Q&A: What Are the Differences Between Night Sweats and Hot Flashes?

Night sweats and hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause.Night sweats and hot flashes are two of the most common symptoms of menopause, each affecting between 75 and 80% of women. Yet, what are the differences between the two? And, if you suffer from one, are you always going to experience the other? Read on to have your questions answered.

What Are Night Sweats?

Night sweats are episodes of extreme heat and perspiration that happen during sleep. The episodes vary in length and frequency for every woman and can range from very mild to severe. However, they can often be very disruptive to one's sleep. As a result of night sweats, women tend to experience an increased heart rate, flushing of the face, neck, and chest, headaches, nausea, and excessive sweating.

Some women will also have cold chills after the sudden heat.Cold chills may follow immediately after the sudden burst of heat. Night sweats are typically caused by a hormonal imbalance of, which is normal during menopause. When estrogen levels increase or decrease the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates temperature, reacts and sends unnecessary signals to the rest of the body telling it to cool down.

What Are Hot Flashes?

Hot flashes are the daytime equivalent of night sweats. The cause and symptoms for the two are the same.

What Are the Differences Between Night Sweat and Hot Flashes?

Night sweats occur only during sleep.The main difference between these two menopausal symptoms is the time of the day that they occur. Women only have night sweats while they are sleeping. Hot flashes occur during the day. The causes and symptoms for night sweats and hot flashes are the same, as are most of the treatment options.

The other slight difference is how women are told to manage the symptoms. Lifestyle changes must be made and these will vary depending on whether the woman is experiencing night sweats or hot flashes. For example, if you are is suffering from night sweats, choose more appropriate nightwear, less bedding, and avoid exercising late at night. If you have hot flashes, position your desk at work so that it's near a window or air vent.

If I Have Night Sweats, Will I Also Have Hot Flashes?

Night sweats and hot flashes are related, but both don't necessarily have to be present.The symptoms of menopause are different for every woman. Some suffer from both night sweats and hot flashes and others do not experience either one. And, just because you have one, it doesn't mean that you will have the other. It is difficult to determine whether or not you experience either one or both. However, if you do, there are some ways in which you can alleviate the frequency and severity of them.

More Information on Night Sweats

The causes, symptoms, and treatments for night sweats and hot flashes are very similar. If you are suffering from night sweats or hot flashes, or both, there are some methods that can help make them more manageable. Always consult your doctor so that you can identify your symptoms and come up with a treatment plan.

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