Night sweats are a common symptom experienced by menopausal women. Night sweats are the exact same as hot flashes, except they occur during the night and often interrupt women's sleep. If you experience night sweats you might wake up cold, clammy, and drenched in sweat. Night sweat episodes are uncomfortable to deal, and can cause headaches, fatigue, and irritability.
To continue learning more about night sweats and tips on how to lessen their severity, continue reading.
What Causes Night Sweats?
Night sweats are not only caused by hormone imbalances, nor do they only affect menopausal women. Although they are most commonly associated with menopause, children and men experience them. Other medical conditions can cause someone to have night sweats.
Before you try to treat your night sweats it's important that you identify the cause. If you're between 45 and 55, the onset of night sweats may be a symptom of perimenopause - the stage before menopause. Other reasons you might experience night sweats include:
Certain medications can cause night sweats.Antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), antipyretics, and hypoglycemic agents have all been known to cause night sweats.
Infectious diseases like tuberculosis and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) may provoke night sweats in individuals. Night sweats are also a symptom of endocarditis, an infection of the lining of the heart.
Night sweats can be a symptom of cancer and can also be a side effect of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.
How to Manage My Night Sweats
Once you know the source of you night sweats, it can be easier to develop a treatment plan. Assuming that your night sweats are a result of menopause, here are some tips to help you manage your night sweats:
Cucumber and sage are foods that promote cool body temperature.Many lifestyle changes can be quick and easy to accomplish and very beneficial to your health. One of the most important is to maintain a well-balanced diet. For example, cucumbers and sage can help cool your body. Avoid some of the trigger foods such as spicy food, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar. Exercising is a great way to improve hormonal imbalance - the cause of night sweats in menopausal women. You may also consider quitting smoking.
In recent years, alternative and natural treatments have gained more recognition for their abilities to alleviate menopausal symptoms. While it is hard to prove how effective these are, many women have reported benefits.
HRT have been known to help balance hormone levels and alleviate many of the night sweats and menopausal symptoms women experience. Consult your doctor to make sure HRT is right for you. It can have adverse effects by further unbalancing hormones and increasing your risk of developing cancer.
- Boston Women's Health Collective. "Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Sleep Disturbances". Our Bodies, Ourselves, 2006.
- The National Institute of Health. (n.d)."Signs of the Menopausal Transition" Retrieved from www.nih.gov
- Von Muhlen, DG, et al. "A community-based study of menopause symptoms and estrogen replacement in older women". Maturitas. Sept 1995; 22(2):71-8.