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Night Sweats Explained

Night sweats, one of the most common menopause symptoms, are not only uncomfortable, they can disrupt sleep and cause fatigue in the long term. Fortunately, there are many ways to manage this symptom.

What Are Night Sweats?

Night Sweats Explained 1

Night sweats are caused by the same mechanisms that cause hot flashes during the day. As estrogen levels decrease rapidly, the hypothalamus region of the brain responds by sending a woman's body temperature sky high for a few moments. Night sweats are usually characterized by a burst of warmth that radiates through a woman's body, lasting as long as thirty seconds.

While night sweats vary for each woman, a few universal characteristics exist. These include:

  • Intense, quickly dissipating heat
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Flushed skin
  • Nausea
  • Faintness
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive perspiration

How Can I Manage My Night Sweats Episodes?

One of the easiest ways to manage night sweats is by incorporating a few changes to your daily life and evening routine. With a few simple changes, you can manage your symptoms and improve your sleep quality.

Room temperature regulation

Keeping a window slightly open, turning on a fan, or lowering the temperature on the thermostat are all simple ways to help reduce the frequency and intensity of night sweats episodes.

Avoiding certain foods

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Women who consume spicy foods or excessive caffeine or alcohol before bed are putting themselves at a higher risk of experiencing night sweats. By reducing your intake of these foods and beverages, you will maintain a regular body temperature and reduce your frequency and intensity of night sweat episodes.

Light bed linens

Women can easily avoid excessive heat at night by changing their sheets. Purchase light, breathable fabrics, such as linen, as these fabrics provide better circulation to your body. If it is too cold to sleep under a thin sheet, lightweight blankets might do the trick. Finding the right balance between warm and cold can be difficult, and it may take some trial and error to find the best method.

Cool beverages

Keeping ice water nearby is another good way to help keep body temperatures in check. Women can try drinking a cool drink before bed and then keep another on the nightstand in case they feel a night sweat coming on.

More Information about Night Sweats?

Women who want to learn more about night sweats and their various treatment options should click on this link. However, below is a list of the different night sweats treatments categories:

Other conditions related to night sweats include:

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Alternative medicines
  • Medications and surgery

It is important to discuss these options with a doctor before making any important medical decisions.

Night Sweats, Snoring, and Sore Throats

Many people experience night sweats, snoring, and sore throats throughout the night and when they wake up in the morning.

Night Sweats Related to Anxiety, Stress, and Fatigue

Night sweats can be worsened by stress. Click here to learn more.

Night Sweats Linked to Fatigue

Some degree of fatigue affects around 80% of women during menopause. Menopausal fatigue may be connected to night sweats or other menopause symptoms.

Sources:
  • Boston Women's Health Collective. "Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Sleep Disturbances." Our Bodies, Ourselves, 2006.
  • The National Institute of Health.(n.d). "Signs of the Menopausal Transition." Retrieved from www.nih.gov.
  • 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.