One of the most common and often complained about symptoms of menopause is night sweats. These are hot flashes that occur while you sleep. Waking up throughout the night can lead to irritability, inability to concentrate, fatigue, and other menopause symptoms. Sleep is an integral part of wellness, and without it, the body and mind cannot function properly. If you are suffering from night sweats, or "night flushes," below are some tips on how you can make your bedroom cool, comfortable, and more conducive to a healthy night of sleep.
Open a Window
Opening the window will help with air circulation and bring in fresh air. Since warm, stagnant air can trigger night sweats, opening a window or using an oscillating fan can help reduce episodes.
Talk to Your Partner
If you suffer from night sweats, cuddling with your partner, especially under blankets, may raise your body temperate and trigger an episode. Instead, sleep farther apart and to keep the intimacy, try holding hands. If your episodes are severe, you may even consider sleeping in separate beds placed side by side.
Staying hydrated may help prevent night sweats, so it is important to consume the recommended eight glasses of water per day or equivalent. Keeping a glass of ice water on your nightstand can also help if you're feeling warm or if a night sweat strikes.
Hardwood and Tile Floors
If you're looking to remodel or move, consider choosing hardwood or tile flooring for the bedroom. These allow for better air circulation, whereas carpet can trap heat in the room. Both carpets and curtains are designed to reduce heat loss; while this may help the heating bill, it can prevent good ventilation.
Light, neutral, and cool colors such as whites, blues, and greens promote relaxation. They have soothing capabilities, unlike reds and oranges, which can be subconsciously exciting and energizing.
Stay away from polyester and other synthetic fabrics that block airflow. Cotton sheets and pajamas help your skin breathe, reducing the amount of natural body heat that gets trapped between your skin and your clothes.
Turning on the air conditioning can be a great way to keep your bedroom uniformly cool. However, be careful to regulate the thermostat well, since excess cold can prompt the body to heat up in response, potentially triggering an episode.
In addition to redecorating and rearranging your room, try making simple changes in other areas of your life. Exercising regularly and maintaining a well-balanced diet are lifestyle changes that can both reduce night sweats and lead to improved overall health. If your night sweats persist and are severe, consult a doctor. You may need to consider alternative treatments.
For more information on treatments for night sweats, follow the links below.
- Boston Women's Health Collective. (2006). Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Sleep Disturbances. Our Bodies, Ourselves.
- National Institute on Aging. (2015). Signs of the Menopausal Transition. Retrieved January 22, 2016, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause-time-change/signs-menopausal-transition