Menopause can be an uncomfortable transition in a woman's life, often accompanied by such symptoms as hot flashes and night sweats. If you're at this stage in your life, you don't have to suffer through hot flashes night after night.
At his private practice in Plano, Texas, board-certified OB/GYN Dr. John Paul Roberts offers ways to help you with the menopausal symptoms that are disrupting your life. To that end, we put together these tips to reduce or eliminate menopause symptoms, specifically night sweats.
What causes night sweats?
“Night sweats” is a term that describes the highly uncomfortable perspiration that drenches your clothing and bed during the night. Unlike normal sweating, night sweats often affect women and are sometimes a symptom of menopause.
Typically, your body produces sweat to cool your body down. But night sweats are the result of a hormonal response that causes excessive sweating that may or may not follow a hot flash.
The main reason for night sweats is a significant change in estrogen and progesterone production during menopause.
When night sweats strike, they affect how you sleep and occur several times throughout the night. They cause severe sleep disturbances, which may affect your quality of life if they're powerful enough.
Tips to lower your risk of night sweats
If you're at risk for night sweats as you reach menopause, there are some factors you can change to reduce your risk. A few of the tips Dr. Roberts suggests to avoid night sweats include:
Keep your room cool
During menopause, keep your room temperature cool overnight. Turn up the air conditioner or open the windows to maintain a constant stream of cold air in your room.
Put an ice pack under the pillow
An ice pack under your pillow can help to cool you during the night. If you feel a hot flash coming on, turn the pillow over and place your head and neck on the cold surface.
Keep cold water by your bed
A tall glass of ice water helps you stay cool when you feel a hot flash or night sweats coming on. Keep the water on your bedside table within easy reach.
Run a fan at night
If your partner's body heat triggers your night sweats, position a fan by your bed to blow cool air on you. The fan and a cool room temperature help you stay cool and avoid drenching sweats.
Wear lightweight pajamas
Even if you're a little chilly before bed, dress in lightweight pajamas to avoid sweating. Wear less clothing than you think you need overnight to prevent soaking through during night sweats.
Use cooling sheets or mattress pads
Technology has provided mattress pads and sheets that contain cooling gels or fibers. If you're dealing with recurrent night sweats, invest in a cooling mattress pad or sheet set.
If you're prone to night sweats, actively avoid triggers that cause sweating. Common triggers for night sweats include spicy foods, alcohol, smoking, and caffeine.
When to seek treatment
Night sweats and hot flashes are typically a part of going through menopause or perimenopause. If you're at that stage in your life, simply making a few changes reduces your risk for these uncomfortable symptoms.
But if you've tried several changes without success, seek help from Dr. Roberts and our team. Night sweats severely affect your sleep and lead to daytime drowsiness if not appropriately treated.
You should also seek treatment when other symptoms accompany your night sweats. If your symptoms are disrupting your life and affecting your sleep quality, seek treatment as soon as possible.
Call us today at our Plano, Texas, office to schedule an appointment for your menopause symptoms or book a consultation through this website.