You're Not Dreaming - Chronic Night Sweats Are Making Your Insomnia Worse

by Catherine Rust on November 15, 2021

If you think that your night sweats are compounding your insomnia, you’re right. A study in California a few years ago discovered that menopausal women with night sweats suffered higher rates of insomnia than menopausal women without night sweats.

What are Chronic Night Sweats?

Chronic night sweats are defined as night sweats occurring three times per week or more often, and are rated as mild, moderate and severe. The result is that you wake up cold and clammy in damp sleepwear, and often, you are so wide awake that it contributes to another common menopausal symptom, insomnia.

Menopausal women are prone to insomnia due to age, time of life (care for aging parents, work demands, etc.) and a decrease in estrogen. Those of us with menopause-induced night sweats are even more likely to suffer chronic insomnia as night sweats make insomnia worse.

The benefits of sleep

Dr. Matthew Walker notes in Why We Sleep, that sleep is the foundation upon which the other two pillars rest (diet and exercise) Watch this video for an interesting explanation on the importance of sleep for your overall well-being.

In a nutshell, sleep:

  • Is the best blood-pressure medication;
  • Is the best weight-loss medication;
  • improves concentration and cognitive function;
  • is the best mood enhancer.

So, if you can improve your sleep, you can live a healthier, more productive, and happier life.

 

How can I get a good night’s sleep with night sweats?

If you can improve your sleep, you can improve your ability to manage other menopausal symptoms. Since night sweats can contribute to insomnia, reducing your night sweats will reduce insomnia and improve your overall sleep quality.

Here are some quick tips to help reduce your night sweats:

  • Sleep in a cool environment
  • Sleep in breathable, moisture and heating managing bedding and sleepwear
  • Avoid spicy food, alcohol, and hot beverages in the evening
  • Exercise is great, but don’t exercise right before bed

When to seek help

If you have undertaken these physical changes and have not seen any reduction in night sweats, you may need to seek professional help.

A healthcare practitioner can provide information on:

  • hormone replacement therapy and whether it’s right for you,
  • proper supplements,
  • acupuncture and osteopathy, and,
  • cognitive behavioural therapy – methods to help with anxiety.

For more in-depth discussion, see our article on tips for sleeping better with night sweats for more information.

Thanks for reading!

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