Two of the most common complaints among women who are in menopausal stage are night sweats and hot flashes. Due to hormonal imbalance and a drop in estrogen level, women may experience extreme fluctuation of body temperature that can be very uncomfortable.
Causes of Night Sweats
According to statistics, 75% of women experience night sweats. Night sweats, known medically as sleep hyperhidrosis, is a condition of severe sweating and hot flashes during night time. Sometimes we sweat when the bedroom is unusually hot, but menopausal women experience extreme heat that emanates from the body to the extent of drenching the bed sheets and sleepwear.
The cause of night sweats is largely hormonal. It usually occurs out of the hypothalamus’ confusion in regulating the body temperature. Since levels of estrogen drop during the menopause, the hypothalamus will attempt to correct fluctuations of temperature by dilating the blood vessels and triggering the body’s sweat glands. This process results to a person waking up feeling extreme warmth but chilly, drenched in sweat and sometimes accompanied by anxiety and palpitations.
Causes of Hot Flashes
Hot flashes and night sweats are closely related. Like night sweats, hot flashes are also caused by hormonal imbalance in the body. Hot flashes occur also occur as a result of hypothalamus’ attempt of regulating the body temperature and in eliminating extra body heat. It results to the sudden rush of heat, sometimes accompanied by blushing, palpitations and perspiration.
Although night sweats and hot flashes are believed to be the first and most common telltale signs of menopause, they could also signal that something bigger is causing them. For instance, some women may experience five-folds worse of normal hot flashes if they have extreme cases of anxiety. Other factors that may contribute to night sweats and hot flashes are caffeine, spicy foods, sugar and alcohol. Lastly, aside from menopause issue, women who have hormonal imbalance may also experience other symptoms such as headaches, depression, and insomnia.
How to Deal with Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
Although night sweats and hot flashes can be uncomfortable, they can still be managed. First is to determine what triggers them. Trigger factors differ from woman-to-woman, but they often include drinking alcohol and eating spicy foods. Second, wear comfortable clothes while you sleep. Opt for lightweight clothes such as cotton to feel more comfortable. This is also advisable for hot flash attacks that occur throughout the day. You may also practice breathing exercises that allow you to calm down, collect yourself and help you manage hot flashes with poise.
There are also natural menopause supplements available today that help women deal with these symptoms easily. These supplements often contain a combination of herbs that have been used help women balance their hormones without the risks associated with hormone replacement therapy.