Alcohol can cause night sweats in some people. Night sweats occur because alcohol can affect the nervous system and how the body regulates and senses body temperature, blood pressure, and heart activity.

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Night sweats may also result from alcohol withdrawal or alcohol intolerance. For people who already experience night sweats, including those going through menopause, consuming alcohol can worsen the sweating.

Home remedies can usually help manage alcohol-induced night sweats. Such home remedies may include staying hydrated and keeping the bedroom at a comfortable temperature.

People with alcohol dependency or intolerance should speak with a doctor.

This article covers the possible causes of night sweats and alcohol, including how to manage night sweats after drinking. We also look at the first signs of liver damage from alcohol and what cancers may cause night sweats.

Alcohol can cause night sweats in several different ways. People may sweat more after drinking due to the below reasons.

Effects on the heart and blood vessels

Alcohol affects the body in many ways, and this includes its effects on the heart. It can cause the heart rate to become too fast or the heart rhythm to become irregular.

With alcohol intake, the blood vessels in the skin tend to widen when the heart rate speeds up. This process is called vasodilation.

Dilated blood vessels cause the skin to feel warm and flushed, which can trigger the release of sweat. This sweating could occur at any time of day. However, as many people drink alcohol in the evening, night sweats are common.

While many people feel warm after drinking alcohol, the core body temperature drops as blood moves from the core to the skin through dilated blood vessels. Sweat also removes heat from the body.

People may not realize that because of this, they are at risk of hypothermia in cold weather. During hot weather, they may begin to experience nausea and dizziness with dehydration in addition to sweating.

Alcohol withdrawal

People who drink heavily or regularly may have night sweats several hours or days after consuming alcohol. Night sweats are a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal, often affecting people with alcohol use disorder (AUD).

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a 2019 survey suggested that 14.5 million people aged 12 years and older in the United States had AUD. This figure includes 9 million males and 5.5 million females.

Night sweats due to alcohol withdrawal are usually temporary but may last several days. Other withdrawal symptoms include:

Some more severe symptoms include:

A person should seek immediate medical attention if they experience these symptoms.

Alcohol intolerance

Alcohol intolerance is a genetic disorder where the body does not have enough of the enzyme activity necessary to break down alcohol.

One of the most common symptoms of alcohol intolerance is facial flushing, which can also cause excessive sweating.

Other symptoms include:

Sometimes, a person may appear to have alcohol intolerance but react to another ingredient in a drink. Doctors may use allergy tests to determine whether or not alcohol is the issue.

Other factors

Other factors, such as menopause or medication use, commonly cause hot flashes and night sweats. Drinking alcohol may make these symptoms worse.

However, hot flashes and sweating can also affect other people, since alcohol can impact the endocrine system. This system makes and secretes hormones that can contribute to these symptoms.

A person may not experience any symptoms or signs of liver damage or scarring, which people call cirrhosis, until the liver is badly damaged.

Early symptoms of liver damage may include:

  • tiredness or weakness
  • reduced appetite
  • losing weight without trying
  • nausea and vomiting
  • mild pain or discomfort in the abdomen

A person should speak with a doctor if these symptoms do not improve. Without diagnosis and treatment, it could lead to liver complications.

Alcohol-related liver disease also does not usually cause symptoms until the liver is severely damaged.

Severe symptoms can include:

A person must seek immediate medical attention if they experience the above.

Read more about the severe symptoms to expect.

Night sweats and hot flashes are common in people receiving cancer treatment. Some people continue to have these symptoms even after treatment.

In some cases, certain cancers may cause a person to sweat more than usual. These include:

People should speak with a doctor to discuss any concerns about their risk of experiencing night sweats.

Learn more about night sweats and cancer.

People experiencing mild night sweats from occasional alcohol consumption may find relief using home remedies.

These include:

  • drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and replace fluids someone has lost through sweat
  • showering to remove excess salt and sweat from the skin
  • keeping the bedroom at a comfortable temperature for sleep
  • removing excess blankets and wearing light pajamas

People with alcohol intolerance may need to avoid drinking alcohol to stop night sweats from occurring. Some individuals could improve their symptoms by limiting the amount of alcohol they consume.

People experiencing alcohol withdrawal relating to alcohol dependency should consider seeking urgent medical attention. A doctor can provide information and guidance on how to avoid alcohol.

Sweating is a common effect of drinking alcohol. For many people, night sweats may have links to their alcohol consumption for a particular occasion. However, it should not have any lasting effects.

People who experience night sweats regularly after drinking may have an issue with alcohol. There are many risks of long-term alcohol use, including cancer and liver damage. For this reason, seeking help is advisable.

Those who believe they have AUD or alcohol intolerance should speak with their doctor. Night sweating may also be a sign of certain types of cancers, which a person can discuss with their oncologist.

Others who regularly experience night sweats, especially if they have additional symptoms, should also make an appointment with their doctor to determine the underlying issue.