sure your diabetes management plan is appropriate. Your lifestyle, food choices and exercise can all affect your glucose levels. Making certain changes or adding certain types of medication may help provide better blood sugar control.

2. Drink a Glass of Cold Water Before Bed

Drinking a glass of ice water before you go to bed may help your body feel cooler. It will not fix blood sugar problems, but it may decrease the severity of night sweats.

3. Monitor Blood Sugar Levels Before Bed

Typically, the intensity of the night sweats is proportional to how low and how long your blood sugar drops. This means the longer your blood sugar is low, the more you may sweat at night. It may be helpful to check your blood sugar levels before you go to bed. If your blood sugar is already getting low, talk with your doctor. Your doctor may recommend changing the time you eat or making other adjustments to prevent a large drop in blood sugar during the night.

4. Avoid Certain Foods

Certain types of food and drinks may increase the chances of having night sweats. Keep in mind that other factors aside from blood sugar levels and having diabetes can contribute to developing night sweats. For example, eating spicy foods too close to bedtime can increase the chances of developing night sweats. Consider avoiding large meals and spicy foods in the evening.

5. Sleep in Absorbent and Breathable clothes

Although it will not stop night sweats, it may make them more tolerable depending on how you are dressed. For instance, wear loose clothing that does not trap your body heat. Consider fabrics, such as cotton or silk. The type of bedding you have may also help you deal with night sweats. Bamboo sheets may help keep you cool.

6. Eat a Small Healthy Snack Before Bed

Eating a small snack may stabilize blood sugar levels during the night. According to the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Care, a high-protein, low-fat snack before bed may be helpful. Good choices include the following:

  • A handful of nuts.
  • A hardboiled egg.
  • Low-fat cheese and whole wheat crackers.
  • Apple slices with peanut butter.

Remember, that eating too large a snack or a big meal before bed can lead to a spike in blood sugar followed by a drop. Keep the snack small.

7. Limit Alcohol Intake

According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking alcohol can lower blood sugar levels. It can also cause dehydration and lead to night sweats. Consider limiting or avoiding alcohol altogether close to bedtime.