For women entering the whirlwind of changes that accompany menopause, hot flashes and hormonal night sweats can be the most frustrating and inconvenient. Many women find themselves desperate to discover how to avoid triggers of hot flashes and remedies to alleviate their mighty wrath!
Although the cause of hot flashes is the natural fluctuation of estrogen levels during menopause, there are additional triggers that can be avoided to reduce their intensity:
Saunas, hot tubs, hot showers
Excess bedding and un-breathable bedding material (cotton is best)
Sleeping in close proximity to someone in bed
Lifestyle Changes that can reduce and stop Night Sweats
Since there is no magic “cure-all” pill for hormonal night sweats, treatment begins with lifestyle changes that help reduce the intensity and frequency of night sweats:
Take steps to relieve stress. Your stress level is directly correlated to your activity level, so hit the gym! We recommend working out early in the morning, to avoid additional heat exposure, and partnering up with a friend. A routine of three, 45-minute workouts a week will make a difference.
Avoid Caffeine. You might feel like coffee is the only way for you to wake up in the morning, but during menopause, the caffeine is probably doing more harm than good. If you’re a Starbucks addict, opt for the “half-caff” option, or do a 50/50 mix at home with regular and decaf coffee beans. After a week, your caffeine craving will diminish and you can switch to 100% decaf coffee. The best bet, if you’re up for it, is to switch to a morning routine of herbal teas, which are decaffeinated and good for your circulatory system.
Bedding Changes. You may love your sexy, silky bed sheets or night gown, but during menopause, the fabric can be suffocating, thus increasing the intensity of your night sweats. We recommend making the switch to 100% cotton sheets and sleepwear. Cotton is the most breathable and most absorbent material, and will offer a cooler night’s sleep.
All Natural Sleep Aids: If you want to stick to all natural remedies for your hormonal night sweats, try adding Melatonin to your supplement regiment. Melatonin is a naturally-occurring compound found in the human body that regulates hormones and our circadian rhythm, or “24 hour” daily cycle. Our melatonin levels are highest prior to us falling asleep and lowest during the most active part of our day. By taking 3mg, 30-45 minutes before bedtime, you are essentially luring your body to fall asleep, and developing a healthy sleep routine. A routine sleep pattern will improve your sleep quality overall, and reduce the likelihood that you will wake up with hormonal night sweats.
Although there is nothing women can do to completely avoid menopause, (we would be too lucky!), the above tips and lifestyle changes can help reduce the severity and frequency of hormonal night sweats and hot flashes. Switching back to cotton sheets and cutting back on caffeine are small prices to pay for a full night of uninterrupted sleep.