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April 13, 2023

The Sweaty Nights of Menopause: Understanding and Managing Night Sweats

Menopause = Frustration, especially since there is so much misinformation on the subject. Menopause is natural! Menopause is the natural course of events where the ovaries reduce the production of essential hormones, resulting in the halt of menstrual periods. Although it is an inevitable transition that all women go through, it can also bring about a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, including hot flashes, mood changes, vaginal dryness, and sweating excessively during the night. 

Experiencing night sweats can be a highly vexing symptom of menopause. It can stop short one's sleep, leaving you feeling exhausted and grumpy throughout the day. Yet, understanding the underlying reasons behind night sweats during menopause and taking the right measures to address them can promote better sleep quality and enhance one's overall well-being. So, let's delve deeper into the causes and potential remedies for night sweats during menopause.

What are night sweats?

Night sweats are instances of excessive perspiration that occur during the period of slumber. They bear a resemblance to hot flashes, which are sudden sensations of warmth that can proliferate throughout the anatomy and elicit flushing and sudation. However, hot flashes frequently happen during the hours of wakefulness, whereas night sweats arise during sleep.

The intensity and frequency of night sweats can be varied. Certain females may undergo infrequent and mild perspiration, while others may experience severe and frequent episodes that cause them to be drenched in sweat, necessitating a change of nightwear. Night sweats can also be accompanied by additional symptoms, such as shivers, palpitations, and restlessness.

What causes night sweats during menopause?

Hormonal changes do not stand as the sole contributors to the emergence of night sweats in menopausal women. Other factors that further exacerbate the chances of experiencing night sweats are:

  • Obesity: Night sweats are more likely to transpire in overweight and obese women, as body fat provides insulation that undermines the temperature regulation system of the human body.
  • Stress: Heightened stress levels can create an imbalance in the body's hormonal equilibrium, leading to the emergence of night sweats and other symptomatic indicators.
  • Alcohol and caffeine: Both of these substances stimulate the nervous system, leading to increased body temperature (don't down that 3rd glass of red wine ladies), which heightens the likelihood of experiencing night sweats.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) Medications: Night sweats may arise as a side-effect of some OTC medications, such as anti-depressants and blood pressure drugs.
Woman covered with sweat sleeping on floor with head inside fridge.

How can you manage night sweats during menopause?

If you are among the 80% in your menopause journey, and get night sweats, there are many ways to deal with them to try to alleviate the symptoms. Here are some suggestions:

  • Dress for the Occasion (including your bed): It may be worthwhile to consider investing in Lusomé cooling pajamas and SOMÉ Continuous Cooling Performance Sheets that use proprietary technologies to manage body temperature and move moisture away from your body so it can evaporate. These products can help regulate body temperature, promote dryness, and reduce the discomfort and disruption caused by night sweats.
  • Turn down the Heat: To promote optimal comfort, it would be wise to employ either a fan or air conditioning unit to ensure that the temperature of your bedroom remains comfortable. If it is feasible, consider opening the windows to facilitate fresh air circulation.
  • Drink that water, Baby: Drinking ample amounts of water and other liquids throughout the day (caffeine- free tea, juice)is critical to maintain proper body temperature regulation.
  • Pass on the libations: Identify and avoid triggers that could contribute to night sweats, such as alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods.
  • Go Zen: Engaging in activities such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation, which could decrease the frequency and severity of night sweats.
  • Get that heart rate up: Incorporating a regular exercise regimen can help regulate hormonal balance and improve overall health. However, exercising near bedtime should be avoided, as it can elevate body temperature and trigger night sweats.
  • Try (HRT): HRT may be an effective treatment option for relieving symptoms of menopause, including night sweats. However, discussing the benefits and potential risks of HRT with your healthcare provider before initiating treatment is crucial.
  • Go Au Naturel: Some natural remedies, such as black cohosh and soy isoflavones, may have the potential to mitigate symptoms of menopause, including night sweats. However, further research is necessary to confirm their effectiveness. As always, it is advisable to consult with your physician before travelling down that natural remedy path.

FAQs

Q: Are night sweats a sign of a serious health problem? A: Night sweats are a common symptom of menopause and are usually not a sign of a serious health problem. However, if you experience night sweats accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, cough, or weight loss, you should consult your healthcare provider to rule out underlying health conditions.

Q: Can night sweats be treated with over-the-counter remedies? A: Over-the-counter remedies, such as herbal supplements and homeopathic remedies, may help alleviate symptoms of night sweats for some women. However, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider before trying any new treatments, as they may interact with other medications or have side effects.

Q: How long do night sweats last during menopause? A: The duration of night sweats can vary from woman to woman. Some women may experience night sweats for a few months, while others may have them for up to 8 years. However, in most cases, night sweats will gradually decrease in frequency and intensity over time.

It will go away...eventually.

Night sweats during menopause can be a frustrating and uncomfortable symptom, but there are steps women can take to manage them and improve their sleep quality. Understanding the causes of night sweats and identifying triggers that may contribute to them can help women develop an effective management plan. If you are experiencing night sweats, talk to your healthcare provider to discuss your options for treatment and support. With the right approach, you can get a good night's sleep and enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle during and after menopause.

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