A guest post from Tara Hardin (LadyCare Menopause Ltd) talking about night sweats associated with the menopause.
Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) is a condition that is often associated with night-time hot flushes in menopausal women. It is an irritating problem that can keep women awake all night long. Fortunately, there are various ways of dealing with it.
What are menopausal night sweats?
Night sweats are the body’s reaction to the hormones released due to the perimenopause or menopause. Sweating can also accompany hot flushes during the day.
What happens when you experience night sweats?
Night sweats cause your body to perspire profusely while you sleep. In addition, it is not uncommon for you to experience a cold sweat when you wake up. The severity of these symptoms can vary; some women suffer badly, while others barely notice them at all.
Unfortunately, the night sweats often result in women dreading going to bed as they fear the problem will affect their own health as well as their relationship with their partner.
Why do night sweats happen during the menopause?
Even if you keep the windows open or turn up the air conditioner, night sweats can still occur. This is yet another side effect of the menopause. When your ovaries stop secreting hormones, it is a sign that you are going through ‘the change’. Due to the reduction in hormones, your body has difficulty regulating heat, which in turn causes the night sweats and hot flushes.
How to prevent or reduce night sweats
Here are some quick tips that can help prevent you from having an uncomfortable night:
● Turn on the fan or lower the temperature on the air conditioner
● Don’t use blankets or sheets
● Wear light or cool nightclothes
● Take sips of cold water
● Relax your body by meditating – slow down and deepen your breathing
To reduce the frequency of the night sweets, consider the following advice:
● Alleviate any stress by performing calming exercises before you go to bed
● Daily exercises can also reduce stress and help you enjoy a long and peaceful sleep
● Maintain a healthy weight
● Avoid eating spicy food and don’t drink alcohol or caffeine
● Avoid unhealthy habits, such as smoking
Maintaining a balanced diet with lots of healthy food can provide long-term solutions to your night sweats. Studies have shown that a daily intake of one or two servings of soy can reduce the occurrence and intensity of your symptoms.
While supplements have shown mixed results, many women find them helpful in relieving menopausal symptoms, especially night sweats. However, make sure you consult a doctor before you take any supplements as they may cause side effects or interact poorly with the medication you are already taking. Here are the most frequently used vitamins and supplements:
● Vitamins B and E
● Flax seeds in their natural form, capsules or oil
● Primrose in capsules or food-grade oil
Another way of combating night sweats and hot flushes involves hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, exercise caution when opting for this treatment. If possible, try to take the smallest dose and for the shortest time possible. Acupuncture may also be beneficial.
There is no standard relief for night sweats. A method that works for one woman may not be suitable for another. It is a good idea to keep a record of the treatments that help alleviate your own particular symptoms. You should also understand that finding an appropriate treatment regime can take time. And remember, always consult a doctor before taking any supplements, even herbal ones.