Yesterday it was hot flushes and today is the turn of night sweats. Yes, the temperature increase and profuse sweating aren’t just reserved for the daytime during the menopause, it also rears its ugly head during the night, too.
Most of us have felt the feeling of sweating during the night when the weather is hot or the room or bedding increases the heat, but night sweats are more intense. They can affect anyone of any age but they are also common during the menopause.
A night sweat often results in such severe sweating that your night clothes and bedding can be soaked, even though where you are sleeping is cool and comfortable.
Both hot flushes and night sweats are known as vasomotor symptoms. They are thought to arise because of the decline in oestrogen production during the menopause. This reduction affects the temperature regulating mechanism in a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus.
Hot flushes and night sweats can lead to a reduced quality of life and increase the likelihood of developing other symptoms. Unfortunately, vasomotor symptoms can continue long after the menopause has occurred. The average length of menopausal symptom duration is four years but some women still experience hot flushes and night sweats 20 years after their final period! Yes, we said 20 YEARS!
The problem with night sweats is they can disturb our sleep patterns, particularly as you may need to get up to dry off or get changed. A lack of sleep can lead to mood changes, another symptom the menopause transition.
#menopause #MenopauseAwarenessMonth #itsnojokingmatter
Archer, D, E et al. (2011). Menopausal Hot Flushes and Night Sweats: Where Are We Now? Climacteric: 14, pp 515-528.