Behavioral, Emotional and Environmental Triggers of Menopausal Night SweatsNight sweats are an unfortunately common and prevalent symptom of menopause and hormonal transition, affecting nearly three out of four of every woman of menopausal age. They are therefore a very common complaint among middle-aged women, disrupting sleep and inducing insomnia and fatigue during the day.
Considering the odds and the ensuing likelihood of developing this condition to some degree during menopause, it is definitely in your best interest to become acquainted with night sweats and the mechanics of this symptom. This knowledge will allow you to better fend off the effects of night sweats, giving you greater control over your life and a more tolerable hormonal transition.
What causes night sweats, chills and intense sensations of heat during menopause?Although the precise culprit of these symptoms of menopause is relatively unknown by the scientific community, it is generally accepted that the fluctuating hormonal levels and lack of estrogen that develops within the female body during menopause are to blame. More specifically, night sweats are the result of an overproduction of heat by the hypothalamus, the regulatory section of the brain that controls body temperature.
Fluctuating levels of estrogen and other hormones cause a miscommunication to develop between the body and the hypothalamus, in which the hypothalamus detects a nonexistent excessive amount of body heat, which it attempts to alleviate by releasing certain chemicals. These chemicals command a dilation of the blood vessels within the skin and demand the sweat glands to commence production. It results in a spontaneous and intense spike in body temperature and profuse perspiration, thus night sweats during menopause.
What triggers the onset of menopausal night sweats?There are many factors that influence the development of night sweats during menopause, and the avoidance of these triggers is very important when attempting to alleviate this condition. Environmental, emotional and behavioral factors all exercise much influence over the frequency and intensity of night sweats during menopause.
1. Environmental triggers:• An excessive amount of bedding, especially when made of synthetic materials
• Being too close to your bed partner, as they are a significant source of heat
• Excessively warm or hot rooms or sleeping environments
• Warm weather or prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays
• Hot showers, hot baths and saunas
2. Emotional triggers:• Stressful situations, whether at work or at home
• Excessive amounts of anxiety
• Disturbing dreams or nightmares, which can cause worry and anxiety upon awakening
3. Behavioral triggers:• Spicy foods
• Physically hot foods
• Excessively alcoholic or caffeinated beverages
• Taking diet pills
• Smoking tobacco drugs
• Using drugs, whether pharmaceutical or illegal
Night sweats can be an especially distressing symptom of menopause, but they fortunately can be alleviated through simple modifications to your lifestyle and daily routine. Eating healthily and exercising regularly are usually the most effective ways to promote hormonal stability and reduce a whole host of menopausal symptoms and side effects, including night sweats. Most women find that herbal supplements are also a great way to promote balanced hormone levels and alleviate or prevent menopausal night sweats.