Drinking alcohol can cause some people to feel hot and may lead to night sweats. This occurs when alcohol affects the nervous system and how the body regulates and senses body temperature, blood pressure, and heart activity.

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.

It is best that people with alcohol dependency or intolerance speak with a doctor.

This article covers the possible causes of alcohol-related night sweats, including how to manage night sweats after drinking. We also look at the first signs of liver damage from alcohol and when to contact a doctor.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

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

Effects on the heart and blood vessels

Alcohol affects the body in many ways. One of the areas it affects is the heart. Alcohol can cause the heart rate to quicken 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, which often affects people with alcohol use disorder (AUD).

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a 2022 national survey suggested that 29.5 million people ages 12 years and older in the United States had past-year AUD. This figure includes 17.4 million males and 12.2 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 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 affect the endocrine system. This system makes and secretes hormones that can contribute to these symptoms.

Night sweats are often self-limiting and not a cause for medical intervention. However, if they persist, recur, or happen alongside other symptoms, help may be necessary.

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, experts recommend seeking help if a person experiences persistent night sweats related to alcohol consumption.

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

Others who regularly experience night sweats, especially if they have additional symptoms such as weakness, severe nausea, and weight loss, should also make an appointment with their doctor to determine the underlying cause.

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
  • unexplained weight loss
  • 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:

Read more about the severe symptoms of liver disease.

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 replacing fluids 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.

There is no defined time that night sweats will last. Duration of symptoms can vary depending on the amount of alcohol a person has consumed, the rate at which their body processes alcohol, and their overall health.

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.