Hot flashes and night sweats are some of the most common — and intense — symptoms of menopause. More than two-thirds of women get them during perimenopause and menopause.
If you’ve ever had a hot flash, you know what it feels like. Your face, neck, and chest suddenly flush. You feel overheated and sweaty, and your heart might start racing.
And if you get hot flashes during the day, chances are good that you get night sweats too. Night sweats are hot flashes that happen while you’re trying to sleep. They can be so severe that they wake you up and keep you from getting restful sleep.
Hormonal changes are often to blame for hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. You can’t change the process your body goes through during menopause, but there’s a lot you can do to manage your symptoms.
Daniel McDonald, MD, Marc Wilson, MD, and our team at OB/GYN Specialists in Denton, Texas, provide comprehensive menopause care and hormonal optimization for women. If night sweats are keeping you awake, it’s time to find treatment options that work.
One of the simplest ways to reduce the severity of night sweats is to create a cooler sleeping space. Sleeping in a warm bedroom won’t cause nighttime hot flashes on its own, but warmer temperatures can make them worse if you’re already dealing with hot flashes.
Consider turning down your thermostat before going to bed. Place a fan near your bed to help you cool down. You can turn it on before falling asleep or turn it on if you wake up overheated in the night.
A cooler bedroom can help prevent night sweats, but don’t overlook the fabric of your pajamas and your sheets. Choose loose-fitting, lightweight sleeping clothes. If you wake up too hot or too cold at night, wearing layers can make it easier to adjust your temperature as needed.
Use lightweight sheets made with breathable fabric like cotton or bamboo. Top your bed with one or two lightweight blankets instead of one heavy comforter to help keep too much heat from building up while you sleep.
Exercising makes you sweaty, so you might think that exercise only makes hot flashes worse. But the truth is that regular exercise can actually help reduce the severity of hot flashes and night sweats.
Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days. It helps you maintain a healthy weight, and it can reduce stress levels too, especially if you’re experiencing insomnia or anxiety around hot flashes.
Some foods and beverages increase body temperature, and they could be making your hot flashes and night sweats worse. Avoid or limit caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods to see if you notice an improvement in hot flashes.
Don’t eat hot foods or drink hot beverages in the evening. Instead, consider drinking a small glass of cold water to lower your body temperature before heading to bed.
Lifestyle changes can reduce the intensity of your hot flashes and night sweats, but if you find that your symptoms are still interfering with your quality of life, hormonal optimization could be an option for you.
Dr. McDonald and Dr. Wilson specialize in hormone optimization with bioidentical hormone pellet therapy. Hormone therapy works to balance your hormone levels and reduce menopausal symptoms, and your therapy plan is customized for your needs.
Don’t let hot flashes keep you up at night. Find out more about managing hot flashes with a consultation at OB/GYN Specialists. Call our office at 940-202-0566 or send us a message online.