Night sweats, much like hot flashes, are one of the symptoms most commonly associated with menopause. Fluctuations in hormone levels stimulate an increase in internal temperature and the body responds to this by producing sweat to cool down. Not only are night sweats are unpleasant, they can negatively impact many aspects of your life, including your ability to achieve quality sleep. Keep reading to learn how to recognize the symptoms of night sweats affecting your daily life.
The sweat produced as a result of menopausal night sweats is particularly prone to being malodorous, particularly if alcohol, caffeine, or spicy foods have been consumed during the evening. Areas such as the armpits and genitals are naturally less exposed to air than other parts of the body, making it easy for bacteria to accumulate and emit unpleasant odor.
Body odor can cause issues socially, professionally, and sexually, unless care is taken to prevent it. However, this can be problematic as it is often difficult for a person to detect a change in their own scent and notice their own body odor.
When a woman is continually awakening during the night to find herself too hot, or cold with clammy sweat, her sleeping patterns become compromised. Adults are advised to sleep for between six to eight hours every night. This is the amount of time deemed sufficient for the body to function at its prime during the day, in terms of energy and concentration levels and to maintain a healthy immune system. If those needs are not met, a woman is more prone to sleep-related disorders, such as fatigue. Fatigue is an extreme form of tiredness which affects physical energy levels, concentration, memory, mood, and other key factors of well-being.
Irritability can derive from sweating-induced sleep disorders, or simply result from tiredness caused by night sweats. Tiredness affects the mind as well as the body, and may cause a person to be less tolerant than usual, and this irritability may be exacerbated by the unpleasantness of the night sweats themselves. Being irritable not only inhibits a person's well-being and contentment, it can also lead to tension with loved-ones and colleagues.
There is nothing pleasant about waking up during the night to find yourself drenched with sweat, and it's even less pleasant when night sweats begin to affect the way you feel during the day. Luckily, there are natural ways to reduce night sweats. By making adjustments to your sleeping environment, diet, and evening habits you can enjoy more restful sleep and prevent night sweats symptoms ruining your day.
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- National Institutes of Health.(1990). Fever, Chills, and Night Sweats Retrieved April 3, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK324/
- National Institutes of Health.(2011). Sweating. Retrieved April 3, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003218.htm
- Stanford University.(1998). Sleep hyperhidrosis (night sweats, excessive sweating). Retrieved April 3, 2014, from http://www.stanford.edu/~dement/sweats.html