Are Hot Flashes and Night Sweats Keeping You Up At Night?
Women will often experience hot flashes and night sweats during menopause.
Frequently, these symptoms will interfere with a decent nights sleep, often for months on end. The hormone fluctuations of menopause and perimenopause are a common cause of sleep problems and insomnia.
An estimated 75% of menopausal women suffer from hot flashes. The hot flashes can be mild to severe. Sometimes the hot flashes can be so severe, you feel as if you are burning up. This is called steaming bones in Chinese Medicine.
Night sweats follow the hot flashes. Again these sweats can be mild to severe. Ive heard of women complaining that their nightclothes are soaked or the bed linens are drenched in sweat. Many have to get up and change their nightgown or sheets in the middle of the night, and then have difficulty getting back to sleep.
Once a sweat passes, your body gets chilled and thats what tends to wake most women up.
I frequently hear my patients complaining of insomnia without realizing that their hot flashes and night sweats are a major contributing factor in their poor sleep.
The hot flashes and night sweats can start years before the onset of menopause and generally are the first symptoms of your body changing. These can occur during the day as well.
Perimenopause are the years leading up to the cessation of the menses. Technically, menopause is said to have occurred when you have gone an entire year without a menstrual cycle. Usually this is in your fifties.
You can also have induced menopause from surgical removal of your ovaries or from severe trauma. Here the onset tends to be sudden and more severe.
Following are some things you can do to help cope with and reduce your hot flashes and night sweats.
· Sleep in layers. Use thin blankets or towels underneath you, so you can toss them on the floor, as they get damp or wet. Dress in layers that are easily removed as needed. And use several layers of sheets and blankets on top so you can easily push them off or pull them back on as needed.
· Have a ceiling fan with a remote installed. Youll be able to control the fan without getting out of bed. I cant tell you how many women have told me that this is a lifesaver.
· During the day, dress in layers so you can peel them off as needed without soaking your clothes. Keep a change of clothes at work or in the car for those really tough days.
· If you are able, get some exercise every day. Exercise is a great for your body at any time of your life. It will help you sleep and help control some of the menopausal symptoms.
· Eliminate hot and spicy foods from your diet during this time. Many spices are very warming and contribute to the hot flashes and sweats. Some examples are hot peppers, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
· Pay attention to how much caffeine youre drinking. Caffeine may be contributing to you being awake more than you need to be at night. You may need to reduce your intake to just morning or eliminate it entirely.
Fortunately menopause is a temporary condition. The symptoms generally last from five to ten years. If you are really bothered by your hot flashes and night sweats, seek some professional help. Your gynecologist will offer you HRT hormone replacement therapy. If you want a more natural and long lasting approach, check out acupuncture treatments and natural herbal formulas.
If you want a more natural and long lasting approach, look into acupuncture treatments and natural herbal formulas. Your acupuncturist will choose a suitable herbal formula for your particular problems.