Understanding Menopause Night Sweats

Menopause is a delicate subject for most women, and it can be an intrusive and stressful period in their lives. Some occurrences of sleep hyperhidrosis are so extreme that the woman wakes up throughout the night and discovers her bedding is soaked from her excessive perspiration.

There are a variety of different symptoms that may be caused by changing hormonal levels. One such symptom is menopause night sweats. At the onset of menopause, or when women begin to notice lighter or missing periods, is when most women report menopause night sweats and research following women going through “natural menopause” indicates that about 50% continue to have them for two to three years following menopause.

Menopause Night sweats are actually caused by hot flashes, which are caused by the decrease in ovarian estrogen output. When you get a hot flash during the day, you are able to control it by fanning yourself, drinking cold water, and soaking up the sweat. In order to release heat, the heart rate is increased so more blood can be circulated and the sweat glands open on the skin. This is all going on unnoticed behind your back as you sleep.

With a menopause night sweat, rapidly vacillating estrogen levels affect a chemistry reaction in a portion of our brains which regulates our temperatures called the hypothalamus. The wildly changing estrogen levels affect a brain chemical called norepinephrine which in turn confuses the hypothalamus. Think of the hypothalamus like the thermostat on your home’s heating system.

A change in lifestyle can really do wonders to help prevent some menopause night sweats from happening. Living a healthy lifestyle is the most obvious thing to do during these times to help the body cope with menopause, and modifying your diet so that the body is provided with the proper nutrients can also help alleviate the situation.

The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that controls the body temperature and it is also responsible for producing the hypothalamic hormones. When it is overly active, it signals the brain and the body, thus the woman will feel heat sensations particularly on the neck, face and on the chest.

Night sweats are one of the most common symptoms that many women deal with when their body starts to go through menopause. It can be very difficult to deal with because it can easily disrupt your sleep and make you frustrated and irritable.For anyone that is not sure that this is what you are dealing with, it is important that you understand exactly what this is. It is basically when you go to sleep at night and wake up to find your clothes or bed sheets are damp or soaking wet.

One thing we should make note of is that normally our body will maintain a relatively constant temperature throughout the night. The problem occurs when our body is not keeping a constant temperature during the day or night. People that suffer from night sweats understand the concept of varying body temperature. Therefore we will look at the cooling cycle with that in mind.

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