Introduction to Menopausal Night Sweats
Menopause is the normal process that heralds the end of the fertile period of a woman’s life and for many women, menopause night sweats make this a dreadful time. Reproductive hormones start to ebb away, causing system-wide symptoms like:
- Cessation of menstrual periods: Menstruation starts to slow down during the onset of menopause, with periods coming less frequently. At first, the woman might have her period less than four times a year. As menopause progresses, periods taper away and eventually stop.
- Hot flashes: menopausal women experience periods of intense heat that suddenly flash through the body. It can be extremely uncomfortable. When hot flashes happen at night,
- Insomnia: this could be as a direct consequence of the hotness and night sweats. They can make going to sleep difficult.
- Weight gain: women in their menopausal years are prone to add weight, especially if they have a sedentary lifestyle.
- Vaginal dryness: the hormonal changes can cause dryness through the skin, including the vagina. This makes sex painful.
- Skin dryness: women who are going through menopause will also notice that their skin gets dryer. This can lead to premature wrinkling if proper skin moisturizing techniques are not employed.
Of all the symptoms of menopause, hot flashes and night sweats are the most complained about. This is because of their frequency and the great discomfort they cause. Most women who want relief from symptoms of menopause are seeking relief from night sweats and hot flashes.
Triggers Of Night Sweats
While the primary cause of night sweats is the onset of menopause, some situations can trigger an episode of night sweats.
- Tight clothing and heavy bedclothes
- Smoking and drinking alcohol
- Sleeping in hot rooms
- Eating spicy food
- Excessive consumption of caffeine
Management Of Night Sweats
- Wear light clothing while going to bed. Breathable materials like cotton and linen are preferable and loose clothing that does not stick to the body.
- Use light bed linen too. Satin, silk and nylon are not breathable materials, and sleeping on them can cause night sweats and hot flashes.
- Find time to unwind at the end of the day before going to bed. This would be a good time for music, having a relaxing bath and leisurely conversation. Going to bed stressed will trigger an episode of night sweats.
- Avoid eating processed sugar and heavy meals before bed.
- Exercise, in accordance with a healthy diet, will help to regulate weight and prevent obesity during menopause.
- Some hormone replacements can help with the hot flashes, even natural replacements like soy. Evening primrose and flaxseed are other natural treatments. In severe cases, the physician might recommend estrogen or progesterone drugs in small doses.
Night sweats are part of the natural transition that is menopause, but with some lifestyle changes, they can be regulated and managed. Note that medication of any kind, whether natural alternatives or prescription drugs, should be taken only after consulting with a physician.