Episodes of excessive sweating during sleep, commonly known as "night sweats," are flashes of heat that often leave women drenched and clammy. During menopause, sweating may occur during sleep, which often causes a woman to wake frequently, leaving her feeling fatigued the next day. This can lead to increased stress and anxiety levels from a lack of rest. It is very important that menopausal women who are experiencing sweating at night address both the unpleasant physical aspects and the resulting psychological effects of this symptom. To that end, women should discuss the different treatment options available to them with their doctors.
Who Experiences Sweating at Night?
Night sweats are typically a result of fluctuating hormone levels during menopause. Though night sweating can also be a sign of fever or other health conditions, menopause is the most common reason among women between the ages of 40 and 55. It's a good idea to talk to a doctor to pinpoint the underlying cause of night sweats.
What Causes Sweating at Night?
Although the exact cause of sweats at night has yet not been discovered, research has established the physiology of this process. Changes in estrogen levels cause the body's internal heat regulator to malfunction, and it is no longer able to correctly detect body temperature. This causes the body to attempt to cool down, producing excessive sweating and flushed skin. Menopausal women are often left uncomfortable and fatigued by this symptom; however, there are things women can do to reduce the effects of night sweats.
What Triggers Sweating at Night?
There are many different factors that can trigger night sweats. Menopausal women should be aware of these so that they can avoid them and prevent night sweat episodes. Common triggers include:
- Eating spicy food
- Wearing tight and constricting clothing
- Drinking alcohol or excessive amounts of caffeine
- Using sheets and bed covers made of non-breathable fabric
These are just a few of the factors that can trigger night sweats. This symptom and others related to menopause can usually be managed by making healthy lifestyle choices.
There are many treatments for night sweating and other unpleasant menopause symptoms. Prescription treatments such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), natural supplements such as Macafem, and healthy lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly all help alleviate sweating at night. HRT, however, should be discussed extensively with a doctor and considered carefully, as it carries a number of health risks.
Follow the links below for more information on different treatments for night sweats.