Hyperhidrosis in sleep disorders – A narrative review of mechanisms and clinical significance

Juan Idiaquez*, Juan Carlos Casar, Erna Sif Arnardóttir, Elias August, Julia Santin, Rodrigo Iturriaga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Hyperhidrosis is characterized by excessive sweating beyond thermoregulatory needs that affects patients' quality of life. It results from an excessive stimulation of eccrine sweat glands in the skin by the sympathetic nervous system. Hyperhidrosis may be primary or secondary to an underlying cause. Nocturnal hyperhidrosis is associated with different sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome/periodic limb movement during sleep and narcolepsy. The major cause of the hyperhidrosis is sympathetic overactivity and, in the case of narcolepsy type 1, orexin deficiency may also contribute. In this narrative review, we will provide an outline of the possible mechanisms underlying sudomotor dysfunction and the resulting nocturnal hyperhidrosis in these different sleep disorders and explore its clinical relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13660
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Grant Fondecyt 1211443

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 European Sleep Research Society.

Other keywords

  • hyperhidrosis
  • insomnia
  • narcolepsy
  • periodic limb movement
  • restless legs syndrome
  • sleep apnea


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