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women going through menopause

Cold Night Sweats

Cold night sweats can be as uncomfortable as they sound as they can cause a woman to wake up feeling cold with her body, clothes, and sheets drenched in sweat. Night sweats and cold body temperatures are common symptoms experienced by menopausal women. Fortunately, women can manage their cold night sweats by learning about the causes and treatments.

About Cold Night Sweats


Cold night sweats are just like daytime hot flashes — except they occur while you sleep. As a result of fluctuating levels of estrogen and other sex hormones, the hypothalamus — the part of the brain that regulates temperature — mistakenly believes the body is too hot. This brief burst of perceived heat can cause profuse sweating, an increased heart rate, and flushing. The sweating can leave a woman feeling chilly and clammy after the episode has passed.

Avoiding Cold Night Sweats

Fortunately, cold night sweats are relatively simple to manage with a few lifestyle changes. These can include:

Room temperature control

Women can help control their cold night sweats by keeping their homes or bedroom a little cooler than normal. Since excessive heat can trigger a cold night sweat, keeping a window open or a fan running during the night can help a woman cut down on the frequency and severity of her cold night sweats.

Lightweight fabrics

Try wearing lightweight pajamas and sleeping under thin, and breathable sheets that are made of cotton or linen. This will allow air to circulate and prevent you from getting too hot. Synthetic fibers like polyester and spandex make for poor pajamas, since they trap sweat against the skin, leaving the body cold and soaked after cold night sweats.


Keeping a bottle of cool water near the bed for easy access can also help women prevent a cold night sweat episode or lessen its severity. In addition, staying hydrated throughout the day is a good preventative measure for avoiding night sweats.

Avoiding hot showers

Many times, hot showers — especially before bed — can trigger an episode of cold night sweats. It is best to take a lukewarm shower in order to avoid this potential trigger.

More Information on Cold Night Sweats

If these suggestions are not enough to manage the symptom, there are other options that can help you cope with your cold night sweats. These include additional lifestyle changes, alternative medicines, herbal supplements, and prescription medications. If cold night sweats persist and become too severe, it is best to consult a doctor.

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  • The National Institute of Health.(n.d). "Signs of the Menopausal Transition".Retrieved from
  • Boston Women's Health Collective. "Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Sleep Disturbances". Our Bodies, Ourselves, 2006.
  • Von Muhlen, DG, et al. "A community-based study of menopause symptoms and estrogen replacement in older women". Maturitas. Sept 1995; 22(2):71-8.