Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night wondering why it got so hot all of a sudden? You come to realization that you may be too young to go through menopause. Night sweats are a common symptom of menopause, but also is a common symptom while on your period. Every month your body has a shift of hormones throughout your cycle. While on your period, the hormones estrogen and progesterone drop which causes night sweats. Let’s discuss why we get night sweats and what we can do to minimize them to get a restful night's sleep.
Why do I get night sweats during my period?
Women may experience night sweats at different times during their cycle. For example, women with PMS often experience night sweats before their period. Night sweats during your period often occur because of the fluctuations of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. In addition, estrogen often helps your body maintain a cooler temperature. So, when your estrogen levels are lower, your body temperature tends to increase.
How can I stop period related night sweats?
Being on your period may cause you to have unwanted symptoms such as brain fog and cramping. In addition, when you don’t get good sleep, it can make it even more challenging to perform your daily tasks. Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize your night sweats and ensure you get the good night's sleep you need.
Wear loose, breathable clothing (pajamas)
In the winter, polyester or flannel may be your go-to pajama fabric to keep you warm. However, it may not be the best option when it is that time of the month. So instead, opt for clothes made of cotton, linen, or rayon. These three fabrics are considered “breathable” and help keep your body cooler by releasing heat instead of trapping heat.
Soft, breathable and moisture-wicking period underwear
Proof period underwear is designed to fight odors. Also, their underwear is made with a moisture-wicking lining to keep you dry and comfortable throughout the day and night. While it may not always be possible to get rid of night sweats during your period, proof period underwear may help you get the sleep you need.
Comfortable temperature in your room
The optimal temperature in your home for sleep is between 62 and 68 degrees. However, when you get night sweats during your period, not everyone else in your house may be experiencing night sweats and want the house that cold. Consider using a fan in your room to help lower the temperature or keep a glass of cold water nearby. In addition, some people find it helpful to use bed sheets designed to keep your body cool at night.
Cold pack under pillow
Keeping your body cool while sleeping doesn’t end with sheets or clothing. Did you know that you can get a pillow that keeps your head cool as well? If you are looking for a quick option, consider using a cooling gel pack. Place the gel pack under your head or your pillow. Another option is using a cooling pillow cover. These pillow covers are designed with NADA-grade technology that prevents heat from soaking into the pillow. Lastly, consider getting a pillow that has the convenience of a gel pack and a breathable pillow in one. This gel -infused pillow technology is created to absorb heat to keep your pillow cool.
Avoid triggers at night time such as spicy foods or caffeine
There’s no secret that the food we eat affects our bodies. But did you know that the food you eat may also contribute to your night sweats? For example, peppers such as jalapeños contain a chemical called Capsaicin. Capsaicin affects your nervous system and may cause your body to feel warm and sweat to combat the heat from the pepper. Spicy foods aren’t the only ones responsible for night sweats. Foods such as garlic, onion and acidic foods may cause you to sweat at night as well.
It’s already suggested to limit coffee or caffeine before bed because it keeps you awake at night. However, drinking too much caffeine at any time may cause night sweats. Caffeine is a stimulant that causes your nervous system to go into overdrive and, therefore, increases your body temperature.
Take a cold shower
Taking a cold shower provides many benefits to your health, such as boosting your immune system and improving your blood circulation. In addition, taking a cold shower before bed may help your body stay cool while you fall asleep. Focus on running the cool water on your neck and scalp. Allow your hair to air dry while you prepare for sleep.
Practice mindfulness, de-stressing exercises
Stress and anxiety may cause an overactive mind at bedtime. When your brain goes into ”overdrive,” it may cause night sweats and insomnia. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce stress prior to bedtime.
- Create a peaceful sleeping environment
- Journal your feelings
- Take a cool shower
- Write stresses down on a notepad to “save for tomorrow.”
- Avoid blue light exposure prior to bedtime
- Limit alcohol and caffeine
- Practice yoga or meditation
Could my night sweats be a sign of menopause?
One of the most common symptoms of menopause includes night sweats. In fact, it is so common that 75% of women experience night sweats during premenopause and menopause. While it most often occurs during the night, night sweats may occur during the day. Night sweats last between 6 months to 24 months. In rare cases, night sweats may last years.
When to see a doctor
Night sweats during your period are not usually a cause for concern. However, if night sweats are affecting your daily life and accompanied by any of the symptoms below, it may be time to visit your medical professional. Symptoms to watch out for include:
- Irregular periods
- Pain during sex
- Weight loss
- Decreased libido