A high percentage of women in the premenopause and postmenopause years experience hot flashes and night sweats. In fact, the National Institutes of Health recently published a report called the “State-of-the-Science Statement on the Management of Menopause-Related Symptoms”.
In this article, the authors write that 30% to 80% of women in menopause regularly experience this sudden, intense, hot, perspiring feeling in their face and upper body.
A diminished level of estrogen has a direct effect on the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for controlling our body temperature, sleep cycles, and hormones. The menopausal drop in estrogen confuses the hypothalamus, which is sometimes referred to as the body’s “thermostat”, and makes it read “too hot.”
Here are some things you can do to reduce the discomfort from hot flashes and night sweats:
Dress in layers so you can peel them off as you get warmer. Stick to loose clothing of cotton, linen or rayon and avoid synthetic fabrics and wool. Check into “Wicking Nightwear”. These nightclothes are designed to whisk away sweat and moisture and keep you dry and comfortable while you sleep. Cotton sheets are best.
Have you heard of “Cleavage Coolers”? These are small fabric covered gel packs that can be frozen overnight. When a hot flash starts, place one inside your shirt or bra to help you cool down fast. These stay cold in your bra for up to three hours.
Use full-size fans, a ceiling fan, or an air conditioner to cool off your space at work or home. A portable hand-held battery-operated fan can also be kept in your purse. Also keep a thermos of ice water with you at work and at home.
Try a “Chillow” pillow insert for night sweats. The Chillow is filled with water and placed inside the pillowcase, on top of the pillow. It absorbs and dissipates heat to keep you cooler and doesn’t require refrigeration. It is comfortably cool, rather than cold and it always stays dry.
In a study of the famous vitamin C, A total of 94 patients were enrolled, all of who had reached menopause. They were given 200 milligrams of vitamin C and 200 milligrams of bioflavonoids (the substance contained on the inside of orange peels) six times daily. The results were that 67% of the subjects reported complete relief from hot flashes and 21% reported partial relief, giving this combination an overall 88% success rate.
Vitamin E is a proven remedy for hot flashes. One study supporting vitamin E is from the University of Iran, published in “Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation” in 2007. 400 IU of vitamin E in a softgel cap was given to the participants daily for four weeks. A diary was used to measure hot flashes before the study and at the end. The researchers concluded that vitamin E is an effective, recommended treatment for hot flashes.
Flaxseed therapy turns out to be beneficial for hot flashes. Women received 40 grams (one and a half ounces) of crushed flaxseed eaten daily. The result was that the frequency of hot flashes decreased fifty percent. Participants also reported improvements in mood, joint or muscle pain, chills, and sweating. This was a significant improvement in their health and quality of life. The study author Dr. Pruthi said: “We hope to find more effective nonhormonal options to assist women, and flaxseed looks promising.”
According to the journal article on the management of menopause-related symptoms, women seem to have more sleep disturbances as they progress through the menopausal stages. The prevalence of sleep disturbance varies from 39% to 47% in perimenopause, and from 35% to 60% in postmenopause. Night sweats and hot flashes can become a form of insomnia in which a woman wakes up in sweat and unable to sleep.
Regarding mineral deficiency at the time of menopause, Nutritionist Adelle Davis says, “The amount of calcium in a woman’s blood parallels the activity of the ovaries. During the menopause, the lack of ovarian hormones can cause severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur, including irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, and insomnia. These problems can be easily overcome if the intakes of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all generously increased and are well absorbed.”
One insomnia remedy becoming popular among menopausal women is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep remedy contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless legs syndrome, bone strength, and menopause insomnia. The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it more quickly assimilated than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from flashes, I’m sleeping much better, and I’m a lot more comfortable.”
So if you are suffering with hot flashes or night sweats, try some of the ideas above to stay cool as a cucumber!
For more information on Sleep Minerals II, click here.