When you go through menopause, the natural transition into infertility, you may experience a range of unpleasant symptoms. These are caused by the fluctuation of hormones like estrogen and progesterone. The body's natural levels of hormones become unbalanced and can manifest in a number of uncomfortable side effects, including night sweats.
Night sweats are one of the more common symptoms of menopause. Women who experience night sweats often wake up in the middle of the night feeling overheated and sweating excessively. While the principal cause of night sweats and other menopause symptoms is fluctuating hormone levels, there are various external triggers that may provoke or worsen night sweats. Read on to learn about three nighttime triggers and how to avoid them.
Exercise is a great way to combat night sweats. A healthy lifestyle that includes a daily exercise routine will lead to a better night's rest. Exercising during the morning and day will use energy, enabling you to sleep longer and deeper without interruptions. However, exercise can raise body temperature, so it's best not to exercise at night or before going to bed.
When cooking, you are usually surrounded by heat. Heat from the oven, boiling pots and pans, and sizzling foods can raise your body temperature in the evening. Being around extra heat late in the evening or close to bedtime could raise your body temperature and trigger a hot flash or night sweats. Try preparing cool dinners such as salads or cooking earlier in the evening. Also, try to avoid spicy foods and hot beverages.
It may be tempting to check your work e-mails at the end of the day so that you can stay on top of things, but it might be best to eliminate this habit if you are prone to night sweats. Checking your e-mails and doing things on your computer can stimulate your mind and keep you concerned about daytime issues. This will hinder the process of falling asleep and raise stress levels, both of which increase the likelihood of a night sweat episode.
Follow the links below for more information on night sweats and treatments.
- Boston Women's Health Collective. (2006). Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Sleep Disturbances. Our Bodies, Ourselves.
- National Health Service UK. (2014). Menopause: five self-help tips. Retrieved February 9, 2016, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/menopause/Pages/Menopauseselfhelp.aspx
- National Institute on Aging. (2015). Signs of the Menopausal Transition. Retrieved February 9, 2016, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/menopause-time-change/signs-menopausal-transition