are night sweats genetic?

Are night sweats genetic? Learn more about why you sweat.

If you have one of these three conditions: Hyperhidrosis, High metabolism, or Hyperactivity, your night sweats could be genetic.  

The “H” Triple Threat, as we like to call it at Wicked Sheets, might be the root of your night sweats and guess what…it’s likely genetic. When you complete a Sleep Survey on our website there’s absolutely a reason why we ask the question, “Do you identify with any of the following conditions?”. From the dropdown appears the words: Menopause, Pregnancy, Cancer, Hyperhidrosis, High Metabolism, or Anxiety and related disorders and you can select any and all that apply. If anyone in your family sweats heavily and you do too, it may have made you wonder…are night sweats genetic?

In the past 11 years that Wicked Sheets has been making bedsheets and providing sleep products for those suffering from night sweats and hot flashes, we’ve also been compiling data. Anecdotal from our one-on-one customer interactions, data in the form of reviews, and data from the near 10,000 sleep surveys that have been completed on our site. And wouldnt’ you know it – a lot of our customers are coming to us from the same pain point: sleep disturbance as a result of night sweats as a result of some medical condition or medication.

After reviewing my own family history (because Lord knows we’ve got it all in my family!), as well as the thousands of completed surveys on our site, we’d like to share some of the main conditions that our customers are suffereing from and how their genetics are playing a major role in their night sweats experience. After all, if I’m asking “Are night sweats genetic?” many others are probably, too!

Are night sweats genetic like Hyperhidrosis?

If you’re familiar with the Wicked Sheets conception story, then you’re familiar with (or have at least heard the term) hyperhidrosis. I suffer from night sweats; have my whole life. My parents even said that I was a “sweaty baby” and people were often passing me back to them saying that I was making them hot. SMH.

It wasn’t until I was 24 that I received any sort of official diagnosis of hyperhidrosis, however. And you can read more on the rest of that story and how Wicked Sheets was founded here. It was at that moment, the moment when that past 24 years of feeling uncomfortable, felt like it all made sense.

“I turned in my exam and it was a sopping, sweaty mess. My teacher looked at me in disgust. I thought she’d fail me right then and there.”

Ever said this before? It’s likely you have hyperhidrosis.

I can distinctly remember my father saying this to his siblings when we were younger. I also have watched my aunts and cousins for years talk about how they’ve been covering up their #pitstains and stuffing their shoes with newspaper after they’ve worn them to dry them out before they had to wear them the next day. To this day, I haven’t invested in “nice shoes” because I either slide right out of them or ruin the insoles with my excessive foot sweating.

Thankfully, when we started Wicked Sheets (in 2008), physicians, nurses, and sufferers of hyperhidrosis had had enough of the silence and they started talking about it. Loudly. We were lucky enough to partner with the International Hyperhidrosis Society early on and become even more educated on the topics, but more specifically, understand more about the condition that plagued me: night sweats.

Once we started talking about it more and more, we were able to connect some dots within our own family, as well as the families of our customers. I cannot tell you the number of times a mother will call me and say, “My daughter has hyperhidrosis and I really think these sheets will work for her.” And once we get a little further into the conversation typically the mother will admit that she struggled with the same thing as an adolescent, but it was never diagosed – “we were just told to ‘deal with it’.” I’ve even had customers ask me – “Are night sweats genetic?”

High Metabolism

So, you poop a lot?

Well, that’s what having a high metabolism means, right?

Not exactly.

Having a high metabolism means that your body burns energy from food at a faster rate than your peers. And that means that you require more energy from food in order to grow and develop at a normal rate. And yes, sometimes an indicator of that can be going #2 more frequently, but you can also have other experiences like getting hot easily (ahem, night sweats) or feeling hungry all the time. If you think this is you, read this great article from that discusses the 7 Signs that Show you have a Fast Metabolism. 

How can metabolism be genetic?

The normal factors that affect metabolism: age, activity level, and types of food you eat are definitely still factors in speeding up or slowing down your metabolism. But the one thing science rarely discusses is the genetic component.

Muscle mass, muscle denisty, and body composition are all inherited. Even the newest fads in genetic testing, like 23 and me, include body type and build as a key metric in our generational DNA. Increased muscles and muscle density will lead to the body burning more calories, which in turn will raise the body’s BMR (basal metabolic rate), thus leading to a faster metabolism.

So if you’re one of “those people” who can eat anything they want, do little to no exercise, and still lose weight, you can thank your parents for those genetics…and hopefully stop asking yourself…are night sweats genetic like my metabolism?


The final “H” in our trifecta of genetic “H’s” that induce night sweats. Hyperactivity.

Oftentimes we use the term “ADHD”  to describe or lable someone who is hyperactive. I should know because my brother, parents, and I all have some form of it (hyperactivity, impulsivity, or inattention). I guess I could stop there with the genetic explanation, but it’s just too good of an opportunity to get all scientific on you.

The “H” in ADHD signifies the presence of hyperactivity in the diagnosis. Others may have just received a diagnosis of ADD, or Attention Defecit Disorder, but both are referring to the same condition, ADD is just a dated term that changed to ADHD in the mid 90’s. Regardless, ADHD brains have low levels of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. And norepinephrine is goes hand-in-hand with dopamine. Of course, are night sweats genetic? Yes! Is hyperactivity genetic? Yes, too!

Dopamine is the hormone that helps control the brain’s pleasure center.

It is speculated that mothers who smoked, did drugs, or consumed alchol during their pregnancies, have a higher likelihood of having a child with ADHD. The chemcials that are found in cigarettes (nicotine), drugs (cocaine), and alcohol (wine, beer, spirits) all have a direct connection with how the brain/body recieves and proecesses…DOPAMINE! So if your dopamine receptors are influenced during gestation, it is conceiveable that your dopamine receptors have been affected enough to play a role in your attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

Additionally, if a parent has ADHD, a child has more than a 50% chance of having it and if an older sibling has it, a child has more than a 30% chance.

If you or someone you know is experiencing night sweats, talk to them. Don’t be afriad to ask questions about their family history in order to ascertain what the causes might be. We are not medical professionals, so if your sweating at night or discomfort is worsening, please do go see your physician to rule out anything life-threatening.

In the meantime, a great place to start in your quest to conquer night sweats is your sleep environment. Wicked Sheets is here to help. We are the comfort sleep solution for those suffering from night sweats and hot flashes and want to keep you cool and dry all night long so you can get the rest you deserve.

Sleep well, sleep wicked, and stop wondering – Are night sweats genetic? Yes! But, ask your family members to confirm.

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