What Causes Night Sweats
Night sweats are common is women who are going through perimenopause and menopause. Perimenopause is a normal, natural phase of a womans life. During this time, a womans ovaries produce less estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, and menstrual periods become irregular. The low or changing levels of estrogen in particular are the cause of night sweats.
Perimenopause usually happens between ages 40 and 50. It is the transition step before menopause. A woman has reached menopause when she hasnt had a period for 12 months in a row. The average age of menopause is 51.
Are Perimenopause And Menopause The Only Causes Of Night Sweats
No. Night sweats can occur for a variety of reasons and can occur in both women and men. Other health conditions in which night sweats are seen include:
- Infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus
- Colds, flu, fever
- Bacterial infections, including endocarditis , osteomyelitis , pyogenic abscess
- Hormonal diseases, including overactive thyroid, diabetes, endocrine tumors
- Substance abuse, including alcohol, heroin, cocaine
- Neurologic disorders, including autonomic dysreflexia, autonomic neuropathy , syringomyelia , stroke
- Panic disorder, anxiety
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Cancer, including leukemia and lymphoma
- Side effects of cancer treatments, including aromatase inhibitors, tamoxifen, opioids, steroids
- Side effects of other medications, including some antidepressants and diabetes medications, steroids, acetaminophen, aspirin, and high blood pressure drugs
Women who experience other than menopause-related night sweats typically have other symptoms, as well. Only your doctor can determine the cause of your night sweats. Almost all causes are treatable. If you have ongoing night sweats, see your doctor.
Compounded Bioidentical Menopausal Hormone Therapy
Compounded bioidentical hormones contain hormonal preparations which are aimed at correcting hormonal imbalances which may occur at menopause. However, there is no evidence to support the effectiveness or safety of these products. Not only is evidence lacking to support superiority claims of compounded bioidentical hormones over conventional MHT, these claims also pose the additional risks of variable purity and potency, and lack efficacy and safety data. The Committee on Gynecologic Practice of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the US Endocrine Society have raised major concerns about the safety and efficacy of these products and recommend that patients be counselled to avoid their use .
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Treating Menopausal Night Sweats
There are a number of lifestyle changes and home remedies which can help to combat night sweats. These include using a night fan or air conditioning system to lower the temperature of the room and cool you down wearing less clothes for bed taking a cold shower before bed, and running cold water over your wrists in order to cool down your blood vessels rapidly as well as keeping your eye on the long list of potential triggers for hot flushes. If you are suffering from night sweats, be particularly wary of avoiding or reducing your intake of spicy food, caffeine and alcohol, as well as smoking.
Maintaining a healthy weight for your size is another good lifestyle tip, as night sweats are known to be more frequent in people who are obese. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and a lifestyle which is active in general are all ways to keep your weight down.
If, despite trying the lifestyle changes and home remedies above, night sweats are making your everyday life a struggle, there are medications which a doctor can prescribe. These include hormone replacement therapy medication and antidepressants, as well as other strictly prescribed medicines, such as gabapentin, the anti-epileptic drug, and clonidine, which is used to lower blood pressure.
Night sweats can be a disruptive menopausal symptom, but by using the range of steps we have to address them, you can get back to a restful night’s sleep.
Why Do Night Sweats Happen
The hot flashes which cause night sweats are down to the hormone level changes which characterise the menopause and perimenopause periods. The varying levels of progesterone and estrogen can have an impact on the body’s ability to control its temperature, which can lead to the sudden ‘rushes’ of heat, and, consequently, night sweats.
You might experience hot flushes and night sweats on a daily basis, or every now and then. Whichever is the case, there are a multitude of ways to prevent and treat them. Let’s find out about some of them.
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For Night Sweats Sufferers Cotton Is Rotten
Lets dig a little deeper into what happens during a night sweat. Lets imagine that you, your bed, and covers are a structure say, a sauna. Your body is the furnace, providing the heat, while your sleepwear and covers are the insulation.
When you suffer from night sweats, your furnace which had been very predictable before menopause suddenly becomes erratic, spouting off whenever it feels like it. Your heart starts racing, and your blood vessels in your skin dilate, causing your skin to heat up. Meanwhile, your sweat glands kick into gear, producing moisture in an attempt to cool you off.
If your bed covers act as insulation, the heat and moisture have nowhere to go. The moisture soaks your sleepwear, and it is going to stick to you like glue or in this case, water, dampening your bedding and clinging to your body.
Even if you wake up just enough to throw your covers off as your body bursts into proverbial flames, as soon as the hot flash is over, your body temperature plummets, and the sweat absorbed by cotton sleepwear is now cold and wet, sticking to your skin.
The outdoor athletic community has a saying: cotton is rotten. The same can be said when sleeping with night sweats. Cotton loves water, and it dries slowly, reluctant to give up that water molecule, keeping the moisture next to your skin, making you uncomfortable.
Best fabrics for night sweats in menopause one of the early menopause symptoms
The Benefits Of Progesterone
It turns out that estrogen withdrawal leads to hot flashes and night sweats. In other words, the brain gets used to higher estrogen levels and reacts to the decrease by releasing the stress hormone norepinephrine, which causes altered temperature responses.
Although progesterone has not been tested in a large controlled trial, progesterone also doesnt seem to cause the blood clots, heart disease or breast cancer associated with estrogen or estrogen-progestin menopausal hormone therapy.
In our randomized trial of progesterone or placebo for the treatment of vasomotor symptoms we also measured changes in weight, blood pressure, waist size, fasting glucose, blood lipids, a marker of inflammation and one of blood-clot risks. The changes with progesterone did not differ from changes on placebo, meaning that it had neither positive or negative effects on these factors.
Benefits And Risks Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
The main benefit of HRT is that it can help relieve most menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes, brain fog, joint pains, mood swings and vaginal dryness.
It can also help prevent thinning of the bones, which can lead to fractures . Osteoporosis is more common after the menopause.
Some types of HRT can slightly increase the risk of breast cancer and blood clots in some women. You need to discuss whether you have any risk factors with a doctor or nurse.
Evidence says that the risks of HRT are small and usually outweighed by the benefits.
Your GP can give you more information about the risks and benefits of HRT to help you decide whether or not you want to take it.
Best Bed Sheets For Night Sweats
Waking up in the middle of the night soaking wet from sweat ruins many women’s beauty rest as well as their following day from insufficient sleep. Stop changing out sheets one after another, and pick a set of sheets designed for combatting the pesky symptom. Continue reading to learn more about the best bed sheets for night sweats to finally get some well-deserved rest.
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What They Do For Me
I can only speak for myself here, but bamboo pajamas haverevolutionized my sleep. I used to wake up in the middle of the night drenchedwith sweat.
When youre drenched with sweat, you shiver. I would be hot one minute and cold the next. I couldnt go back to sleep unless I changed my clothing and my bedding. It was awful!
I think a lot of menopausal women can relate.
When you experience hot flashes and night sweats throughoutthe night, and then shiver when youre cold because of being drenched, it feelslike a rollercoaster.
Back and forth. Hot, cold, hot, cold, all night long. That makes for a long tiring night and can affect your mood because you are not getting a good nights sleep.
Sleep is important to everyone, especially for women in menopause, so when you dont get enough of it for whatever reason, it makes everything just a little bit harder.
If there is a solution to this problem, everyone should know about it. Thats why I decided to write this article.
As soon as I started wearing bamboo pajamas everything changed. I no longer kept waking up in the middle of the night feeling cold, wet, and sticky.
I slept right through the night.
My pajamas didnt even feel wet. That shows how well bamboo absorbs. It can make you feel dry and cozy, and thats what I love.
I would highly recommend buying a pair of bamboo pajamas. You wont regret it!
The Best Multivitamins For Menopause
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These supplements aim to treat everything from hot flashes and night sweats to mood changes and fluctuations in sex drive.
Many women will experience menopause. With this stage, however, also brings a host of symptoms, including hot flashes, insomnia, a change in sex drive, night sweats, and mood changes. To help ease these symptoms, there are a number of options that may help, including multivitamins.
But with so many varieties, the question remains: Which is the best type for you?
If youre assessing whether a multivitamin during menopause is your best option, consider speaking with your doctor first. Together, you can decide if taking a multivitamin for your symptoms is the best choice.
And if the answer is yes, check out these six recommendations.
Type: tabletsPrice range: $Looking for a soy-free formula that aims to help with mood swings? Then you might want to check out Remifemin Menopause Relief. In addition to mood swings, this supplement claims to reduce other symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, and sleeplessness. The formula also contains no hormones, propylene glycol, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
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Medications: Treating Hot Flashes And Night Sweats With Hormones
Some women may choose to take hormones to treat their hot flashes. A hormone is a chemical substance made by an organ like the thyroid gland or ovary. During the menopausal transition, the ovaries begin to work less and less well, and the production of hormones like estrogen and progesterone declines over time. It is believed that such changes cause hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
Hormone therapy steadies the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. It is a very effective treatment for hot flashes in women who are able to use it. There are risks associated with taking hormones, including increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, and dementia. The risks vary by a woman’s age and whether she has had a hysterectomy. Women are encouraged to discuss the risks with their healthcare provider.
Women who still have a uterus should take estrogen combined with progesterone or another therapy to protect the uterus. Progesterone is added to estrogen to protect the uterus against cancer, but it also seems to increase the risk of blood clots and stroke. Hormones should be used at the lowest dose that is effective for the shortest period of time possible.
Some women should not use hormones for their hot flashes. You should not take hormones for menopausal symptoms if:
Talk with your doctor to find out if taking hormones to treat your symptoms is right for you.
What Is Relaxation Breathing
Deep breathing, relaxation breathing, and paced respiration all refer to a method used to reduce stress. It involves breathing in deeply and breathing out at an even pace. Do this for several minutes while in a comfortable position. You should slowly breathe in through your nose. With a hand on your stomach right below your ribs, you should first feel your stomach push your hand out, and then your chest should fill. Slowly exhale through your mouth, first letting your lungs empty and then feeling your stomach sink back. You can do this almost anywhere and several times during the day, whenever you feel stressed. You can also try this if you feel a hot flash beginning or if you need to relax before falling asleep.
Night Sweats When You Sweat Excessively While Sleeping
Night sweats can occur in men and women and could be a result of a medical condition. For women experiencing perimenopause or menopause symptoms, they feel intense heat when a hot flash occurs.
Sometimes, to distinguish night sweats that arise in menopausal women over the fact that it is hot summer weather, doctors refer to true night sweats as hot flashes that arent related to an overly hot environment.
How Are Night Sweats Treated
Treatment depends on the cause of the night sweats. For menopause-related night sweats, hormone therapy estrogen alone or with progestin is one option. Hormone therapy can also help with other symptoms of menopause including bone loss and vaginal dryness. Estrogen replacement therapy should not be used in women with a history of breast cancer. All hormone therapies carry some risks, including blood clots and gallbladder inflammation.
Non-estrogen medications used to treat hot flashes include:
Non-drug treatments for night sweats from any cause include:
- Wearing loose-fitting, lightweight, cotton pajamas
- Using layered bedding that can be removed as needed during the night
- Turning on a bedroom fan/opening windows
- Sipping cool water throughout the night
- Keeping a cold pack under a pillow, then turning your pillow over to rest your head on a cool surface
- Avoiding common night sweat triggers such as alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, cigarettes
- De-stressing through deep breathing, relaxation, and exercise
- Undergoing hypnosis to help relax and focus on feeling cool
- Exercising daily. Walking, swimming, dancing, and bicycling are all good choices.
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Hot Flashes And Sleep
Sleeplessness due to menopause is often associated with hot flashes. Theseunpleasant sensations of extreme heat can come on during the day or atnight. Nighttime hot flashes are often paired with unexpected awakenings.
Pien says that though its common to feel like a hot flash has awakenedyou, research shows that many menopausal women actually wake just before ahot flash occurs.
There are changes in the brain that lead to the hot flash itself, andthose changes not just the feeling of heat may also be what triggersthe awakening, she says. Even women who dont report sleep disturbancesfrom hot flashes often say that they just have more trouble sleeping thanthey did before menopause.
What Causes Hot Flashes And Sweating During Menopause
Ellen Sarver Dolgen, Coronado, Calif.-based author of Shmirshky: The Pursuit of Hormone Happiness, found her life thrown upside down when perimenopause began in her late 40s. Her first hot flash happened while she was in a business meeting with all men.
âI felt a flush of heat come over me but I didnât want to pay much attention to it,â she told WebMD. But when she stood up she felt sweat dripping down the inseam of her pants. âThank goodness I carry a big purse because I think it makes my hips look smaller,â she says. She used her purse to hide the wet mark on her pants as she left the meeting. âIt was absolutely mortifying.â
Doctors think hot flashes and night sweats are a result of fluctuating or decreasing estrogen levels. When menstrual cycles finally stop, estrogen levels drop fairly dramatically, Omicioli says.
The drop may impact a part of the brain that regulates body temperature. We all have a thermal neutral zone, which means our body temperature stays stable even when the temperature around us changes slightly. Theoretically, a drop in estrogen levels may narrow the thermal neutral zone, so that small changes in outside temperature cause a rise in body heat.
There are a couple of other theories about why menopause and excessive sweating tend to go hand in hand.
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What Is A Hot Flash
It’s a sudden feeling of heat and sometimes a red, flushed face and sweating. We don’t know exactly what causes them, but they may be related to changes in circulation.
A hot flush is a hot flash plus redness in your face and neck.