Hot flushes keeping you awake? Here’s how to sleep better during the menopause
Night sweats are one of the most common menopause sleep problems with three out of four menopausal women suffering the effects of night sweats. You go to sleep fresh and comfortable only to wake in the middle of the night feeling cold and clammy, with bedding and nightwear drenched in sweat. It’s not only uncomfortable; but also a major disruption to your sleep.
What causes night sweats in menopause?
What causes hot flashes in women? During the menopause, oestrogen levels fluctuate. This can confuse the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates body temperature, which can lead it to believe that your body is overheating. The hypothalamus reacts quickly, albeit incorrectly, and gets to work cooling the body down. This includes dilating blood vessels to release heat and prompting sweat glands to perspire.
The body can experience this at any time of the day or night. During the day, dealing with hot flushes is easier to manage. But at night, the end result is that you wake up cold, sweaty and with a racing heart. Menopause and sleep – for many women the two don’t seem to go together.
However, there are some steps you can take both before and during your night’s sleep, to help alleviate the effects of menopausal night sweats.
What triggers hot flashes at night?
Did you have a cup of tea or a glass of wine before bed? Many people do. However, caffeine and alcohol have been found to worsen the symptoms of hot flushes and sweating at night. Smoking tobacco is another major trigger, and there is also a link between eating spicy foods and menopausal night sweats. Not sure which of these hot flash triggers affect you? Start keeping a diary to see if any patterns appear.
What can help hot flashes from menopause?
Yoga, or any other exercise that increases cardio-respiratory fitness, has been shown to help reduce menopausal symptoms, so try and factor this into your daily routine. It will not only help reduce your night sweats but will also be great for your overall health.
What’s more, losing weight can also be a benefit in overcoming night sweats in women, as overweight women are proven to suffer more hot flashes than slimmer women.
What helps with hot flashes in bed?
Relax. This may seem impossible when you find yourself sweaty and wide awake in the early hours of the morning, but some studies have shown that rhythmic deep breathing can help you get back to sleep. What’s more, relaxation breathing during the day has also been proven to help reduce your number of night sweat episodes.
Keep an atomiser at your bedside and spray your face with cool water when you start to overheat. It’s best to keep a glass of water handy too.
How to stay cool at night during menopause
One of the best ways to alleviate menopause night sweats is to make sure you have a comfortable sleep environment. Wear loose pyjamas or nighties in light cotton or silk. Natural fibres will help your body breathe, keeping you cooler in bed.
Layers are another great way of helping to regulate body temperature. Opt for a lighter duvet and then layer your bedding with wool blankets that you can discard easily when you start to overheat.
Wool bedding, including a wool mattress, wool mattress protector or topper, wool pillows and wool duvets, is a great way to keep your body at the right temperature. A natural fibre, wool is great at keeping you cool and wicking away moisture as you sleep. Investing in cool bedding for menopause symptoms will help you stay comfortable throughout the night and get some rest.
Discover more about the cooling qualities of wool and how it can help with your menopause sleep problems. Read Menopause and Night Sweats for more information on why this natural fibre can help provide relief from sweating at night.
by Linda Armstrong
18 Jun 2016
Can you please give me the measurements of the mattress protector. I have a California king also the side of the mattress is about 12-13 inches
Apologies for the delay in response to your question. A California King Size is not something we create as standard. We can certainly make one for you bespoke though, and would charge the same price as an Emperor. If you want to go ahead with one, please give us a call on 01780 461 217 and we'll get this processed for you.