Night Sweats and Menopause

CC BY-NC-ND by jamelah

Do you ever wake up with an intense feeling of being overheated, with sweat pouring out of your pores, and only dreams of something as unsexy as grocery shopping fresh in your mind? Night sweats is what they are called, and they are a very common symptom that menopause is making its presence felt in your body. Irritability, anxiety, frustration due to having your sleep disrupted, and waking up all sweaty.

Night sweats are a result of your body’s chemistry changing, producing the kind of bodily response that occurs when you truly are overheated and your body signals sweat glands to begin the cooling process. The same situation may occur during waking hours, and is often termed a hot flash. Fluctuating estrogen levels are the culprit in both events. The fluctuations create a complex set of reactions in the brain’s hypothalamus, the blood vessels, which dilate suddenly, and the sweat glands. Your body is tricked into thinking it really is hot, and night sweats are the result. When the body adjusts the situation you suddenly feel cold, even clammy. This is, to say the least, a very uncomfortable experience.

Many women resort to hormone replacement therapy for relief from night sweats and other menopausal symptoms. While it works for some, the side effects are beginning to cause many women to seek alternatives. Many are finding good relief from a variety of natural remedies such as black cohosh, soy products, and other herbals. Consistent exercise also produces good bodily chemicals that create better body chemistry, reducing the severity of night sweats. These hopeful results are giving menopausal women good options, so they no longer have to be faced with the difficult decision between finding relief in hormone replacement therapy and putting themselves at risk from the dangers of such therapy.

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