In order to understand perimenopause night sweats, it’s necessary to break down the three words into two parts; first “perimenopause” and second “night sweats.” Once it is clear what the two refer to on their own, their combination begins to make much more sense – and then we can effectively go about dealing with the problem!
What is Perimenopause?
Once a girl’s menstrual cycle begins, she is considered to be in the premenopausal stage. When the menstrual cycle seizes to work as it once did, and a woman has not had a period for a whole year, the woman is then considered to be menopausal. The perimenopausal stage occurs between the premenopausal and menopausal stages, depending on the age that a woman reaches menopause (usually when she is in her 40s or 50s). How long this stage lasts varies from person to person, but generally tends to last between 1-10 years.
What are Night Sweats and How are They Connected to the Perimenopausal Stage?
Night sweats occur when the body experiences intense heat that is difficult to regulate and therefore results in heart palpitations, excessive perspiration, and hot flushes on the neck, face and chest areas. This occurs in the night and results in disrupted sleep patterns (which in turn cause a whole range of other problems).
During the perimenopausal stage, the hormone levels in a woman’s body fluctuate wildly, and this often results in the body not being able to adapt and adjust to such frequently changing progesterone and estrogen levels. Hormonal imbalances can affect how our hypothalamus (the part of the brain that is responsible for regulating our body temperature) functions, misleading it into believing that it is hotter than it actually is. Estrogen levels, in particular, have a big impact on the body’s internal temperature, so when its levels fluctuate, the body is often unable to effectively regulate heat, resulting in perimenopausal night sweats!
How Common are Perimenopause Night Sweats?
It has been estimated that roughly 75% of perimenopausal women suffer from night sweats. Because these are usually not that different from menopausal night sweats, the figures could be even larger. If you are suffering from perimenopause night sweats, do not feel alarmed, or alone in your problem – statistically, most women go through it, so in a sense, it is a perfectly natural experience, no matter how uncomfortable it may be!
How Can You Effectively Manage Perimenopause Night Sweats?
Alleviating the discomfort of perimenopausal night sweats can be tricky. There is no exact formula that works for every single person, and because of this, you need to go through an experimentation process to see what works for you. In general, the trick is to keep your hormones as balanced as possible, and this can be done by exercising regularly, eating a healthy and balanced diet (that is particularly rich in vitamins B and E), and avoiding spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol. These are some of the most common ways to keep perimenopausal night sweats under control. If nothing seems to be working for you, consult a doctor to discuss your own individual issues in detail, in order to obtain more personalized, professional help that may be more suited to your specific medical history and needs!
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