If you’re suffering from menopause night sweats, I encourage you to take a proactive approach to finding help for these night sweats. I know menopause night sweats can be frustrating, but feel comforted that you’re not alone. Because menopausal night sweats are so common, a small cottage industry has grown to help you get a good night’s rest, from elaborate bed fans to popular herbal remedies for night sweats like black cohosh.
With this site, I will provide you a number of tips and resources to help you address these menopause night sweats and menopause night flushes in ways we didn’t have even five years ago. We’re getting better and better at conquering the phenomenon clinically referred to as sleep hyperhidrosis.
Use this Table of Contents to navigate this guide:
- What Are Menopause Night Sweats?
- What Causes Menopause Night Sweats?
- Menopause Symptoms Related to Night Sweats
- Natural Remedies for Menopausal Night Sweats
Menopause night sweats are exactly what they sound like: excessive sweating in the night as a result of menopause hot flashes that occur when you’re asleep. They are the most well-known cause of night sweats in women. While I know some women who celebrate the natural passing of their menstrual cycle, I also know we all must face the consequences of these changes in our bodies, and quite often, they’re just not any fun.
I urge you to stay calm and be at peace with the changes. Are these night sweats menopause causes common? Yes, they are very common. As our ovaries begin the natural process of bidding adieu to our lives, our endocrine system and thus our hormonal balance will experience dramatic shifts. Menopausal night sweats are natural and can even be seen as healthy because your body is cleansing itself of excessive toxins (every time you perspire you emit some toxins, hence the sometimes unpleasant odor).
However, when you decide to address causes of excessive sweating, I suggest seeing a medical professional for advice. While your sweating while sleeping is most likely nothing to be too concerned about, it is still a good idea to have your doctor evaluate you to be certain nothing more serious is occurring within your body. Sometimes simply changing your medication regiment can provide you significant relief, and other times an underlying condition may need to be addressed.
A doctor can help you determine whether your menopause symptoms are to blame or whether your causes of night sweats is due to another condition, such as diabetes, tuberculosis or an autoimmune disease. For support and more on the menopause phenomenon, please visit the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
The most broadly accepted theory on menopause night sweating is that hot flashes are caused by a deficiency in estrogen circulating your system because of declining ovarian function. We also know that cycling estrogen levels are part of the picture as many women enjoy relief from night sweats while taking estrogen.
So it isn’t surprising that research suggests consuming soy might provide some relief for hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. I recommend, however, that you get your soy from food rather than from supplements. Foods that contain soy include tempeh, tofu, soy milk, miso, whole soybeans, soy powder (often as protein powders for soy shakes), and texturized vegetable protein. Consider yourself a little lucky; night sweats in men deriving from a kind of andropause (or male menopause night sweats) don’t have such common and tasty resources for treatment.
If you would like to be more aggressive with your menopausal night sweats, you might discuss HRT — hormone replacement therapy — with your doctor to reduce the symptoms of low estrogen that occur during menopause. Your doctor may also have some other medication suggestions depending the severity of your menopause night sweating, but I always prefer to take a minimal and natural approach before bringing in the big guns.
Remember to always seek the guidance of a medical doctor. You should always rely on your primary care physician more than any website, even if it is from an organization as authoritative as the Mayo Clinic. Only your doctor knows your personal medical history and individual circumstance. Please don’t diagnose and treat yourself based solely on what you read on a website.
Whether because of age or because of surgery, menopause occurs when a woman’s ovaries slowly stop producing progesterone and estradiol. The menopausal night sweats that occur during this natural process of the endocrine system are one of many common and natural menopause symptoms. The following represents the three primary classifications of a woman’s menopause transition. These classifications are derived from period bleeding patterns and pituitary follicle stimulating hormone levels (FHS levels).
Menopause night sweating that occurs during the premenopause phase tends to be the most erratic and for women entering this phase, often the most worrisome. This is mostly because many women simply don’t fully realize and appreciate the new phase of hormonal changes their body has begun to undertake.
The term premenopause simply represents the months or years prior to a woman’s final period. Hormone withdrawal begins to happen during this time, confusing the brain’s hypothalamus and triggering the menopause causes of night sweats. Premenopause or pre menopause night sweats are the most early night sweats menopause causes and they are often the most unpredictable and frustrating, along with the discomfort the unpredictable hot flashes causes.
Because of the roller coaster of hormonal changes, women sometimes even experience a kind of menopause nightmares during this period.
Perimenopause is simply the inclusive term utilized to signify the entire menopause transition, from premenopause through to the end of postmenopause. Note that the term perimenopause night sweats isn’t a very specific or meaningful label as it just refers to the more general phenomenon of menopause night sweats, hot flashes and flushing, which vary more by the phases premenopause, menopause and postmenopause and by each individual woman experiencing them.
Technically speaking, perimenopause includes the years and months prior to a woman’s last period and the years following this last menstruation. Doctors attempt to provide boundaries to this phase using the start of more erratic period patterns and increasing FSH levels. However, it is worth nothing that menopause night sweats as well as other menopause symptoms can occur both before and during the boundaries these variables define.
While a woman endures perimenopause, the estrogen and progesterone produced by her ovaries begins to vacillate in a more and more extreme and erratic manner. This contributes directly to the wildly varying degree of sweating and hot flushes experienced by women.
Symptoms of perimenopause may occur as soon as a woman’s early forties or may not begin to occur until her late forties or early fifties. The severity and nature of her symptoms are virtually impossible to determine before she begins to endure this transition in life.
It is critical that women watch their diet and health during this phase, as conditions such as osteoporosis can develop more distinctly as your body passes through this delicate transition.
Postmenopause is a retroactively applied term. One cannot be certain she is experiencing postmenopause until she is 12 months beyond any sign of her period (even minor spotting). Women who have had their uterus removed will have their postmenopause determined by a distinctly high level of FSH. Technically, the phrase postmenopause night sweats (or post menopause night sweats) refers to any hormonally-triggered night sweats after menopause.
While there are a wide range of signs, symptoms and effects of a woman’s menopausal transition (including mood swings, hypoglycemia and irritability), the symptoms that are related to the night sweats menopause phenomenon are the following
- Heart palpitations or rapid heartbeat
- Headaches and Migraines
- Increased atherosclerosis risk
- Flushing, hot flashes, and of course, night sweats.
These are all related to hormonal fluctuations and vascular instability, which is what you are suffering from in most cases when you experience night sweats during menopause.
For a natural approach to menopause night sweats, some studies indicate that herbs such as Rhodiola Rosea and Black Cohosh can help, while a supplement regiment including vitamin E, a niacin-free vitamin B complex and magnesium can also make a great difference. My sister attained excellent results from taking melatonin and valerian. I suggest avoiding all-encompassing multivitamins before bed. Some may actually make you feel restless in the night. So stick to specific, individual supplements and always discuss your regiment with your doctor and/or your pharmacist before combining too many different herbs and vitamins. For some additional natural ways to seek relief, read my guide: Natural Remedies For Night Sweats In Women.
Menopause night sweats remedies can and should be simple, but I encourage you to consult with your physician before integrating any new supplements into your health care routine.
In some cases, a little chamomile tea can help. However, some people may feel anxious drinking a hot tea before they try to fend off night sweats in their sleep. So try brewing your tea a few hours in advanced and serving it over ice. Other natural ways to address your hot flashes at night include wicking pajamas and wicking sheets. For more discussion on this matter, including specific suggested products, I encourage you to explore my night sweats sleepwear article and my guide to cooling mattress pads.
Sometimes the most simple ideas can help as well: keep a cool glass of water within reach, and if you feel yourself beginning to heat up, hold the cool glass against the inside of your wrist. This cools your blood where it passes tightly together as it circulates and can provide a system-wide sense of cool surprisingly quickly. I also suggest keeping a low powered fan nearby and using light, 100 percent cotton bed sheets. For more on proper bed linen for menopause night sweats, read my new article: Night Sweats Bedding.
Read more about remedies for night sweats in this new article: menopause night sweats treatment. Please note that while you can find a degree of menopause night sweats relief, there is no magical cure for menopause night sweats.
Read more about broader night sweats treatment to learn about clever devices such as the chillow (a cooling pillow), a bed fan designed to provide steady and subtle cooling to your bed and wicking pajamas that serve as great menopause nightgowns or menopause nightwear. My sweating while sleeping article also addresses subtle variables that can make a more than subtle difference, such as your bedding material and environmental conditions that affect your body temperature when you’re sweating at night.
When suffering from menopause night sweats sleep can be difficult, and when you don’t get a good night’s rest, more and more parts of your life may suffer.
Learning to handle the inevitable aftermath of the night sweats menopause causes is for another essay. Please return soon when I will add more to my site about help for night sweats, including some additional specific products and routines to help you address this uncomfortable symptom.