The reasons for night sweats are numerous and varied. Night sweats, which involve waking up with soaked sheets and nightclothes, are a common experience for menopausal women and can be highly unpredictable.
Night sweats can often make women feel frustrated and powerless, but understanding why night sweats happen is vital in order to lessen their occurrence. Night sweats can be caused by conditions other than menopause, though during this time, they are extraordinarily common: estimates say that up to 80% of all menopausal women will experience night sweats at some point of perimenopause, which describe the hormonal changes occurring while the female body transitions into menopause.
The hormones affected by the onset of menopause - estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone - fluctuate wildly during this period. These fluctuations are responsible for all of the effects of menopause.
What Are the Menopausal Reasons for Night Sweats?
Understanding the reasons and bodily processes behind night sweats is crucial before attempting to treat them.During menopause, fluctuating estrogen levels give the false impression of an abnormally high body temperature, prompting the hypothalamus gland - the part of the brain that is responsible for regulating body temperature - to send out false signals that aim at cooling the body down, flushing the skin and causing excessive perspiration.
What Else Can Trigger Night Sweats?
Although menopause can make a woman feel as if she has lost all control over her body, she can make many lifestyle modifications that may significantly reduce the effects of night sweats. These include:
While fruits are typically thought to be a healthy choice at any age, the acidity in many fruits can contribute to frequent night sweats. Similarly, the spiciness of certain foods, such as pepper, can seriously irritate this condition. It may be best to avoid spicy food altogether. Alcoholic beverages should also be avoided.
A lack of sleep is a common reason for night sweats, so it is important to try to get seven to eight hours per night. Exercise, while important and necessary for maintaining overall health, can be a contributing factor to night sweats if done too close to bedtime. However, this doesn't mean physical activity should be avoided. An excessively sedentary lifestyle can worsen hormonal imbalances, and thus make night sweats worse. Women should aim for moderate exercise, such as walking or bicycling, three to five times per week.
Finally, a stressful lifestyle can be seriously detrimental to overall health, as well as a reason for your night sweats. Menopause can be a difficult time physically and emotionally, but its effects are exacerbated by high levels of stress. It's a good idea to practice whichever relaxation techniques you find to be most effective in lowering your stress and temperature levels.
There are many reasons for night sweats, but the good news is that there are also many ways to reduce their effects. Women can control this condition by keeping a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Further lifestyle changes may not be easy at first, but the benefits will be worth it.