Once you start hitting menopause, it becomes clearer that your body is once again undergoing a tremendous amount of physical changes. This in turn can affect your physical, mental and emotional well-being. One of the most uncomfortable changes brought about by menopause are hot flashes and night sweats.
If you’ve woken up in the middle of the night only to find yourself in a pool of your own sweat, then you’ve just had night sweats. Your hair, body and your sheets may be soaked with sweat even though your spouse may find the room cool and otherwise comfortable. This may happen night after night, causing you so much discomfort, that it disrupts yours sleep cycle. If this happens, it can cause irritability due to lack of sleep.
Night sweats are normal and a part of the aging process. It eventually goes away, but in the meantime, there are some things that you can do to cope with the discomfort.
The first thing you should consider is your bedroom. Create a bedroom that is a sanctuary for you to sleep. Your sheets should be comfortable, so purchase bed sheets in the highest thread count possible. Look for either Egyptian cotton sheets or cotton sateen sheets. Avoid poly blend sheets, or sheets made of polyester. While these can be easier to iron, it won’t necessarily be the most comfortable.
The temperature in your room should be cool. Turn on the fan or air conditioner if necessary. If you want to cut back on energy costs, use a window type air conditioner instead of centralized air, especially if everyone else in the house feels just fine. Sleep with an open window to let the breeze in the room.
To help feel comfortable, you have the option of using natural fabrics, or going with menopause pajamas. The fabric of these pajamas is made from a synthetic fiber called polypropylene, and is created to help wick the sweat off your body, so that you don’t wake up in a wet mess.
Avoid eating food items that can cause or aggravate night sweats. Top on the list are spicy food items. Lay off the chili, hot sauce, peppers and other spicy things. The same goes for eating sour and citrus food items, such as oranges or other food items.
Also, hydrate yourself with a lot of water throughout the day to help regulate your body’s temperature. Drink at least eight to ten glasses of water. Avoid drinking beverages with high sugar content, especially diet sodas and other carbonated drinks. The sugar in your diet may also cause you to break out into night sweats.
Exercise is also something else that you can do to help keep night sweats at bay. This will allow you to expend energy and heat during the daytime, so that you can sleep more comfortably at night. Avoid exercising so late at night or too late in the afternoon. Your heart rate may not go back down quickly enough and make it difficult for you to sleep.
Take a bath using cool water before you go to sleep. Using a sauna, steam room or soaking in a hot tub may make you sweat more.
Follow these easy steps to help find comfort with your night sweats. Talk to your doctor when you start to exhibit night sweats. While it is often a part of menopause, night sweats can also be indicative of an underlying medical problem, such as diabetes, so make sure there are no other health concerns that need to be addressed. If you do these, you may find comfort and be able to sleep through the night without breaking a sweat.
By Margaret Keely for Not Just The Kitchen