Night sweats are an aggravating and inconvenient symptom of aging and menopause that can result in low body temperature. Hormonal imbalance affects the entire body, bringing discomfort to many women during this stage of life. There are different ways to stabilize hormones and keep body temperature at a normal level.Night sweats can be a disruptive part of a woman's life.
Why Do Women Experience Night Sweats and Low Body Temperature during Menopause?
Decreased levels of estrogen that occur during menopause are a form of hormonal imbalance, and consequentially, night sweats may result. Hormone imbalance confuses the body's temperature-regulating system, which interprets the fluctuating hormone levels as a sign of the body overheating. Signals are then sent to rapidly cool the body, resulting in low body temperature.
Night sweat episodes and low body temperature may not occur simultaneously, but they often go hand-in-hand. In an attempt to cool down, the body produces excessive amounts of sweat, which may result in chills as the sweat begins to evaporate or soak clothes and sheets. Night sweats can be a disruptive part of a woman's life, but there are several ways to manage and prevent this discomfort.
How Can Night Sweats and Low Body Temperature Be Prevented?
Listed below are several suggestions for preventing night sweats and the resulting discomfort. These suggestions have the potential to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of night sweat episodes and low body temperature.
- Avoid foods high in hydrogenated or saturated fats
- Stay away from coffee, tea, cocoa, and other hot drinks
- Wear breathable clothing to bed
- Avoid spicy foods
- Take a cold shower before bed. This will lower the body's temperature naturally, lowering the chances of the body incorrectly perceiving an abnormal internal temperature during sleep.
- Sleep with the windows open, if possible, or have a fan nearby to keep cool air circulating
Night sweat episodes and low body temperature are not inherently serious conditions, but women should never hesitate to contact a trusted physician in the event that symptoms become unbearable or seriously disrupt sleep and daily life. Women should know that both night sweat episodes and low body temperature during menopause are common and usually easy to treat.
What Else Should Women Know about Night Sweats and Low Body Temperature?
Severe night sweat episodes can lead to other more serious conditions. These include:
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Hair loss
- Severe dehydration
Women who feel they may be at risk for any of the above conditions should contact a physician immediately to avoid exacerbating the condition. Women should take the actions described and learn as much as possible about managing night sweats together with low body temperature.
- Dall, L. & Stanford, J.F. (1990). Fever, Chills, and Night Sweats. In: Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd ed. Boston: Butterworths. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK324/
- Viera, A.J. et al. (2003). Diagnosing Night Sweats. American Family Physician, 67(5), 1019-1024. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0301/p1019.html