The impending hot flash alone is not all that women face with the onset of menopause . Menopause night sweats are well-known to women to make for many sleepless nights. To combat this inevitable hormonal phenomenon, you need to understand it well first.
We awake in the night dank and damp with our hearts racing and our pajamas and bedsheets drenched in perspiration. This isn’t just a matter of sleeping in an overheated environment or wearing pajamas too thick for the temperature; it is a matter of an irrationally abrupt and severe change in body temperature causing you to perspire profusely.
What Causes Menopause Night Sweats?
Night sweats and hot flashes are basically the same thing, we just happen to experience a rush of those hot flashes while are body goes through the temperature modulation which naturally occurs while human sleep.
With a menopause night sweat, rapidly vacillating estrogen levels affect a chemistry reaction in a portion of our brains which regulates our temperatures called the hypothalamus. The wildly changing estrogen levels affect a brain chemical called norepinephrine which in turn confuses the hypothalamus.
Think of the hypothalamus like the thermostat on your home’s heating system. If your thermostat is getting incorrect readings of the current temperature, it may inappropriately trigger the heating mechanism and overheat your home.
When the estrogen and norepinephrine team to confuse the hypothalamus, it triggers a set of changes to cool you when you don’t need to cool. These changes include dilating blood vessels (which you perceive as heat) and catalyzing your sweat glands (something you experience as the night sweat).
Treating this sleep hyperhidrosis can be frustrating as the first treatment often doesn’t work. Thus you end up spending days or even weeks experimenting with different ways to achieve greater comfort from your menopause night sweats.
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