You wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, wrapped up in soaked sheets, and your heart pounding. Night sweats: why do they happen and what can you do to avoid them?
Many women suffer from this symptom during menopause. A night sweat is nothing more than a hot flash in the middle of the night.
Like hot flashes in the day, night sweats are caused by declining estrogen levels. Estrogen effects how the body is able to regulate its own body temperature. When estrogen levels decline, the body’s internal thermostat becomes imbalanced, causing it to incorrectly identify increases in body temperature. In an attempt to cool down, the body dilates blood vessels in order to release heat. This creates a hot flash. Sweat glands then kick in to start cooling down the body. The result: you wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat with a sense of anxiety.
Apart from it being an unpleasant experience, night sweats also impact your quality of sleep, and lack of sleep can impact your mood, your weight and more. This is why it’s important to treat this symptom.
There are a number of things that can help you fall back to sleep. Breathing techniques can lessen symptoms such as hot flashes, sweating and anxiety. Other steps, such as wearing the right clothes in bed, cooling the room, correct nutrition before sleep, and appropriate exercise at the right time, can all help cool down the body, prevent night sweats and improve your quality of sleep.