One of the most common side effects of menopause is also the most uncomfortable: night sweats or hot flashes. How can you cope? Here are a few suggestions.
Cool down your room
If your body is experiencing a sudden rise in temperature, the best and fastest way to respond to it is to cool down your surroundings. Turn on the air conditioner, open a window to let fresh air inside, or sleep with a fan facing your bedside. You can also be proactive and set your bedroom’s temperature to a lower degree than the rest of your home.
Don’t go to bed wearing thermal long johns, and avoid all materials that trap heat near the body, like wool, fleece and thick cotton. Wear light layers instead, or consider sleeping naked. You may also want to remove the layers of sheets you have on your bed. Use a blanket instead of a duvet or comforter.
Watch what you drink
If you’re looking to regulate your internal body temperature, it’s best to avoid drinking super-hot beverages. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine too, as both — but especially alcohol if over-consumed — naturally raise the body’s temperature and can trigger night sweats. The best thing you can do is drink room-temperature or cold beverages.
This may seem counterintuitive because exercise encourages sweating, but the more regularly you work out, the better your body will be able to handle hormonal fluctuations and shifts. A regular regimen of physical activity will also help improve mood, decrease other side effects linked to menopause and can improve sleep. Just be sure to rehydrate after you exercise; the body’s temperature cannot be regulated if you’re dehydrated.
Take a multivitamin
Many important nutrients, like vitamin B and magnesium, both of which are important in keeping the body healthy during this time, can get depleted from a menopausal woman’s system through profuse sweating. Take a multivitamin approved by your doctor to ensure you’re giving your body the essentials it needs.
Experiencing a hot flash can be stressful, and getting worked up because you’re sweating won’t help. To cope with the sudden onset of night sweats, learn to breathe through the stressful situation by practicing yoga and meditation. This will help you improve your breathing and also help keep you relaxed.