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Night Sweats and Menopause

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

Woman with night sweats during menopauseWhat can I do about the night sweats I've been experiencing since I started menopause?

Menopause brings with it a lot of uncomfortable symptoms, including night sweats. There’s nothing like waking up in the middle of the night with your heart pounding, feeling freezing cold, and having your sheets and gown soaked in sweat. But what causes them and how can you stop them?

Although the exact cause of night sweats is unknown, fluctuating estrogen levels can do a number on your temperature control system. Your changing hormones can confuse the region of your brain, your hypothalaus, that regulates temperature, making it overreact a bit. If your hypothalaus thinks your temperature is changing, it works to regulate it–but it might do it too well during menopause! You can then be left with hot flashes during the day, and night sweats while you’re trying to sleep.

Like hot flashes, there are some avoidable triggers for night sweats: smoking, alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, too many blankets, restrictive or tight clothes, being too warm, and stress. It’s a good idea to avoid these so you don’t compound your problem.

To help with night sweats, you can try these tips:
  • Keep your bedroom cool
  • Don’t use too many blankets
  • Choose bedding and nightwear that breathes
  • Use a fan during the night
  • Try a cooling pad or pillow
  • Consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
When you wake up from a night sweat, you can follow these tips for getting back to sleep:
  • Change your gown
  • Remove or cover wet sheets
  • Drink some cold water
  • Practice slow, deep breathing
The less you move around and engage when waking up with a night sweat, the quicker it can be to fall back to sleep. So before going to sleep, place a dry gown, sheet, and blanket by the bed. You can keep a glass of ice water on your night stand. Then when you are jerked awake from a hot flash, you're able to quickly change so you can go back to sleep.

Because some medications and health conditions can also cause night sweats, it’s important to talk to your doctor before chalking them up to menopause. You should also tell your doctor if your night sweats are accompanied by a fever and significantly impacting your sleep.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

02-27-2016 - 05:56 PM


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