Hot flashes during menopause are common. Almost 75% of menopausal women will experience varying intensity and frequency of hot flashes during their perimenopause and menopause periods.
It is caused by depleting and fluctuating estrogen levels during that period.
The brain gets confusing signals as a result the mechanism which regulates the body temperature is unable to act normally. All menopausal women do not get hot flashes. It is not very clear why some women get it and others don’t. Researchers have found some of the risk factors that may increase the possibility of hot flashes.
These include smoking, obesity, inactivity, and ethnicity. Asian and African origin women have been found more prone to hot flashes during perimenopause and menopause than western origin women.
Menopause Hot flashes can lead to many sequential complications starting with sleeping disturbances called menopause night sweats (hot flashes during the night). The disturbed sleep in turn can lead to anxiety, depression, and memory problems in women.
- Wear proper dresses that can ventilate air easily. That means no synthetic or woolens. Wear cotton and open-neck clothing.
- Turn on the Air conditioner in the room or car wherever you are.
- Take a cool shower before going to bed.
- Be active and do some exercise. Don’t remain in a sedentary lifestyle.
- Do relaxation exercises such as breathing, meditation, and yoga to reduce stress.
- Change your diet. Add more soy products (as explained earlier)
Other Precautions for Hot Flashes during Menopause
- Regular 40 minutes of daily exercise helps a lot in menopause hot flashes. Simple brisk walking, cycling, or swimming can produce great results.
- Follow the normal rule of exercising at least 3 hours before going to bed otherwise, it will disturb sleep.
- Monitor your food habits and eliminate the triggers that induce hot flashes. Wear cotton clothes that allow the skin to breathe. Alcohol, caffeine, and spices tend to increase incidences of hot flashes in some women.
- Use a fan. It can help reduce the impact of hot flashes by evaporating the sweat.
How to Deal With Menopause Night Sweats?
Night sweats are a common occurrence for menopausal women. This happens due to fluctuating and depleting estrogen levels during menopause. The functioning of a part of the brain that is responsible for regulating the temperature of the body gets disturbed due to estrogen fluctuation. This malfunctioning causes both hot flashes and night sweats. The part of the brain that regulates the body temperature is called the hypothalamus.
In its normal functioning when it senses that the body needs to be cooled down, it dilates the blood vessels to give the heat off. It acts like a thermostat. During menopause when estrogen levels fluctuate, the hypothalamus sometimes gets confused and gets triggered to cool the body down through the body doesn't; need to be cooled down. The blood vessels get dilated and the body sweats.
It is annoying to feel drenched by sweat at midnight and suddenly wake up. It may happen many times during the night to completely ruin the night's sleep. The best way to deal with night sweats during menopause is to maintain your bedroom temperature lower than the rest of the house irrespective of the season (even during winter).
Also, keep a fan handy and running during the night so that the air blown by the fan dries the sweat and you don’t wake up due to discomforting wet bed sheets. Another method that works in many cases is doing breathing exercises for 10-15 minutes before sleeping. This somehow reduces incidences of night sweat due to hot flashes in many women.
Deep breathing and other relaxation techniques should be tried as there are no negative side effects. Keep yourself happy and stress-free during the day. Stress before going to bed can trigger hot flashes and night sweats. Every woman is different and one or the other techniques mentioned above will work best for you. Try them out all. Menopause is a natural process of getting old.
In most cases, no medication is required to deal with it. So don’t take short-term pain killers and hormonal medication without proper discussion with the gynecologist on its side effects. Learn more about causes, symptoms, and home remedies for menopause in the other related articles: