It’s normal to feel a bit warm at night, especially in hot weather. But if you start to wake up more regularly feeling drenched, with soaking wet sheets, it may mean that you’re experiencing what is known as a ‘night sweat’ – a very common symptom of the menopause. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that nearly three-quarters of women experience night sweats at some point after the age of 45.
So why does the Menopause cause night sweats?
The menopause makes our hormones start acting a bit, well, strange! When the body starts to produce less oestrogen, in preparation for your periods eventually stopping, this has a huge impact on the body. The change in hormone levels means the brain gets confused when it comes to regulating body temperature. Your body basically thinks it’s overheating and it responds by trying to cool you down, hence the sweating and hot flushes.
What does a night sweat feel like?
If you’ve never experienced a night sweat before, the first time may leave you feeling confused and distressed. Your skin might become red and flushed, your sweat glands will swing into action and you’ll more than likely wake up feeling like you’ve just stepped out of the shower! Whilst it’s a common symptom of the menopause, sweats are often uncomfortable and may disrupt your sleeping patterns leaving you feeling worn out and tired.
How can I control my night sweats?
Fortunately, there are lots of things that can minimise the chances of having a night sweat. Make sure the place where you sleep is as cool and comfortable as can be. Try a desk fan on your bedside table, or keep a window open. Use a light duvet and wear loose, light clothing. Or try a cooling pillow or mattress topper. It’s a good idea to take a glass of cold water to bed with you to stay hydrated in the night. Some ladies also like to keep a towel and a change of clothes on hand so they don’t have to go looking for them in the night.
What can trigger a night sweat?
Take a little look at your diet and lifestyle to see if certain triggers are linked to your night sweats. This might include smoking, spicy food, caffeine or alcohol. Some women find that stress can play a part in making night sweats worse, so doing some light exercise during the day, or trying a yoga or meditation class could help. Other alternative therapies to try include acupuncture, or reflexology. Following a wholesome diet that is loaded with vitamins and minerals is also very important.
Can natural remedies help with night sweats?
If you’re keen to try a complementary remedy or therapy, there are many available. Please note that some of them may induce side effects or interact with other medications, so speak to your doctor.
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